There’s a reason we refer to it as bankruptcy “protection”. In fact, you might say the whole point of filing personal bankruptcy in Indiana (or small business bankruptcy in Indiana, for that matter) is just that – protection from creditors. Now, there’s nothing wrong with wanting to get paid when someone owes you money, but the law is quite clear about the automatic stay, which stops all collection efforts once a debtor has filed bankruptcy.
Even before an individual bankruptcy petition has been filed (which, in the cases handled by the Zuckerberg bankruptcy law offices might be bankruptcy Chapter 7 in Indiana or perhaps a filing under Chapter 13 bankruptcy law, there is a very definitive “no-no” list for creditors when it comes to harassing debtors. Creditors can’t:
“inflate”, asking for more than you owe
"pester”, calling before 8AM or after 9AM or on Sunday, or calling you at work if you’ve asked them not to
“be violent”, caused damage to your property or your reputation
- “gossip”, disclosing your debt to any third party
Well, then after the bankruptcy has been filed, it’s totally “hands-off” for creditors. A recent warning by a bankruptcy judge in Florida emphasized this exact point to big banks:
When your debtors go into bankruptcy, quit trying to get money out of them or you'll be the one who ends up paying!
Matters came to a head when, in Florida, after a debtor had already filed for individual bankruptcy protection, Bank of America proceeded to call the debtor an additional 38 times to ask about the outstanding payments, according to the Bankruptcy Law Network.
The Fair Debt collection Practices Act allows a debtor to recover damages if its rules are violated. I asked the Anderson, Bloomington, Indianapolis, and Columbus bankruptcy lawyers to be alert for such violations, so that we can make sure debtors are given every chance to get back on their feet without pressure from their creditors.
Violations happen, as we see in the Bank of America story, and they happen all the time. One next step debtors can take is notifying the Indiana Attorney General’s Office online (http://www.indianaconsumer.com/filecomplaint.asp) or by calling 317 232-6330 or 800-382-5516.
Or, call the Zuckerberg bankruptcy law offices – going up against creditors who break the law – now, that’s one battle we’ll willingly take up on your behalf!
Categorised in: Bankruptcy Indiana
This post was written by Mark Zuckerberg