Debt Collectors Calling After Bankruptcy

March 11, 2020

Debt collectors should not be able to call after bankruptcy.  Debt collectors who continue to call after bankruptcy are in direct violation of the bankruptcy code.  You have powerful options to shut the creditor down and even receive money for damages.

Debt Collectors Cannot Violate the “Discharge”

If you had a debt listed in your bankruptcy, it is usually discharged when your case concludes.   Any debt that is “discharged” can never be collected against ever again. Your debt collectors cannot call or collect after this discharge order permanently eliminates your debt.

Collectors that do not comply can be sued in bankruptcy court.  A separate action can be opened in your old bankruptcy case called an “adversary.”  This is simply a lawsuit in Federal Court that is connected to your old bankruptcy. In this adversary case, your attorney can seek damages for every single violation of the discharge.  For instance, if the collector has called or visited your house several times, you may be able to seek a fine for every time they moved against you.

What To Do If Collectors are Calling You After Bankruptcy

First, you need to notify the creditor of your bankruptcy.  Sometimes this is all you need to do. Make sure to give them the case number and any other identifying information such as the date you filed. 

Second, you may want to call your bankruptcy attorney.  It may be wise to double-check that this particular creditor appeared in your bankruptcy schedules.  If they are not in your bankruptcy schedules, then it is likely that the creditor was never informed.  You may need to officially add them to the bankruptcy or simply have your attorney give them notice, depending on the situation.  

Third, if the collection becomes severe or does not stop, you should ask your attorney about finding counsel to bring a lawsuit.  Certain bankruptcy attorneys will commonly bring claims against over-aggressive creditors such as these. Either your bankruptcy attorney will bring the lawsuit or your attorney can likely refer you to another attorney in the area that frequently brings such lawsuits.  Remember, this is only for the most severe cases. Usually, simply informing the creditor of the bankruptcy and demanding them to stop is all that needs to take place to correct the problem.

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