DEBT is one of those four letter words that can bring all kinds of problems. In many instances, when you are in debt, your cell phone becomes your enemy. Bill collectors often overstep their boundaries and get unpleasant. This can cause what may already be a stressful time to become unbearable.
Filing for bankruptcy might be the most realistic way to deal with this problem. When you file for bankruptcy, nearly all collections are automatically prohibited. If a creditor contacts you following the filing of a Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy, the creditor generally in violation of the federal law. Here are 3 steps you can take to protect yourself against humiliation or harassment at the hands of debt collectors:
1) Inform the debt collection agency and your creditor that you have filed for bankruptcy. In some instances, creditors may not yet be aware that your case was filed. In this situation, letting the debt collection agency know that you have filed for bankruptcy will resolve the issue.
2) Gather evidence to prove the harassment. If harassment continues, you should begin collecting evidence against the debt collection agency to prove the harassment. You will need to notify your attorney. Evidence can include recording phone calls, archiving mail, drafting letters notifying the collection agency (via certified mail) that you have previously filed for bankruptcy.
3) File a suit against the creditor as an adversary proceeding. After all efforts have proven unsuccessful you need to file a lawsuit against the creditor. If it is a debt collector, then the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) outlines appropriate forms of debt collection. The law is designed to protect your rights from undue harassment in addition there are strict provisions in the Bankruptcy Code.
You have a legal right to protection from continued contact from creditors if you have filed for bankruptcy. If you have any questions concerning bankruptcy or creditor harassment, feel free to call the Packard Law firm. David Packard is a Board Certified Bankruptcy Specialist in Consumer Bankruptcy and would be happy to assist you in understanding your legal rights and available courses of action.