Bankruptcy and the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act


When the creditors start calling, you have rights. Understanding bankruptcy and the fair debt collection practices act can help protect you from collectors making your life miserable.

What is the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act?

The FDCPA is a federal law that gives you specific rights and protections against debt collectors. This law restricts how and when collectors can contact debtors, the time of day, and the number of times you may be subject to contact. You have one year in which to file a suit against a debt collection agency that violates the FDCPA and collect attorney fees and damages.

Bankruptcy Automatic Stay and the FDCPA

Once you file for bankruptcy, almost all collection activity is prohibited by the automatic stay, including:

⦁ Legal action
⦁ Contact by phone
⦁ Wage garnishment
⦁ Contact by mail

The automatic stay does not prohibit legal or collection efforts to recover past due child support, debts incurred after the filing of the bankruptcy, some eviction cases, or criminal Capture1cases.

What to Do When a Creditor Violates the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act

If a creditor continues collection activities after you have filed for bankruptcy, and the fair debt collection practices act applies, you have several options, including:

⦁ Let the creditor know you have filed bankruptcy – the creditor may not yet know about the filing. Once the collector knows about the bankruptcy protection, all contact should end. If your wages have been garnished, all monies will have to be returned to you.

Contact your bankruptcy attorney – if the creditor continues to violate the FDCPA, your attorney can file an action with the bankruptcy the court, and the court may issue a sanction against the collector for violation of the automatic stay or discharge injunction.

⦁ File a lawsuit against the collector – if the collector continues to violate the automatic stay or discharge injunction, you may be able to take legal action. Other federal or state laws may also be in violation, including:

⦁ The Fair Credit Reporting Act
⦁ State fair debt collection practices laws
⦁ State unfair trade practice laws

Speak with your bankruptcy attorney in Coral Springs to understand your rights and potential actions.

Please contact Coral Springs attorneys Brodzki Jacobs & Associates, PL at (954) 344-7737 for additional information or to schedule a bankruptcy consultation.

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