Discharging debts through chapter 7 or chapter 13 bankruptcy ends your
legal responsibility to pay them and prohibits creditors from continuing
their collection efforts. Sometimes, though, a creditor will continue
haranguing you about the money even though it's against the law. Here's
what you can do to
end creditor harassment if there's someone who just won't stop coming after you about
a discharged account.
Send an Official Notice
In many cases, the creditor attempting to get you to pay the debt is actually
a collection agency that purchased your account from the original lender,
and the original creditor failed to let the agency know you included the
debt in your bankruptcy filing.
Advising the debt collector that the money owed was discharged in bankruptcy and then following up
by sending the person a copy of the schedule showing the debt and your
discharge papers should stop him or her from bothering you again.
File a Complaint with the Court
Unfortunately, there are unscrupulous creditors out there who will persist
in trying to collect on discharged accounts either believing the law doesn't
apply to them or that debtors will get so annoyed that they'll pay
to make the collection agents go away. The truth is your bankruptcy discharge
is a federal court order that creditors must obey, and they will suffer
legal consequences when they don't.
You can enlist the court's help in reigning in a wild creditor by filing
a motion to hold the company in contempt. There will typically be a hearing
where you'll have to prove the creditor violated bankruptcy law. Once
you prove your case, though, the court will
sanction the creditor and may even order him or her to pay damages to you.
Many times, however, you won't need to actually go to court. A strongly
worded letter from an attorney threatening legal action is often enough
to get a persistent collection agent to stop. If you need help ending
creditor harassment or would like more information about filing bankruptcy,
contact us for a consultation.