One of the major advantages of bankruptcy in Texas is called an automatic stay. The automatic stay in bankruptcy legally prevents (stays) all creditor calls after filing bankruptcy. In fact, it prevents any attempts to collect a debt until the conclusion of your bankruptcy case, to include collection calls, collection mail, seizure or repossession of property, levy of bank accounts, revocation of business or professional license, liens, or wage garnishments. If debt collectors or creditors continue any actions against you after being notified of your bankruptcy, they could very well be violating the bankruptcy automatic stay. Here are some actions you can take against those creditors.
Actions against creditors who violate the automatic stay
The first thing to do when a creditor takes action against you on a debt after you have filed bankruptcy is to let them know about your bankruptcy. Although the bankruptcy court will make attempts to notify all creditors listed in your bankruptcy, the message doesn’t always get through to every member of the creditor organization. If the creditor is aware of your bankruptcy and continues collection actions you should notify the bankruptcy court which has the ability to impose fines or damages for creditors who willfully violate the automatic stay. If you have informed your bankruptcy court and trustee and debt collectors continue to contact you, garnish your wages, or carry out any form of collection action you may be able to file a lawsuit against them. Filing a lawsuit against a creditor or collection agency requires you to be able to prove that the individual or company violated state unfair trade practice laws or state or federal fair debt collection practices.
Work with your Bankruptcy Attorney
When debt collectors violate the automatic stay afforded by bankruptcy, you should also make your Houston bankruptcy lawyer aware of the matter. An experienced bankruptcy lawyer will most likely have been through a similar situation and will be able to help guide you through the process of seeking relief from your creditors in bankruptcy. You do have rights against debt collectors and having a legal professional will ensure you are aware of those rights.