While I do, of course, explain the bankruptcy process to my clients, once in a while I forget to explain to them what happens in the immediate aftermath of filing. We’ll file a bankruptcy petition on Monday. The world does not seem to change. Tuesday comes. Now what? Are we just waiting until the meeting with the trustee?
Interestingly enough, the very moment we file your bankruptcy petition with the court, something does happen. Most, and many times all, of your creditors are automatically stayed from action against you and your property. What exactly does that mean? That means that creditors may NOT contact you with regard to collecting a debt without breaking the law, whether they actually know about your bankruptcy case or not.
So, Bank of America or Portfolio Recovery Services calls you Tuesday, the day after you file your bankruptcy petition, and the representative starts to speak with you about your $7,000.00 credit card balance. They are breaking the law. However, before you begin dreaming of revenge and suing the company for sanctions, you should keep in mind that we live in the real world and honest mistakes are made. A good representative of one of these companies will be polite and simply ask you for your case information. Have it handy.
When you are contacted by a creditor after you file your bankruptcy petition, simply be ready to offer him or her the following information:
1. Date of Filing
3. Case Number
4. Name of Court (e.g., Eastern District of New York)
5. The name and contact number of your attorney
Eventually, all the telephone calls should cease, and the letters will stop invading your mailbox. Save all post-petition correspondence from your creditors. If a particular creditor does not seem to get the message that communications with you must stop, contact your attorney about it. He or she will set them straight or sue for sanctions.