After you file for bankruptcy, creditors are not allowed to contact you about collecting the debt. If you are contacted by the creditor, you should document the date, time, and manner of the violation. In some cases, the violations are so flagrant that we file adversary proceedings to stop the violations of the automatic stay or discharge injunction.
If you are contacted by a creditor after you file for bankruptcy, then keep a record of any written correspondence or phone calls. If the creditor calls, be sure to get the name of the caller, the name of their employer, which creditor they represent, how much they believe is due, and the reason for the phone call.
After you take down the information, tell the caller that you filed for bankruptcy and give them your attorney's name. Be sure to take down this information and follow this procedure each time, even for repeated phone calls regarding the same debt or creditor.
Attorneys for Creditor Misconduct in Dallas, TX
The attorneys in Dallas, TX, at Littlefield Law Firm can help you bring a motion for damages for creditor misconduct for violations of the Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act of 2005 (BAPCPA).
Sometimes creditors are upset that they might lose money if their debt goes unpaid. But if the creditor engages in misconduct, you should talk to an experienced bankruptcy attorney about how to stop the harassment and protect your rights.
Contact us to find out more by calling (972) 812-0900 today.
Texas Creditor Misconduct Information Center
- What conduct is prohibited under the FDCPA?
- How do creditors violate automatic stays?
- Where can I learn more about creditor misconduct in Dallas?
The FDCPA is the federal consumer protection statute originally passed in 1977 and enforced by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) but subsequently amended and now primarily enforced by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). The FTC delivers an annual report to Congress that details its FDCPA enforcement activities and consumer complaints about FDCPA violations by debt collectors.
The FDCPA prohibits a number of types of conduct by creditors, including:
- Hours of Contact — Creditors can only contact debtors between the hours of 8 a.m. and 9 p.m. local time;
- Harassment or Abuse — Creditors cannot use or threaten to use of violence or other criminal means to harm the physical person, reputation, or property of any person, use obscene or profane language or language, or publish any list of consumers who allegedly refuse to pay debts;
- False or Misleading Representations — Creditors cannot misrepresent the amount a debtor actually owes, falsely claim they work for a government or credit reporting agency, or falsely represent or imply that documents are legal process or falsely represent or imply that documents are not legal process forms or do not require action by the consumer; and
- Unfair Practices — Creditors cannot use unfair or unconscionable means to collect or attempt to collect any debt, including collection of any amount (including any interest, fee, charge, or expense incidental to the principal obligation) unless such amount is expressly authorized by the agreement creating the debt or permitted by law or solicitation of any postdated check or other postdated payment instrument for the purpose of threatening or instituting criminal prosecution.
Before a bankruptcy discharge takes effect, the automatic stay is one of the most powerful ways a person has to end creditor harassment. An automatic stay prohibits creditors from taking debt collection actions against individuals who have filed bankruptcy.
Violations of automatic stays are some of the most common kinds of creditor misconduct in bankruptcy cases, and some of the most frequent violations of automatic stays involve such misconduct as any of the following actions after a person has filed for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy:
- Any attempted correspondence to collect a debt;
- Filing or attempting to proceed with a lawsuit relating to debts;
- Proceeding with foreclosure or repossession actions;
- Garnishing or attempting to garnish wages; or
- Publically posting or making available any information relating to a person’s bankruptcy filing or debt obligations.
People who have been contacted by creditors in violation of an automatic stay can be entitled to monetary damages, but they must prove that a creditor’s actions were willful and resulted in some kind of injury. You should keep all evidence relating to any kind of creditor misconduct after you have filed for bankruptcy and received automatic stay protection.
Local Rules | Northern District of Texas | United States Bankruptcy Court — Visit this website to download the Local Bankruptcy Rules of the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District Of Texas. You can view the Notice to Creditors and Other Interested Parties and read more about Claims and Distribution to Creditors and Equity Interest Holders. Motions for automatic stays must specifically identify and be served to all creditors subject to the stay.
FDCPA | Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) — The declared purpose of the FDCPA is “to eliminate abusive debt collection practices by debt collectors, to ensure that those debt collectors who refrain from using abusive debt collection practices are not competitively disadvantaged, and to promote consistent State action to protect consumers against debt collection abuses.” Learn more about what constitutes harassment or abuse, false or misleading representations, and unfair practices. You can also find information about legal actions by debt collectors.
Find a Bankruptcy Lawyer for Creditor Misconduct in Miami, FL
If you have been contacted or harassed by a creditor after filing for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy in North Texas, it is in your best interest to retain legal counsel as soon as possible. Littlefield Law Firm represents clients in communities throughout Collin County, Kaufman County, Dallas County, and Rockwall County.
Our Dallas bankruptcy attorneys will fight to protect your rights if a creditor has violated an automatic stay or otherwise engaged in prohibited collection conduct. Call (972) 812-0900 or complete an online contact form to have our lawyers provide an honest and thorough evaluation of your case during a free, no-obligation consultation.
This article was last updated on Friday, February 16, 2018.