Are your creditors violating your bankruptcy rights? Fight Back! Call Alabama Bankruptcy Enforcement Attorney Judson E Crump at (251)272-9148 Today!
Every bankruptcy lawyer advertisement you’ve ever seen brags about how bankruptcy can put an immediate stop to all the phone calls, the garnishments, the threats of repossession, foreclosures, etc. And that’s true. At least, in theory. And for the most part in reality, too. The vast majority of credit card companies, auto finance companies, mortgage servicers, collection agencies, and collection law firms know the power of the Bankruptcy Code and the Automatic Stay, and they have strict policies to avoid breaking the law.
But some creditors don’t. Particularly the smaller outfits that prey on poor people who they think won’t bother to enforce their rights: “Buy here pay here” car dealers, payday lenders, pawn shops, small loan companies, finance companies, and title loan shops. These folks can be downright nasty, and some of them really don’t care about the law.
But you do have rights. Section 362 of the Bankruptcy Code says that creditor’s can’t call you or do anything to collect from you once you’ve filed bankruptcy. And if they do bother you after they’ve learned about your bankruptcy, you can take them to court and make them pay you.
The procedure for doing so is called the Adversary Proceeding. An Adversary Proceeding (or ‘AP’, as many bankruptcy lawyers call it) is basically a lawsuit-within-the-bankruptcy case. It does not involve a jury trial and usually moves faster than a normal lawsuit. But the basic process is the same. Your lawyer crafts a complaint explaining what happened and demanding that the offending creditor be forced to pay.
If you can show that they tried to collect from you after they knew of the bankruptcy, you can win an award of damages and force them to pay your lawyer’s fees.
Here are some common stay violations:
- Calling you after you’ve told them about your bankruptcy.
- Repossessing a car after you’ve told them about your bankruptcy.
- Referring your debt to someone else for collection after you’ve filed bankruptcy (if that collector tries to collect from you directly).
- Trying to collect from co-signors on a loan you included in your Chapter 13 case.
If you have creditors who are still bothering you even though you’ve filed bankruptcy, call me and we can discuss how to take action against them.