A creditor or collector that tries to collect a debt after the bankruptcy is filed is in violation of the automatic stay. Of course if you have listed the creditor or collector on your bankruptcy petition, it is likely going to take a couple of weeks before they get notice of your bankruptcy so if it happens in the first two weeks, it is probably best to simply let them know you have filed bankruptcy, provide them with your case number and refer them to your attorney. If your case has been pending for more than two weeks, you should immediately notify your bankruptcy attorney so that the creditor can be notified in writing that you have filed bankruptcy, and provided a copy of your filing notice.

If the creditor or collector continues to try to collect after being notified in writing, you may be entitled to take legal action within your bankruptcy against the creditor: The goal is to obtain a specific order from the court barring the creditor from taking further collection action. If the Bankruptcy Court finds that the violation was willful, it may award the debtor actual damages, including costs and attorney fees and, depending on the severity of the violation, punitive damages.

The key is really documenting the contacts that you have with creditors or collectors that you believe violate the automatic stay. Do not hesitate to request a creditor contact log from us, if we have not provided you with one already, so that we can pursue stay violations for you. We want to enforce your rights under the automatic Stay and protect your discharge.