Bankruptcy Questions: Can a Creditor Ignore the Automatic Stay? - Westgate Law

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Bankruptcy Questions: Can a Creditor Ignore the Automatic Stay?

Everyone loves that filing for bankruptcy means that creditors are automatically restrained from taking any action to collect the debts owed to them by the petitioner. The automatic stay goes into effect at the very moment the bankruptcy petition is filed. The only exceptions to the automatic stay are commencement or continuation of criminal actions, actions to collect spousal support or an action to enforce a government’s police or regulatory power. Many who file are highly anticipating the moment that they will stop receiving harassing phone calls and constant bullying letters, emails, etc. from their numerous creditors seeking payment on unpaid balances. Some even anticipate this moment more than the actual discharge of their debts. The constant harassment from creditors can be that overwhelming.

That’s why it is so immensely upsetting when it seems that a creditor is ignoring the automatic stay. If you have submitted your petition for bankruptcy and a creditor is still contacting you, take action to put it to a stop. First, double check to make sure that the creditor is aware that you filed for bankruptcy. Clearly request that they adhere to the automatic stay and stop all collection efforts.

If the creditor you are having issues with does not respond, you can seek out a court order that would forbid further action. If you are injured by the creditor’s willful failure to comply with the automatic stay, California law could allow you to recover actual damages, including the costs of associated attorney’s fees and even punitive damages.

Don’t let any creditor bully you into giving up your rights. If you have concerns regarding your bankruptcy petition, the automatic stay, or the possibility of stopping all creditor phone calls, contact the Southern California bankruptcy experts at Westgate Law.

About the Author

Justin Harelik

Justin has a singular goal: to get people out of financial distress and move them to financial stability and prosperity. He does this by combining 15 years of in-depth experience in bankruptcy, credit management, debt negotiation and student loan modifications, and he does it with both English and Spanish-speaking clients.

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