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Can I Sue Credit Harassers if They Continue to Call Me After Filing?

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So, you are deep in debt and have decided to file for bankruptcy. However, the harassing calls and letters from the credit card companies and other creditors keep coming. They are calling you at all hours of the day. You have had enough. Should you be subject to this type of behavior? What recourse do you have, if any? 

The good news is that you are protected by the U.S. Bankruptcy Code. No matter what court or jurisdiction you file your bankruptcy case, you have a protection known as an automatic stay. An automatic stay stops all collection efforts and all foreclosure actions. It also ends all wage garnishments and prohibits creditors from harassing you. 

An automatic stay lasts for the duration of the bankruptcy proceedings, which is several months at a minimum. However, keep in mind that an automatic stay does not protect you from divorce or criminal proceedings. It is also not valid on any debts incurred after the bankruptcy filing.

Penalties for Disregarding the Automatic Stay

The law is strict for those who disregard the automatic stay. If a debt collector is aware of the bankruptcy filing and continues to attempt to collect a debt, they can face serious consequences. The key element here is that they need to be given notice of the bankruptcy. This is usually done automatically via U.S. mail. However, as a debtor, you can also give verbal notice to any creditors. 

Under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), you have the right to sue any creditor if they have committed illegal actions. You can file a lawsuit for damages, which can equal thousands of dollars and may include actual damages, court costs, attorney fees, and even punitive damages. 

What to Do Next

Debt collectors are not allowed to contact you at all during an automatic stay. Therefore, any time a debt collector contacts you in any way, you should make note of it. Keep a log of any illegal activities, such as phone calls, voicemail messages, emails, letters, or any other form of communication. This log will help you understand which debt collectors are still contacting you and how often. If they send you letters or emails, or leave voicemail messages, keep those as evidence.

If any agency is still trying to get money from you during an automatic stay. They are crossing the line. This is illegal under the FDCPA, so take legal action against these companies. Contact a bankruptcy lawyer right away to learn more about filing a lawsuit. 

Contact an Indiana Bankruptcy Attorney Today

When filing for bankruptcy, know that you have legal rights. Creditors cannot treat you as they wish. They cannot harass or threaten you during the process.

The Indiana bankruptcy attorneys at Whitten & Whitten can guide you through the process. We’ll make sure your legal rights are protected and that creditors comply with the law. We can help you file a lawsuit if necessary. Schedule a free consultation with our office by filling out the online form today.

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