Filing for bankruptcy is supposed to provide you with a path toward financial stability, but this can be difficult if you are still being hounded by creditors and debt collectors. This kind of harassment is disruptive and can make it difficult to move on with your life. Luckily, there are protections against these creditors built into a properly filed bankruptcy.
Filing for Bankruptcy and Automatic Stay
When you file for bankruptcy, an injunction called an “automatic stay” takes immediate effect. It does not require filling out any additional paperwork, nor is it a service that has to be paid for. In essence, an automatic stay makes it illegal for creditors to contact you regarding any debts you may owe. It acts as a shield, protecting you from any and all harassment, including phone calls, emails, letters, and text messages. For many, the protection provided by automatic stay is the reason they file for bankruptcy in the first place.
There are a number of other actions that are prohibited under the protection of automatic stay. Creditors, for example, are not allowed to file a lawsuit against you, and any existing suit must be dropped as soon as the debtor files for bankruptcy. In addition, automatic stay forbids creditors from repossessing, foreclosing, or attempting to collect in any way. According to 11 U.S.C., creditors are only granted relief from automatic stay if they have reason to believe that the debtor may try to sell, damage, or steal the property in question.
Continued Collection Attempts
While most creditors know better than to violate the conditions of an automatic stay, some are willing to break the law and continue pursuing collection. When this happens, legal action can be taken to punish the collector and obtain compensation. If taken to court, the creditor can be forced to return any property or funds they illegally obtained. They can also be forced to pay for damages, such as legal fees and other costs. When the violation of automatic stay is particularly heinous, the collector can be compelled to pay more than the actual damages.
Contact A Skilled Bankruptcy Attorney Today
If you filed for bankruptcy, you are probably doing so because you want a fresh start. The last thing you need is continued harassment. If you want to hold a creditor accountable for breaking the law, it is essential to work with experienced Cleveland bankruptcy lawyer Matthew Alden. They can use their knowledge of the court’s inner-workings to prove that a creditor is violating the protections put in place by the automatic stay.
If you are being contacted by creditors even after you have filed for bankruptcy, contact Luftman, Heck & Associates at (216) 586-6600. We understand how irritating and distracting creditors can be. We will work tirelessly to protect your legal rights and form a case that gets you the compensation you deserve.
Call today or contact us online to see how we can help.