How To Stop Creditor Harassment
There are many instances where harassing phone calls and letters from creditors are what push people to examine their financial reality and decide to hire a lawyer and file for bankruptcy. Once this decision is made, one of the first things the lawyer will do is file the initial paperwork with the court, which creates an automatic stay.
If you file for bankruptcy, a few of your creditors may have a hard time getting the message. In these cases, a bankruptcy attorney is a good person to have on your side to get the message across and bring a little more peace back to your life. I am attorney Michael E. Eisenberg in Hatboro, Pennsylvania, and I have helped many people across Bucks County and Montgomery County understand what bankruptcy would mean in their life. I work with bankruptcy clients to stop creditor harassment as well as prevent the levying of personal property and accounts.
For most creditors, an automatic stay serves as a big stop sign when it comes to collecting a debt. Once the stay is in place, you may hear from a few creditors that haven’t gotten the message yet, but in most cases, if you tell them you are filing for bankruptcy, they should quit contacting you. There are a few exceptions to the stay where people you owe may be permitted to keep contacting you. These include child support, alimony and tax obligations.
In many states, one of the big ways creditors try to scare those who owe them money is to threaten to garnish their wages. In Pennsylvania, wages cannot be garnished; however, it is possible for bank accounts and your personal property to be levied.
- This means that if the court determines you are not going to pay a debt and are choosing instead to ignore it, your creditors may be granted permission to take some of the things you already own. They might assess the value of anything from your living room television to a jewelry heirloom with sentimental as well as monetary value. They can also use investigative tactics to put a hold on funds that go into your bank account.
- If you are to keep the things most important to you, contacting me is an important step in deciding whether bankruptcy is necessary to prevent these actions. In some cases, your lawyer may be able to contact your creditors on your behalf to help you avoid the seizing of property or accounts, giving you a chance to prioritize your expenses and assets in a more efficient way.