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What to do if a Creditor Contacts You After Bankruptcy

07/16/2010

I have a question I filed for bankruptcy in 1989, it’s been twenty-one years since this unfortunate incident. I have since built my credit score up to a 798 which I am veryy proud of. By primary question is this today I received a letter in the mail from a creditor that was listed in my original bankruptcy stating that I know this money from 1989. What can I do and what are the laws that will protect me against us.
Kim Anderson

ANSWER:

Kim,

When you file bankruptcy, you are granted an automatic stay which means that creditors are not allowed to collect the debt or contact the debtor.

If you have included a creditor in your bankruptcy, it is illegal for the creditor to try to collect the debt. Usually if you let them know the debt was included in your bankruptcy they will not contact you again. You may need to provide your bankruptcy court file number or mail a copy of your bankruptcy discharge.

Although illegal, creditors do occasionally contact debtors for payment. This usually occurs because the debt has been sold and resold numerous times and notification of the bankruptcy was mailed to the original creditor. It doesn’t matter though, if a debt is included in bankruptcy, whether it is owned by a different creditor or collection agency, the debt is still the same debt and you are not obligated to pay it.

If you are continuously contacted by the creditor it is a good idea to contact your attorney as well as keep a log of the dates and times that you were contacted. There have been lawsuits where debtors were awarded damages from creditors that harassed them during or after bankruptcy.

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