Will Filing for Bankruptcy Stop Creditors from Harassing Me?
The short answer is yes.
The Automatic Stay
Filing bankruptcy invokes a court order called the automatic stay. This order prevents creditors from continuing or initiating any debt collection activities against you. This includes telephone calls, emails, letters, lawsuits, or any other type of communication. The order is sent to all of your creditors listed in your bankruptcy petition. So, in a perfect world, all the harassing calls and letters should end immediately after filing your bankruptcy.
What if I Receive Communication from a Creditor after Filing?
It takes time for the court to send notice of the automatic stay to your creditors. Once a creditor receives the notice, it has to get that notice incorporated into its system and make sure communication with you stops. Sometimes, you may continue to receive telephone calls or mail regarding your debts shortly after having filed bankruptcy. This is probably an honest mistake on the part of the creditor. Or the creditor may have mailed a letter before the bankruptcy was filed. If you receive communication from a creditor after filing bankruptcy, respond to the creditor and inform it that you have filed bankruptcy. If you are represented, tell your attorney. Send him or her a copy of the letter or pass along with details of the telephone call. If the communication persists, legal action can be taken against the offending creditor.
Punishing Creditors for Violating the Automatic Stay
Bankruptcy law is designed to give you a fresh start in life. That fresh start includes the right to be free of harassment of your creditors. If you are being harassed by creditors after filing for bankruptcy, your attorney can usually put an end to it with a short call or letter. However, if the creditor continues to hound you, the law provides punishment for creditors who cross the line. In that case, let us know, as you have the right to sue the creditor.