Bankruptcy Violations Lawyers in Florida
What to Do If Your Creditors Contact You after You Filed for Bankruptcy
Did you know that after you file for bankruptcy protection many of your creditors are prohibited from ever contacting you again? Ever?
After a person files for bankruptcy protection, they are known as a debtor. Immediately upon filing for bankruptcy protection, a debtor gets all the protections afforded by the bankruptcy code. The most important protection afforded by the bankruptcy code is the automatic stay provisions.
What Is the Automatic Stay?
The bankruptcy code has a debt collection injunction which immediately goes into place and prevents a debtor’s creditors from contacting them. This debt collection injunction is commonly referred to as the “automatic stay.” Unless an exception applies, the automatic stay prohibits creditors from intentionally contacting the debtor in an attempt to collect the debt.
Often, the creditors obey the automatic stay, and they leave the debtors alone. But there are debt collectors out there who, for some reason or another, don’t believe that the automatic stay applies to them. These creditors run the risk of violating one of the most basic protections afforded to a debtor under the bankruptcy code. When creditors intentionally violate this provision of the bankruptcy code, the sanctions can be severe.
What Happens If the Automatic Stay or Discharge Is Violated?
If a debtor can prove a violation of the automatic stay, the bankruptcy judge will decide what sanction is appropriate. Often, the sanctions are severe, and the creditor is required to pay the debtor’s attorneys’ fees for pursuing this violation and bringing it to the court’s attention. As you can very well guess, this can get quite expensive for creditors.
When Does the Automatic Stay Terminate?
Upon receipt of the discharge, the automatic stay will terminate in a Chapter 7 case. Usually, the automatic stay in the Chapter 7 case last approximately five or six months. Once the discharge is entered, the debts can no longer be legally collected and, therefore, the automatic stay is no longer needed.
However, in an abundance of caution, the bankruptcy code has a provision that kicks in immediately after the discharge is entered. This provision is commonly called the “discharge injunction.” The discharge injunction is a permanent injunction that the debtor will have in his or her back pocket for the rest of their lives. In other words, if any creditor or subsequent debt collector ever tries to collect a discharged debt, the debtor can always go back to the bankruptcy court that entered the discharge for relief from debt collector harassment.
Can The Dellutri Law Group, PA Help If You Filed for Bankruptcy with Another Firm?
The simple answer is yes, we can. However, we would want you to reach out to your original attorney first and give them the option of going after the creditors who are violating your consumer rights. If your attorney is not interested in pursuing these violations of federal law, we would love to hear from you! If your attorney chooses to pass on helping you with this issue, which many attorneys routinely do, you have the right to search for another attorney to help you.
The problem is that most bankruptcy attorneys do not sue creditors on a regular basis. They will tell their clients not to worry about it or to just send a letter telling the debt collector that they have filed bankruptcy, and it should all just go away. The problem is, it won’t go away. That debt collector will sell it to a different debt collector and so on and so on. Sometimes, people need to take a stand and file a lawsuit to protect their individual rights. That’s where we come in.
We don’t tell our clients not to worry about it. We take all attempts to collect on discharged debts very seriously. Sometimes, we will call the debt collectors ourselves. Sometimes, we just file a lawsuit. It all depends on how egregious the violation is.
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