If you are behind on paying your mortgage, credit cards, medical bills or other expenses, you are probably receiving constant phone calls and stacks of collection notices from your creditors. Fortunately, bankruptcy is a powerful tool that will immediately stop creditors from trying to collect your debts.
As soon as you file for bankruptcy, the court will order an “automatic stay.” This “stay” will stop nearly all legal actions and collection activities against you — giving you time to focus on your financial recovery. Usually the automatic stay lasts as long as your bankruptcy case is open. If you file Chapter 7, the stay will probably last around four months. If you file Chapter 13, the stay will last between three and five years. If you file Chapter 11, the stay will last between eight and 18 months.
At Thinking Outside The Box, Inc., our team of licensed attorneys and professionals has more than 124 years of combined experience helping clients find debt relief through bankruptcy. Located in Naperville, Illinois, our law firm helps clients throughout the Chicago metropolitan area to stop creditor harassment and get out of debt by filing for bankruptcy. Contact us today.
Your Rights Under The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act
If your creditors continue to harass you after you file for bankruptcy, we can sue them in Federal Bankruptcy Court under an adversary proceeding which will force the creditor to cease all correspondence and possibly require the creditor to pay you punitive damages, court costs and attorney fees. This means you could actually receive money for debt harassment in conjunction with your bankruptcy stay or discharge.
The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) allows a person to sue a third-party collection agency if it has attempted to collect a debt that is either part of a bankruptcy filing or has already been discharged in bankruptcy. Even if you have not yet filed for bankruptcy, this federal law protects you from outrageous creditor collection tactics at any time.
The following debt collection behavior is prohibited under the FDCPA:
- Notifying a third party (such as your employer or members of your household) of an attempt to collect your debt
- Telephone calls or other communication at unusual or inconvenient times or places
- The use of violence, obscenity or profane language
- False representations or threats
- Repeated telephone calls in an obvious attempt to annoy, abuse or harass you
- Unfair or unconscionable means of trying to collect your debt
- Continued contact after being informed that you do not plan to repay the debt or that you do not want to be contacted