Everyday Law

December 16, 2009

I filed bankruptcy and got a discharge– why are collectors still calling me?

Well there are probably many answers to this question, but let us go to the two big ones.

First answer — that debt was not discharged, or in other words, not “in” the bankruptcy.  Debt that was not included in your bankruptcy includes:

(1) Student loans

(2) Many tax debts

(3) Debt arising from fraud or similar

(4)  Debt arising AFTER YOU FILED the bankruptcy.

Second answer — if the debt being collected after discharge WAS included in the bankruptcy and was discharged – -just an ordinary credit card or personal loan, for example, then the debt collector is breaking the law.

WHAT do you do to stop a collector who is unafraid to break the law?

(1)  Send them a copy of your bankruptcy discharge notice — whatever paperwork you got saying you had a discharge, send to the creditor — certified mail — and explain this debt was covered.   Tell them on the phone as well – -giving your bankruptcy case number may be enough.

(2)  If (1) does not work, call a consumer attorney (find one at http://www.naca.net – -which is NOT the mortgage help website, it is for legitimate consumer attorneys of all types) or call a bankruptcy attorney, including your former one.

You submitted yourself to the bankruptcy system, with all its punishments and benefits, and the main benefit is your fresh start.  If collectors are calling and your polite notice “Hey, I filed bankruptcy and here is the proof” does not stop them from trying to get you to pay this discharged debt, you can enforce your rights in either bankruptcy or state or federal court — hire an attorney and tell those bullies to leave you alone!!


April 20, 2009

Student Loan Collectors are not allowed to harass you!

Filed under: Debt,Debt Collection Harassment,Student loans — Amy Kleinpeter @ 4:38 pm

The law is different for Student Loans then for many loans like credit cards, car notes, or personal loans.  For example, student loans can sometimes lead to garnishment — money taken out of your paycheck — without a court judgment!

However, student loan collectors are not allowed to harass you any more than any other collector.  Many times student loan collections are done by the original creditor, but in states like California and Texas, harassment is illegal no matter if it is done by outside collections or the original owner of the loan.

Some things that student loan collectors are not allowed to do include:  talking to people at your job or family members about your debt (although they can talk to co-signers), calling you before 8 a.m. or after 9 p.m., and speaking or yelling at you in a derogatory fashion, either by calling you names or telling you how you are a bad person for not being able to pay your debts.

Student loan collections are serious business — for many people, student loans are the largest debts they have and they can not get discharged in bankruptcy.  If you have outstanding student loans you are unable to pay, there are progams to help you.  However, harassment is not part of the program.  If you are being harassed by a collector, be it a student loan collector or otherwise, contact your local consumer attorney for help!

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