If you have failed to make a credit card payment, owe excessive medical fees or have had an account sent to collections, you know first-hand what it is like to be contacted by a collector. Whether collectors call you at inconvenient hours or send emails constantly, dealing with creditor harassment can get overwhelming. Creditors and collection agencies often use harassing tactics and techniques to collect past due payments. Some of these tactics may even be illegal. However, there are ways you can stop creditor harassment.
Once you submit Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 paperwork, an automatic stay is placed on your case. This sends a notice to all creditors listed on the paperwork alerting them of the bankruptcy. The stay also prohibits collectors from contacting you regarding unpaid debt.
The automatic stay and the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act prohibits creditors from engaging the following behaviors:
- Calling at all hours of the day and night
- Garnishing wages
- Initiating or continue lawsuits
- Threatening to have law enforcement take property, children or pets
- Threatening to put in jail or pursue legal action
- Using other scare tactics
It is important to include all of the creditors you owe on the bankruptcy paperwork as those are the companies issued an automatic stay. You should notify the courts if you continue to receive letters or calls from creditors. Keep in mind that the automatic stay may only be in effect for a certain period of time depending on the circumstances of your case.