Stay Violations and Discharge Violations: Enforcing your Rights in Bankruptcy 6

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:

  1. Calling you after you’ve told them about your bankruptcy.
  2. Repossessing a car after you’ve told them about your bankruptcy.
  3. Referring your debt to someone else for collection after you’ve filed bankruptcy (if that collector tries to collect from you directly).
  4. 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.

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6 thoughts on “Stay Violations and Discharge Violations: Enforcing your Rights in Bankruptcy

  • Jennifer Davis-McCann

    I just recently retained an attorney to file chapter 13, we are still trying ot get all the nessesary paperwork together for unemployment claims and irs and state tax paperwork. my car got repossessed the other night, My 14 year old was in the car while i had ran into the store to get her something and as im checking out the tow truck hooks up to my car while it is still running and with my 14 year old in it. I see a woman with the driver side door open to my car and i dropped everything in the store and ran to my daughters side of the car and at the same time my daughter was opening her door. I immediatley asked her who she thought she was by entering my car with my child in it and asked her how she felt if i done that to her with her child in the car. She immediately started yelling and saying she was taking the car and i proceeded to tell she wasnt taking anything without telling me and showing me who she was. My car was still running at this time and she reached into the car with my purse in the driver floorboard and attempted to remove my keys from the car, at that point im thinking my house key, safety deposit box key and gate key is on there she isn;t getting my keys. So we both got our hands on the keys at teh same time and she is pulling on them to remove them and im trying to get her fingers off my keys. The woman bends my ignition key which cost several hundred dollars to have replaced and cuts me several times with the key. So she has damaged the property, has cussed me and called law enforcement to tell them i jumped on her first. Law enforcement gets there and they say they cant get into it but yet they wont do anything about her damaging my property or cutting me with the key which she done on purpse to try to get my to let go of my keys. So i have all these cuts on me and my property damaged and repossessed right before i can get my bankrupcy filled…. and suggestions here cause i feel like they breached the peace by her actions and damage to property as well physical harm to myself. Any help would be greatly appreciated!

  • Shanika Jenkins

    I filed chapter 7 and one of my debts was from my now former employer once they received the automatic stay they fired me for conduct. My current bankruptcy attorney is no help at all

    • Attorney Judson E Crump Post author


      Thank you for sending your comment. It is illegal for an employer to fire you just because you filed bankruptcy, or just because you discharged a debt in bankruptcy. 11 U.S.C. 525(b). However, if your employer had another reason to terminate you, that is perfectly legal.

      If you live in Alabama, Call me and we can make an appointment to discuss this in more detail. My number is 251-272-9148.