After you file for bankruptcy, it is illegal for your creditors to attempt to collect discharged debts. Nevertheless, many creditors hope that debtors don’t know how far their protection extends and will continue to attempt to collect debts even after they’ve been excused by the court. These actions are illegal and it’s important to understand the protection you receive after filing bankruptcy to prevent you from being taken advantage of.
Many debts are discharged during bankruptcy. This means that the court excuses them and you are no longer responsible for paying them. Your bankruptcy filing and the FDCPA (Fair Debt Collection Practices Act) protect you from multiple credit stresses.
- Creditors may not send you any letters saying that you owe payment. If they do, keep them to show your attorney as evidence.
- Creditors may not call you on the phone and ask for payment. You have no legal obligation to pay discharged debts. Take note of the phone call to show your attorney as evidence.
- Creditors may not lead you to believe that you are breaking the law by not paying discharged debts or threaten legal action against you.
The reason creditors continue to attempt to collect payments for debts after they have been discharged is obvious – they want to make money.
If your debt was discharged in bankruptcy, you have no legal obligation to pay the debt. Sometimes a third party collector will get involved by offering the original credit company money to buy your discharged debt. Then this new collector can harass you about paying the debt. This method of debt collection is also illegal and can be fought under the FDCPA.
Remember to record any illegal actions creditors take, and contact an attorney if you feel you might have a valid FDCPA claim.
For over 25 years, Jonathan Ginsberg has represented honest, hardworking men and women facing financial troubles.
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