Your rights if a creditor violates an automatic stay

On Behalf of | Aug 4, 2021 | Bankruptcy |

If you have been unable to relieve your debt by all other means in Florida, you might want to file for bankruptcy. Once you file for bankruptcy, an automatic stay is put in place by the court to eliminate collection efforts. Unfortunately, there are times when creditors may continue to contact and harass you in spite of the automatic stay. Here are your rights if that happens.

Learn whether the violation was accidental or deliberate

While the creditor has the right to ask for information regarding bankruptcy, they are not permitted to continue contacting you for repayment of debt after they are notified. If a creditor continues to contact you to get you to pay the debt, you should do some research. Did the creditor breach the automatic stay accidentally or on purpose? If it was deliberate, depending on the circumstances, you may be able to collect punitive damages.

Keep records of everything

If you’re dealing with a creditor that has violated the automatic stay in your bankruptcy case, you should keep records of everything. Record all of the contacts and make notes of what was said, the date, the time, and anything else that’s relevant. Keep track of calls and mail correspondence from collection agencies as well.

Establish a breach of stay

Once you have filed for bankruptcy, the court issues a Notice of Filing, and an automatic stay comes into place. It can take a week or longer for creditors to find out about it. If you receive calls or mail correspondence for around the first week or at least between the time you filed and the date the creditor receives the notice, the creditor was not yet aware of the filing. If you are contacted weeks or months later, you can establish a breach of stay.

Filing for bankruptcy can mean relief not only from debts but also from debt collection efforts. If a creditor continues to harass you, you have legal options for recourse.