Once you notify a creditor that you have retained a Bloomingdale bankruptcy attorney, those creditors are prohibited from contacting you directly. Those creditors must correspondence through the attorney that you have hired. Now, creditors can still take action to collect the debt, such as filing a lawsuit, pursuing a garnishment or a bank citation, because there is not an actual case filing as of yet. However, all communication other than court action must cease. If a creditor continues to contact you after you have hired a bankruptcy attorney, you should notify your bankruptcy attorney. Your Illinois bankruptcy attorney will have the ability to make a claim under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act which is a violation under the collection laws of the United States.
While you are on your payment plan, you have significant protection from your creditors. You do have an obligation, though, to honor whatever payment plan arrangement you have with your attorney. If you were to hire my office, the typical payment plan is $100.00 every two weeks. While you are on that $100.00-every-two-week payment plan, I will suggest that you do not pay any creditors other than your normal utilities and your house or car payment if you’re keeping those items. For someone who comes into my office and has been making minimum monthly payments on the credit cards for years, this is a great sense of relief if they don’t have to make those payments anymore if they are going to file Chapter 7 bankruptcy. Not only will they be able to breathe easier and have a little more money in their pocket each month, but they’ll be able to pay their attorney’s fees off quicker because they’ll have more disposable income per month. The $100.00-every-two-weeks payment plan is a fallback payment plan. A client can certainly pay off the bankruptcy case quicker in order to get filed quicker.
Once a client hires me as their bankruptcy lawyer, they have the ability to call with any questions and get significant, detailed answers to those questions. I welcome clients to call me before they make any rash decision regarding spending, and I encourage clients not to use their credit cards anymore once they have decided to hire my law firm. I also discourage any client from obtaining new credit in anticipation of filing for bankruptcy. I want to make sure that my client has a smooth bankruptcy proceeding without any objections from the United States trustee or from creditors. If a client follows my advice, they can have a smooth bankruptcy case. It is clients who hear my advice but don’t take my advice that sometimes have problems when they file bankruptcy.