You’ve recently filed for bankruptcy and feel a sense of relief and excitement at making a fresh financial start. Suddenly, you start receiving calls from creditors again. You may feel shocked and confused, wondering if something went wrong with the bankruptcy or you misunderstood something.
The truth is creditors may sometimes continue to call and harass you even after bankruptcy. There are various reasons for this, but there are things that can be done to stop this bothersome activity.
Why are they contacting me?
As you probably remember from your bankruptcy proceeding, something called an automatic stay went into effect upon filing. The stay ordered creditors to cease all collection efforts while your case was in bankruptcy. Unfortunately, sometimes creditors may not receive notice of the stay, or the debt discharge after bankruptcy, and will continue to contact you about the debt during and after the bankruptcy.
Once your bankruptcy was finalized, the automatic stay was converted to a permanent court order prohibiting creditors from attempting to collect on the discharged debt. However, the creditors may now start contacting you for other reasons, to entice you into amassing more debt. They may make new loan offers or advertise new deals.
Creditors may also continue to send notices or threatening letters on the discharged debts, or not take the debt off your credit report. It is important to stay aware of all debts that were validly discharged to recognize which creditors are engaging in illegal collection efforts.
Stopping the harassment
Creditors who continue to contact you about a debt that was legally discharged in bankruptcy are violating the court’s discharge order. This can be remedied by asking the court to reopen your bankruptcy case and requesting that the creditor receive sanctions, or a punishment, for violating the order. The sanction may involve money damages. It is helpful to have a bankruptcy attorney during this process.