Bankruptcy is usually the last option that any individual takes when faced with crippling amounts of debt, and little to no prospects for recovering from it. There are a few different kinds of bankruptcy, of which the most common for individuals are Chapter 7 and 13 bankruptcy.
However, in both cases, the burden of debt is lifted or eased, and debt collectors must not contact individuals after a certain amount of time has passed. That’s why you need to be very clear on your rights after bankruptcy and contact a bankruptcy error and debt harassment lawyer if you’re being intimidated into paying your debtors.
Let’s take a look at what bankruptcy guarantees you.
Automatic Legal Stay: What it Means
When someone files for bankruptcy, the court sends out an order that is called an automatic stay. The automatic stay halts any lawsuits that may be filed against you about your debts, as well as stops debt collectors from calling you or acting against your collateral or property.
The stay order can also help you with utility disconnections due to unpaid bills, evictions and home foreclosures. Depending on what kind of bankruptcy you’ve filed for, your debt collectors will receive payments over the next 3-5 years or will have to pardon your debt entirely.
This means that intimidation tactics or higher interest rates on existing balance aren’t allowed when you file. The automatic stay order prevents this from happening.
This is permanent court order that ends your personal liability from specific types of debts. This is usually awarded at the end of the bankruptcy and works through the court’s decision to relieve you of re-paying your debts.
A discharge order means that your previous creditors are no longer allowed to contact you or pursue the debt you owed them before bankruptcy. However, there are some debts that don’t fall under the discharge.
This includes alimony, lawsuit payments to other people for personal or property injury, child support, DUI fines, student loans and more. In a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, you will also be continuing to pay debtors on a strict payment plan, but debtors are not allowed to inflate your payments or engage in harassment.
What Do I Do If I’m Being Harassed?
If a debt collector continues to contact and intimidate you, you should seek legal help to halt this behavior immediately. In the case where you’re being asked to make payments, you may just be dealing with a mistake in the debt collector’s system and a bankruptcy errors lawyer can help you sort it out.
However, in cases of sustained abuse, intimidation, threats, profanity or other similar behavior by debt collectors, our debt harassment lawyer in St. Louis and Chicago can help file a lawsuit against the company.