Can A Creditor Contact Me In Bankruptcy?
Jan. 10, 2018
Once you file for bankruptcy you have an automatic stay. The automatic stay stops all legal action against you and your property. At that point, what I tell all my clients to do is — Answer the phone.
Creditors often contact people without knowing they are in bankruptcy. It’s best to take action to let them know the situation — that is actually the best way to end the calls.
A lot of times people want to avoid phone calls from creditors because they feel harassed or they simply don’t have the money to pay and it’s pointless to keep explaining that. The good news is that if you’re in bankruptcy, bankruptcy stops all that harassment — and you don’t have to pay at that point! So, you want to answer the phone and you want to tell that creditor — “Hey, I’m in bankruptcy — back off.”
You want to give them your case number and you want to give them your attorney’s name and number. Just as important, you want to tell them that if they contact you again they are in violation of the automatic stay and you can get sanctions against them. Then you want to make a record of that phone call. Create a log and if that creditor contacts you again, then you want to make a note of that. This is very important, because a bankruptcy attorney can file a motion for sanctions against that creditor and obtain money from that creditor for violating the automatic stay.
Another thing you want to do is check your mail. Make sure no one is sending you any bills. If you receive a bill in the mail from a creditor, you want to send them a copy of your notice of bankruptcy case filing. You can get that information from your attorney. That case filing proves when you filed for bankruptcy and that you in fact in bankruptcy. It has all the information that the creditor would need, including your bankruptcy case number, your attorney’s name, address and phone number, and your trustee’s name, address and phone number.
That puts the creditor on notice that you are in bankruptcy and gives you a record of that notification.