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How to get your creditors to stop harrassing you

Stop Sign
Image by ladybeames via Flickr

One way to get your creditors to stop harassing you is by filing for bankruptcy. But how does filing for bankruptcy stop creditor calls and letters? Through something called the “automatic stay”.

The automatic stay in bankruptcy can be a powerful benefit for debtors who feel that they are being hounded by creditor phone calls and letters. It can prevent further harassment from debt collectors.

After a bankruptcy is filed, creditors must stop attempting to collect on debts as a result of the automatic stay, which takes effect just after filing. Practically speaking, you should wait until creditors receive notice of the filing before they know to stop contacting you.

Or, your lawyer may send out letters of representation to your creditors, which can put a stop to the creditor calls and letters for a while prior to your bankruptcy filing. For example, if the credit card companies are really annoying you, have a talk with your lawyer and see whether letters of representation can be arranged.

Exactly what does the automatic stay protect the debtor from? Debt collection calls, wage garnishment, lawsuits, foreclosure sales, and repossessions.

What types of actions are NOT stayed? Actions regarding family support, such as child support or alimony; criminal prosecutions; and tax assessments or audits.

How long does the automatic stay last? Until the debtor’s bankruptcy discharge comes through or until a creditor asks a judge and successfully gets the automatic stay lifted.

What happens when a creditor violates the automatic stay? Then that creditor may be subject to civil penalties, such as the payment of damages.

If you have a question about bankruptcy, feel free to contact the Hoboken Bankruptcy Attorney at 201-676-0722 or at jweil@jenlawyer.com.

One Response to How to get your creditors to stop harrassing you
  1. Foreclosure | Bankruptcy Lawyer in Austin
    December 1, 2009 | 12:34 pm

    […] How to get your creditors to stop harrassing you […]

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