While owing debt is generally stressful, one of the most unpleasant experiences associated with it is having to deal with telephone calls and letters from creditors and collection agencies.
Before we get into the discussion of how filing for bankruptcy can help, you should know that there are some limits to how debt collectors may contact you. Under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, a collection agency cannot interact with you in an abusive way (e.g. threatening you physically or verbally) and there are limitations to when they can contact you; for instance they can’t get in touch with you when you’re at work or call you up late at night. However, creditors face fewer restrictions in how they may contact you if they do so directly and not through a collection agency.
How can filing for bankruptcy help?
Bankruptcy helps keep creditors from persistently contacting you. When you file for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy, an automatic stay against creditors will be put into effect. This prevents most creditors from continuing to contact you and attempt to collect what you owe them, which could involve trying to garnish your wages and take valuable possessions or property from you, such as your car.
The automatic stay doesn’t apply to all debts; for instance, child support and alimony payments remain unaffected by it. And creditors can appeal to the court to have the stay lifted, which is one reason you want to have an attorney advocating for you throughout the entire bankruptcy process. But in many situations this automatic stay is a relief.
Furthermore, bankruptcy gives you time to regroup. Instead of having to worry about paying back every last penny you owe to creditors, you’ll find that there are debts you can discharge (under Chapter 7) or that you may only be obligated to pay back in part, under a schedule agreed upon by the courts (under Chapter 13). For instance, if you’re stuck with thousands of dollars in medical bills that you can’t pay back in full, bankruptcy is an effective and respectable way to handle these debts and keep creditors and collection agencies from breathing down your neck. Your attorney can handle communications with your creditors for you, giving you more time to focus on yourself and work on your finances.
If creditors are bothering you, don’t hesitate to contact us and explore whether Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy are the best solutions for you. A reputable Xenia, Ohio bankruptcy attorney will fight for you to get the most favorable outcomes possible in bankruptcy court and help keep creditors from putting heavy pressure on you.