How to Handle Creditors During Bankruptcy
With all the preparation that comes with going bankrupt, it can be easy to forget a step or two. That’s a great reason to hire a bankruptcy lawyer to help you along they way if you happen to get frazzled and forget what to do. When you find the best bankruptcy lawyer for you be sure to keep their office number handy throughout the entire process. In most cases even if they cannot speak with you directly, a legal assistant or paralegal can answer questions about your case. While I was working as a bankruptcy paralegal one of the most common questions that clients called in to ask was “what do I tell my creditors that keep calling me?”
The answer is ultimately two-fold, depending on the type of creditor that is contacting you. Typically creditors fall into two categories: original and third party. An original creditor is one that your debt originally started with such as the credit card company or a hospital. Unfortunately, original creditors have a right to contact you by until the day your personal bankruptcy is officially filed with the court, and even the best bankruptcy lawyer can’t stop that. When and if they do contact you, it is typically beneficial to inform them that you have hired a bankruptcy lawyer and are in the process of going bankrupt. Don’t be surprised if they ask for the name and phone/fax number of your attorney to verify the information.
Sometimes original creditors feel that your account has gone too far without any payment and will choose to sell your account to another company to continue the collection process. These companies are known as third party creditors or collection agencies, and are a cause of stress before and during the personal bankruptcy process. In fact, some have said that the incessant calls from collection agencies are what finally made them decide to go bankrupt. The good news is that you, as a debtor, have certain rights that protect you from third party creditor harassment. The “Fair Debt Collection Practices Act” or FDCPA is a United States statute that was created to prevent abusive collection attempts. The FDCPA states that as soon as your hire an attorney in the pursuit of filing personal bankruptcy, collection agencies lose the right to contact you. If they continue to do so contact your bankruptcy attorney immediately to see if possible sanctions can be filed against them for violating your rights.
If you are currently experiencing multiple creditor phone calls a day, be sure to note who is calling and whether they are an original creditor or a collection agency; No matter which type of creditor it is, going bankrupt can help. Once you have found the best bankruptcy lawyer for your case be sure to tell them about the calls you are receiving so they can evaluate whether or not your FDCPA rights are being violated. Remember, you have rights as a debtor and you should never feel bullied by your creditors.