Does Bankruptcy Stop Creditor Calls?


Close up Of a Credit Cards with Credit Card Statements

If you're feeling constantly stressed out and overwhelmed by mounting debt, it can be hard to see a path forward or even concentrate on other facets of your life that deserve attention. To make matters worse, you’re also likely getting inundated with creditor calls asking you over and over when they’ll receive payment. The good news is there are options available, and one step you can take to address this is to file for bankruptcy. Declaring bankruptcy can also have an immediate effect on creditor harassment, but you need to take action now.  

If you live in the greater Jackson Mississippi area or in Laurel/Hattiesburg Mississippi area, turn to a bankruptcy attorney you can trust at The Law Offices of Wes Stover. Give us a call today to get started and take control of your financial future. 

What Is Creditor Harassment? 

A lot of people who find themselves in debt and receiving multiple calls from their creditors may use the term “creditor harassment” to describe these actions. However, simply being contacted by creditors regarding your debt isn’t always considered “harassment,” and there are many things they’re legally permitted to do. This includes: 

  • Contacting you between the hours of 8:00 am and 9:00 pm unless you give them permission to call outside these hours 

  • Contacting you via phone, text, social media, or email (note that you are allowed to request they stop contact via email, text, and social media) 

  • Contacting you at work unless you tell them you’re not allowed to receive calls there 

  • Calling you up to seven times within a seven-day period (but they must wait a week to contact you again after talking with you about specific debt)  

If a debt collector violates the above terms, then their actions can be classified as “harassment.” 

Will Filing for Bankruptcy Stop Creditor Harassment? 

The short answer to this question is yes. Once you’ve filed, you are protected from creditor contact through something called an automatic stay. This means that once the courts have received your bankruptcy filing and processed it through their system, it is illegal for your creditors to continue to contact you to collect on debts. The court will send out notices to all your creditors right away, but it may take a couple of days for these to be received.  

If, after this time, you continue to receive calls, you should contact your attorney immediately. When a creditor violates the automatic stay order, that is another form of creditor harassment that a bankruptcy attorney can help you handle, typically by filing a complaint.   

Do I Need a Bankruptcy Lawyer? 

Although there’s nothing written into U.S. bankruptcy law that says you need an attorney to file, the vast majority of people find it helpful to work with an experienced bankruptcy attorney. Whether you’re filing under Chapter 7 bankruptcy (commonly called “liquidation bankruptcy”) or Chapter 13 bankruptcy (also called “wage earner’s bankruptcy”), a skilled lawyer can benefit you in multiple ways: 

  • Guide you through the filing process: While the actual process for filing isn’t overly difficult, the preparationfor filing can be complicated and confusing. Bankruptcy courts will need documentation for nearly every aspect of your financial life, and how this evidence is organized and presented will have a huge impact on whether your application is accepted. 

  • Negotiate on your behalf: An attorney can help you set up the best possible arrangement for your unique financial situation. For Chapter 7 filers, this means letting you keep as many assets as possible before your eligible debt will be discharged. For Chapter 13 filers, this means helping you classify your income and debts in such a way as to achieve a manageable payment plan that you’ll be able to stick to for the next three to five years while also staying on top of your ongoing financial obligations like paying rent and utilities. 

  • Handle any ongoing creditor harassment: After you’ve taken the important step of filing for bankruptcy, your creditors should respect the automatic stay and stop contacting you. However, if they continue to harass you, your lawyer can take on this burden for you and take the necessary steps to make it stop for good. 

  • Advise you on your future: Declaring bankruptcy is only the first step toward achieving true financial freedom, and you don’t want to get stuck in the same bad habits that got you into debt in the first place. Your attorney can educate you on how to rebuild your credit, avoid common pitfalls that people make post-bankruptcy, and take the necessary precautions so as not to end up back where you started. 

Knowledgeable Legal Advocacy 

Struggling with debt is nothing to be ashamed of, and the truth is, most of us will face financial difficulties at some point in our lives. If you live in the greater Jackson Mississippi area or the Laurel Mississippi and Hattiesburg Mississippi area and would like to discuss your options for declaring bankruptcy, reach out to us at The Law Offices of Wes Stover

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