In most cases, an automatic stay protects bankruptcy debtors the entire time their bankruptcy case is pending. The automatic stay bars creditors from taking certain collection actions, such as:
Additionally, when a bankruptcy debtor is under the protection of the automatic stay, creditors cannot send the debtor bills or collection letters and cannot contact the debtor by any means to try and collect the debt. But sometimes creditors continue to harass debtors in violation of the automatic stay. This is one of many reasons it is important to work with an experienced Kansas City bankruptcy attorney when filing bankruptcy. A qualified attorney can protect your rights if a creditor violates the automatic stay.
What You Should Do
- Your case number
- The date your case was filed
- The district your case was filed in
- Which chapter you filed
- Your attorney’s name and contact information
Sometimes during the week or so after a bankruptcy case has been filed, creditors will continue to call or send notices to the debtor, because the creditor has not received a bankruptcy notice from the court yet. However, once the creditor has received notice of your bankruptcy, whether from the court or from you or your attorney, all debt collection efforts must cease from that point forward. If a creditor continues to contact you after receiving notice of your bankruptcy or proceeds with prohibited actions such as repossession, foreclosure or garnishment without first obtaining bankruptcy court permission to do so, you should promptly notify your attorney and be prepared to provide the following information:
- The name of the creditor
- The specific contact person (if known)
- A copy of the letter(s) or email(s) you have received or the phone number(s) you are being called from
- If/when you provided the creditor with your case information
- About how many times the creditor has contacted you since the filing of your bankruptcy and whether any threats have been made
- What actions the creditor has taken or is attempting to take (e.g., trying to pick up your vehicle, has notified you of a foreclosure sale, continues to garnish your paycheck)
If you filed bankruptcy without an attorney and a creditor continues to take collection actions against you, consult a qualified Kansas City bankruptcy lawyer today to protect your rights and your assets. A bankruptcy attorney knows what actions to take to ensure your creditors do not harass you and to prevent your creditors from unlawfully repossessing or garnishing your protected property.