Stop Creditor Harassment After Bankruptcy
When your bankruptcy is completed and you have discharged all of your debt, it is a tremendous relief. You have a fresh start, you can rebuild credit and move on with a new financial life. It’s a great feeling. However, one thing that can really cause upset and distress is a collection attempt from a creditor that tries to collect after the case is done. A telephone call, collection letter, or worse, a lawsuit served on you can shatter the new-found sense of peace provided by the bankruptcy. Until recently, your lawyer could usually stop the prohibited collection. But making the creditor pay for your time, emotional distress and any attorney fees incurred in enforcing the discharge injunction was difficult or impossible. Thankfully, new case law supports your right to get money damages if a creditor collects after your bankruptcy case is done.
The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals held on October 14, 2015, in In re Schwartz-Tallard Case No. 12-60052, that debtors can recover attorneys’ fees and costs reasonably incurred when seeking sanctions and damages for the willful violation of the automatic stay pursuant to Section 362(k) of the Bankruptcy Code. In other words, if you are harassed by a collector for payment of a debt you listed in your bankruptcy, you can re-open your case and ask the Judge to order the creditor to immediately cease and desist; pay your attorney fees for the lawyer helping you; and pay you money for the emotional distress and aggravation caused by the collections.
This important new law gives everyone the power to enforce their rights even if they cannot afford to hire a lawyer up front; your lawyer will be able to help you stop the collection violation because the fees for the lawyer will be paid by the creditor engaging in the bad behavior, i.e., willfully violating the automatic stay.
If you have filed a bankruptcy and received a discharge, that is, your case has been successfully completed and a creditor is still collecting, call the Law Offices of Brian Barta for a free consultation.
For a free consultation about your options, call the Law Offices of Brian Barta at (707) 542-2844 or email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Over the last 25 years I’ve helped literally thousands of residents of Sonoma, Marin, Napa and Lake counties file bankruptcy and get a fresh start.