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What to Do if Creditors Disobey the Automatic StayFiling for bankruptcy provides relief in many ways, and one of the immediately noticeable ways is the automatic stay on creditors. After you have filed, creditors are legally required to stop contacting you or attempting to collect on their debt. This includes:

  • Calling you or sending letters
  • Foreclosing on or repossessing your property
  • Turning off your utilities
  • Garnishing your wages
  • Filing or continuing a lawsuit

The IRS is still allowed to send notices of tax deficiencies, and the automatic stay will not stop a court action that is trying to establish child support. Otherwise, you should stop hearing from creditors in a matter of days, if not immediately. If a creditor continues to harass you after you have filed for bankruptcy, you need to talk to your bankruptcy lawyer about how to stop the creditor and whether you should take legal action against them.

Determining Your Response

How you respond to a creditor continuing their debt collection action against you depends on whether the creditor knowingly violated the automatic stay. On your end, you can check whether you forgot to include the creditor in your bankruptcy filing, which would explain why they were unaware of the automatic stay. If the creditor is already listed in your bankruptcy, you need to notify them of the automatic stay and tell them to cease all communications and debt collection efforts. Your lawyer can prepare the message to make sure that the creditor can confirm your bankruptcy case. Warning the creditor will be enough to stop them in many cases. 

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The Short-Term and Long-Term Benefits of BankruptcyBankruptcy may have a negative stigma for people who do not understand what the process means. Bankruptcy is a solution to your debt problems, not a symptom of them. You file for bankruptcy to stave off creditors and ultimately clear yourself of eligible debts that are causing you stress and threatening your financial security. When filing for bankruptcy, you should understand that there are immediate and long-term benefits.

Immediate Benefits

You will immediately notice the effect of filing for bankruptcy because it will enforce an automatic stay on your creditors. This means an immediate stop to:

  • Persistent phone calls and letters about repayment;
  • Looming litigation by your creditors;
  • Garnishment of your wages by the IRS and student loan lenders; and
  • Imminent foreclosure or repossession of your properties.

The automatic stay gives you time to assess your financial situation and how you wish to proceed with the bankruptcy process. It is difficult to concentrate on making those decisions if you are worried that the bank is about to foreclose on your home.

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Posted on in Bankruptcy

Your Rights Against Creditor HarassmentFacing overdue debts is stressful enough without harassing behavior by creditors and the debt collection agencies they employ. Both Texas and federal law protect consumers from debt collection harassment. Unfortunately, debt collectors still use aggressive practices that cross legal boundaries. Taking financial action, such as filing for bankruptcy, can stop contact from debt collectors. However, you can also hold creditors accountable for their harassment.

Illegal Behavior

Creditors and debt collection agencies use harassing and abusive methods because they know people are too intimidated to stand up for themselves. Debt collectors do not have the right to harass or defraud you. The Texas Debt Collection Act defines illegal practices by debt collectors as including:

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National Association of Consumer Bancruptcy Attorneys State Bar of Texas
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