There’s a law against post-bankruptcy discharge debt collections, but some creditors still don’t get the point. After 25 years helping tens of thousands of debtors file personal bankruptcy in Indiana, I’m finding more and more that it’s not always over when it’s over.
The way it’s supposed to work is that, after you’ve emerged from individual bankruptcy in Indiana and some or even all of your debts have been discharged, creditors are required to report zero debt. That allows your credit report to recover, and allows you to make that fresh financial start that Indiana bankruptcy is all about.
The bankruptcy discharge “recipe” calls for:
- You’re released from liability on any debt for which you received a discharge.
- Creditors are barred by legal order from making any collection efforts.
- Creditors are not allowed to harass or threaten you.
- Creditors can’t sell your already discharged debt to another collection agency.
- Creditors can’t give a negative report about you to a credit bureau.
OK, as all of us attorneys in the Zuckerberg bankruptcy law offices are often asked, so what if that’s not what happens? What are we supposed to do next, debtors ask?
First, contact those creditors in writing, informing them that the debt was discharged in your bankruptcy proceedings. If that doesn’t work, call your lawyer for bankruptcy in Indiana! This is what you should do whether or not you used the help of an Indiana bankruptcy lawyer to file in the first case, because, now that your creditor has broken the law, it’s time to get serious.
My colleagues the Columbus bankruptcy lawyers have been following creditor harassment cases around the country, reporting that courts are taking a very strong stand against creditors who break the rules. In fact, it’s not unusual, they report, for courts to award damages to debtors for lost wages, attorneys’ fees, and even “emotional harm”.
The new bankruptcy laws of Indiana (including both bankruptcy Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcy law) are designed to bring your old financial life to an end and offer you a chance to start over on a better track. When that doesn’t happen, the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act gives you legal rights to sue debt collectors who threaten, intimidate, or harass you.
I help debtors – I help stop foreclosure, offer payday loan debt help and even student loan debt help, all under the bankruptcy laws of Indiana. But, when those very laws are being broken by creditors that threaten to undo all the good work I’ve done, I’m ready to take up arms!
Categorised in: Bankruptcy Indiana
This post was written by Mark Zuckerberg