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What do I do if my creditors call me after I hire you?

After you hire me but have not filed bankruptcy, you can tell most creditors that you have hired me to file bankruptcy for you and give them my name and number and politely ask them to call me. If they have an attitude, do not get upset, but ask them for their full name and supervisor’s name and number so that your attorney may contact him. That usually ends it there.

Always write down the name, date and time of the call, as well as the content of any nasty phone call. Legally, it is against state and federal collection laws for creditors to contact you after you have told them to call your attorney regarding a debt collection matter. Most call us after that time, although some creditors may choose to break the law and call you.

One thing you will probably have creditors ask you for is your case number. That is the number the bankruptcy court gives you WHEN YOU HAVE ACTUALLY FILED BANKRUPTCY. You can usually tell when you are dealing with a collection agent who has no clue what he is talking about when he keeps asking you for your case number after you tell him you have not filed, yet.

THERE ARE SOME CREDITORS WHOM YOU WOULD NOT WISH TO TELL THAT YOU ARE FILING BANKRUPTCY UNTIL YOU HAVE FILED OR ARE EXTREMELY CLOSE TO THE FILING DATE. For example, finance companies who have liens on your household goods should not be told because they can go to court and get a court order giving them the right to get your property. They rarely do this and seem to be content with threatening you, begging you for payments or asking you to come in and renew the loan. However, you do not want them speeding up going to court before you can file your bankruptcy.

After you have filed the case, all listed creditors would have received a notice from the bankruptcy court that you have filed bankruptcy and that it is illegal for them to contact you in any way. This usually happens within the first week of filing. If you get any calls, tell them to call me. If you get any letters forward them to me. It usually takes a few weeks for the word of your filing to be filtered through most large banks, collection systems or given to any collection agents. If someone is particularly nasty, you can sue them for contacting you, but you first need to have gotten their full name, date and time of call, whom they represent, and the details of what they said to your lawyer or you have a weak case.

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  • Can I go to Jail for not Paying my Bills?

    No, not unless you committed a crime in the creation of the debt (for example, fraud). Simply borrowing money and not being able to pay it back is not a crime. Many creditors representatives will tell you lies on the telephone and say that they will have you put in jail. Perhaps they are too ignorant to know they are wrong or that it is illegal for them even to say that. See More Bankruptcy Q&A