What Happens When a Creditor Violates Automatic Stay?

Our Washington DC and Maryland Bankruptcy Lawyer Upholds Your Legal Rights in a Bankruptcy

One of the strongest benefits given to individuals filing for bankruptcy is the automatic stay. Whether they are using Chapter 7 or Chapter 13, an automatic stay immediately offers relief from the harassment of creditors and the possibility of foreclosure. However, some creditors may not heed this order to desist and can continue to harass you about repaying debts. If this occurs after an automatic stay, you may have the right to pursue legal action against creditors for damages.

Automatic Stays Are Protected by Law

Automatic stays go into effect the moment the bankruptcy court receives your application to begin your Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 case. The law specifically prohibits certain collection activities, but violations of an automatic stay can come in several different forms. A creditor violates the automatic stay if they:

  • Garnish or attempt to garnish your wages or bank account
  • Continue with foreclosure or repossession proceedings
  • Call, email or mail you any correspondence in an attempt to collect a debt
  • Contact your friends or family for information regarding your whereabouts or financial status
  • Publically post or make available any information regarding your bankruptcy filing or debt obligations
  • File or attempt to proceed with a lawsuit pertaining to your debts

In one recent automatic stay violation, an individual was awarded damages after his creditors were overheard loudly complaining in a public space about the bankruptcy filing. Even though they did not attempt to collect any debt, the law still forced the creditors to pay damages due to the public statements about the bankruptcy case.

What Can I Do If a Creditor Violates an Automatic Stay?

A violation of the automatic stay can cause immense emotional stress, particularly with the threat of foreclosure or vehicle repossession. If you believe a creditor has willfully violated the stay, a Maryland and Washington DC  bankruptcy attorney has options for seeking relief and punitive damages in bankruptcy court.

In the event of a violation, your legal counsel will notify the court that a violation has taken place, and the bankruptcy court will review the evidence to see if it was willfully committed. Typical damages you may receive include attorney fees, court costs and compensation for the emotional toil that the violation caused.

Learn More About Your Ability to Receive Damages After an Automatic Stay Violation

The automatic stay is an incredibly powerful part of bankruptcy law, and the court takes the enforcement of automatic stays very seriously. If a creditor harassed you after filing for bankruptcy, contact the Law Firm of Kevin D. Judd. We offer compassionate and caring legal assistance, and we have the experience

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