Debt collectors. They’re the worst, aren’t they?
When you first default on your payments, it’s only natural that you’re going to hear from the debt collectors. But when you do your part and work with a bankruptcy lawyer in New York, you should stop receiving these harassing calls and letters, right? Not exactly. Even with a discharge from the court, creditors may still persist.
Now, it’s important to point out that you should NOT be receiving these calls, but it does happen. And it’s incredibly frustrating. You should be starting your new life and instead you’re still dealing with this harassment. Fortunately, there are things you can do to protect your sanity and move forward with your new start.
The Purpose of an Automatic Stay in Bankruptcy
When you filed your bankruptcy case in New York, an automatic stay went into effect. This injunction prohibits creditors from taking any action to collect debts while in bankruptcy. This means that creditors are unable to:
- Call your home or cell
- Send letters, texts or emails
- Repossess your collateral
- Foreclose on your home
- Continue or file a lawsuit
- Place a lien on your property
What if the Creditor Keeps Calling?
You should have seen a significant decrease in the above listed activities when your bankruptcy case was filed. However, some creditors will continue these activities because their system hasn’t yet been updated. This is especially common with smaller creditors that have a harder time getting things into their system. The good news is that you are still protected under your automatic stay.
In other cases, however, creditors need a bit more pushback to show them you mean business. If the calls, letters or threats don’t stop, it’s time to get your New York bankruptcy lawyer involved. Even though creditors know they have to stop contacting you once they have a notice of your bankruptcy filing, some still do it.
Tips for Ending Collection Calls
If you’re dealing with creditor harassment, it’s difficult to move on. But you should not have to deal with these abusive tactics. Bankruptcy is a legal process intended to give people a fresh start when they can’t pay their bills.
Here are some of things you can do to put a stop to the collection calls:
- Explain to the creditor that you’ve filed for bankruptcy. Once they know, most creditors will stop contacting you. But, there’s a chance some may persist.
- Take notes during every harassing phone call. This can be used as evidence if needed. Be sure to note the times and dates of the phone calls, too.
- Contact a bankruptcy attorney. Be sure to have an experienced bankruptcy attorney in New York on your side. They’ll help you navigate the bankruptcy process and keep creditors off your back.
- Be prepared to fight in court. If the harassing calls and threats don’t stop, be prepared to fight your creditors in court. Thankfully, it doesn’t usually get to this point when you have the right legal representation.
Discharge vs Dismissal
Bankruptcy cases typically end in a discharge or dismissal. The discharge is the intended result because this relieves you of having to repay your debts. As long as your case is discharged, creditors have no right to continue collecting debt. You are no longer responsible for it, and if a creditor tries to harass you, contact your lawyer.
On the other hand, if your bankruptcy case is dismissed, the creditor has the right to continue collecting debt. There are a number of reasons why a case might be dismissed such as failure to provide tax records, fill out the paperwork or cooperate with the trustee.
Furthermore, it’s important to be aware that some debts are not dischargeable. You will still be expected to pay:
- Income taxes for the past three years
- Past-due child support and alimony
- Student loans
- Fines in a criminal case
Contact a New York Bankruptcy Lawyer for Help
After filing bankruptcy protection, creditors should stop their collection activities. If they don’t, speak with a bankruptcy attorney in New York. The courts have an interest in creditors that don’t follow the law and will punish them if you can prove your case. This is why documentation is crucial.
To speak with an experienced bankruptcy lawyer in New York, contact the Law Office of William Waldner. We specialize in bankruptcy cases in New York and will help you achieve the fresh start you’re looking for. You can reach us at 212-244-2882 or 914-559-9500 for a free consultation.