For most people, filing for bankruptcy is a last resort to solve their financial problems. However, even after filing for bankruptcy, your financial woes do not disappear immediately. In fact, you may still be getting calls from debt collectors and even harassed although it is illegal to do so after you file for bankruptcy.
The Law Offices of Loomis & Greene in Loveland will help you when you need to file bankruptcy. From the initial free consultation to the moment you are discharged from bankruptcy and beyond, we can help. We are expert bankruptcy lawyers who can help you put the past behind you and move forward in your life. Below, we’ll go over how to handle creditors during the bankruptcy process. Contact us today to get started!
CREDITORS DURING BANKRUPTCY
Before you declared bankruptcy, you have experienced endless collection calls from creditors trying to collect payment on the debt you owed. This may even have been one of your tipping points to seeking our a bankruptcy attorney, as some of these creditors can be relentless and definitely harassing.
When you file for bankruptcy, you will list all of your creditors. The Law Offices of Loomis & Greene want to emphasize that this is an important step in the bankruptcy process. You want this list to be all-inclusive. After all, if you are filing bankruptcy, you want as much of your debt discharged as possible.
The Automatic Stay
Once your list is complete and the bankruptcy process has formally begun, an automatic stay goes into effect immediately. This automatic stay stops all actions by creditors to collect their debt from you, with certain exceptions. This also stops any lawsuits filed against you that you may be facing, in addition to secured debt (where say you have a collateral such as a car loan) and unsecured debt (credit cards, for example). Other actions stays prevent:
- The foreclosure process
- The eviction process
- Failure to pay child support
- Threats to shut off your utilities (they will remain on)
- Threats to cut off welfare services
- Threats to cut off unemployment benefits
- Wage garnishments
- Repossessions of collateral or property
There are a few exceptions to automatic stays, which your top-notch bankruptcy attorney, such as The Law Offices of Loomis & Greene, can explain if you may be at risk of having an exception. One common exception is when a landlord is seeking an eviction on the basis of illegal substance use or other “endangerment” to the property.
In the Interim
Despite our age of immediacy, your creditors may not receive the notice of your bankruptcy petition or of your automatic stay for a few weeks. This is for several reasons. One, if your debt is held by a huge company, say a big global credit card company, the notice can get lost in the mail, not get processed properly, or get lost in other bureaucratic tape. It can take a few weeks for your automatic stay to get processed. In this instance, simply telling the person who calls you that you have filed for bankruptcy and put their debt in the bankruptcy petition should be enough for them to either locate your documentation notice or to note your account so the calls will stop coming.
Another common reason creditor calls keep coming is that your debt is held by a smaller company who also didn’t get the notice or who may have disregarded the notice, not understanding exactly what it meant.
If you suspect that a creditor is blatantly ignoring the bankruptcy automatic stay, then notify your bankruptcy attorney as soon as possible. The Law Offices of Loomis & Greene in Loveland take this very seriously and will work to address it immediately.
Bankruptcy is a lengthy process that usually takes months. There are many steps in this process, which we won’t dive into in this blog. However, do know that throughout your entire bankruptcy, creditors cannot contact you in any way or make attempts to collect on debt, including any collateral in the bankruptcy. There will be a meeting of creditors (also known as a 341 hearing) where creditors will have a chance to dispute any claims you are making. But for now, know that after you file bankruptcy, the calls should stop from creditors. Our next blog post will offer up specific tips for you to follow to handle creditors during the bankruptcy process.
HOW THE LAW OFFICES OF LOOMIS & GREENE CAN HELP WITH YOUR BANKRUPTCY NEEDS
The Law Offices of Loomis & Greene in Loveland endeavor to make this trying time in your life a bit easier. With over 30 years of helping others with their bankruptcy needs and helping them to navigate the bankruptcy process, our top-notch bankruptcy attorneys have got it covered. From filing bankruptcy to the discharge and all the steps in-between, we’re here to answer all of your questions and make this transition as smooth as possible in your life.
Declaring bankruptcy is never an easy decision; once made, it’s not an easy thing to get through. When you partner with excellent bankruptcy attorneys who are experienced and knowledgeable about the bankruptcy process, you can rest assured that your bankruptcy will go smoothly.
The Law Offices of Loomis & Greene in Loveland can not only help you with all of your bankruptcy needs, but also with all of your divorce and family law needs, and criminal law needs. Contact us today for a free consultation!