Can creditors legally call me after bankruptcy?
You recently filed for bankruptcy thinking it would eliminate your debt and bring you a financial new beginning, but the creditors are still calling, and won’t leave you alone even though they know you have filed. The phone keeps ringing at home, and now they are even calling you at work. You feel frustrated and confused because you didn’t think they could continue to contact you.
In my office we hear about collection agencies calling our clients at home, and at their places of work, sometimes even going so far as to speak to their employers to “verify wages for garnishment”. Collection agents can be very assertive and are well practiced at their script, but we advise our clients to stand firm and inform collectors they have filed for bankruptcy. We direct clients to give creditors our contact information and the case number of the bankruptcy filing. A crafty agent will be ready for this however, and might try to claim that the bankruptcy attorney filed the case incorrectly. They may claim that the bankruptcy filing doesn’t cover this type of debt or that the interest on the debt is still owed regardless of the bankruptcy etc. They will use many approaches to get a payment right then and there.
When consumers are put on the spot by aggressive collections agents they must remember that when they file for bankruptcy they are now legally protected against these continuing calls and headaches from creditors. That means, when you file for bankruptcy your creditors are required by law to leave you alone. No more calls, and no more letters or emails.
Once a bankruptcy case is filed all creditors listed in the case will receive notice from the bankruptcy court that you have filed. They are made aware that it is now illegal to contact you, and if creditors continue to contact you they are now in violation of the bankruptcy stay and the bankruptcy discharge provisions.
But that doesn’t stop them all. Even with notice from the bankruptcy court some creditors will still keep trying. We advise our clients to tolerate this for a couple of weeks since it can take a week or more to receive notice from the court. Clients should remind creditors of the bankruptcy case number and their attorney’s contact information. They should make a record of each communication, and forward all contacts to their attorney. Our clients are instructed to politely ask their creditors to call our office, and for especially aggressive creditors we recommend they ask for the creditor’s name as well as their supervisor’s name and number so their attorney may contact them directly. This will normally put an end to the communications, but if not, these continued violations of bankruptcy law could be legally actionable, and a bankruptcy attorney might consider suing the creditor.
Remember when you file for bankruptcy you are protected from the calls and collections actions of your creditors. Your bankruptcy attorney will start taking the creditors calls right away, and you can legally direct any and all future communications to your attorney, so you can feel like you’re getting a fresh start from your financial stress on day one.
If you live in New York, are considering bankruptcy relief and have creditors calling you day and night, please contact the Law Office of William Waldner for a free bankruptcy consultation. We only practice Bankruptcy Law and are always here to help.
Call 212-244-2882 to arrange a free bankruptcy consultation today. Mention this blog post when scheduling by referencing the promotional code: CRD212 to receive the required 3 bureau credit report, and required credit counseling course, both free with any signed retainer agreement.
This article is intended for educational purposes only. By reading this article no attorney-client relationship has been created.