Do creditors have to stop harassing me if I file? Filing bankruptcy through a Mount Prospect bankruptcy attorney is the best way to stop creditors from taking any kind of collection action, including harassing phone calls or harassing letters. Once your bankruptcy case is filed, there is the creation of the automatic stay. The automatic stay is a one-page document which provides information concerning your case filing, your case name, and your case date, which is then sent to creditors to get them to stop. In fact, you can even stop creditors from harassing your by phone or by l there once you have hired a bankruptcy attorney. Thus, even before your case is filed, if you hire an Illinois bankruptcy attorney, you have the ability at that point to notify creditors that you have hired that attorney. Under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, those creditors must contact and communicate exclusively through your attorney of record. Creditors do have the ability to continue lawsuits; they can initiate lawsuits, they can garnish wages; they can do bank citations; they can take collection efforts up until the time your actual bankruptcy case is filed. However, once you hire a bankruptcy attorney, all communication must stop. So creditors will stop immediately after you claim bankruptcy case is filed, and you can even get them to stop before your bankruptcy case is filed in terms of communication.
What I tell my clients is this: have a piece of paper and a pen available with you at your phone. If a creditor should call, advise them that you are represented by a Chicago bankruptcy attorney, give them your attorney’s name and number, and then take down their name and number and the company that they work for. By keeping a record of this, you can then have an argument going forward if they violate the automatic stay or if they violate the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act by continuing to communicate with you. You have the right to sue individual creditors for violating the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, and your attorney has the ability to go into court either before or after a bankruptcy case, depending on when the event occurred, to seek sanctions monetarily against that particular creditor. So yes, you do have the right to refer creditors to your attorney once you have hired an attorney.
Most creditors will abide by the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act and communicate exclusively with your Illinois bankruptcy lawyer from that point forward. However, there are some rogue creditors out there that will try to continue to contact you in an effort to get some sort of money out of you before you actually file for bankruptcy. These creditors might even try to convince you that bankruptcy is the wrong thing to do. These creditors might try and tell you that if you pay them a certain amount, they will wipe out the rest of the debt. Creditors will do whatever they can to entice you to reach into your wallet and make a payment, even though you’ve already made a decision to hire a bankruptcy lawyer and file for bankruptcy. Thus, you want to always stay in communication with your bankruptcy attorney. Your bankruptcy attorney will be able to advise you on how to deal with these creditors, how to refer those creditors to the bankruptcy attorney, and how to avoid being manipulated by credit companies. This is the type of information that you will not find in a bankruptcy book.