Hallstrom, Klein & Ward LLP - Stop Harrassing Phone Calls & Letters
Serving Rancho Santa Margarita, Costa Mesa, Long Beach, Laguna Beach
Once a person falls behind on debt payments, creditors and repossession agencies can become extremely aggressive. Repeated phone calls, numerous automated messages, and a string of letters in the mail can make an already difficult situation feel overwhelming. Learn how a skilled Orange County bankruptcy attorney of Hallstrom, Klein & Ward LLP can help you put an end to creditor harassment and get a much-needed break from the pressure caused by debt collectors. Contact us by calling 949 - 450 - 8500 for your FREE consultation.
Once your bankruptcy is filed, the law automatically requires all creditors to stop all collection actions. This is known as the “automatic stay.” Creditors are no longer allowed to contact you and attempt to collect any of the money you owe. This stay also stops foreclosure proceedings on your home so that you can have time to determine how to handle the problem of your mortgage. The stay gives you some quiet time to explore various solutions with your bankruptcy attorney. The stay applies in Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcies, stopping foreclosure, providing a chance for a deed-in-lieu or a short sale. As experienced Orange County lien strip lawyers, our attorneys can also help you get rid of liens from a 2nd mortgage.
Prohibited Acts During Automatic Stay
The automatic stay prohibits all creditor harassment and collection actions, including:
- Law suits
- Collection Calls
- Foreclosure Sales
- Wage Garnishments
- Levies on bank accounts and other property
The automatic stay remains in effect until a judge lifts the stay after a court hearing where the creditor must prove an adequate reason why the stay should be lifted, or until after the property is no longer part of the bankruptcy estate. When the debtor’s bankruptcy is discharged, the automatic stay becomes a permanent injunction prohibiting creditors from all collection efforts on the discharged debts.
Automatic Stay Does Not Stop:
- Criminal proceedings
- Actions regarding a family support order
- Collection actions for property that is not part of the bankruptcy estate
- Tax audits; however, the collection efforts from the government for taxes owed is still stayed
What If My Creditor Ignores the Automatic Stay?
Anyone who willfully violates the stay is liable for actual damages caused by the violation, and possibly punitive damages. The court automatically mails out a notice of your bankruptcy to your creditors; however, it may take a few days for your creditors to receive this notice in the mail. Consequently, it is important for you or your OC bankruptcy attorney to immediately notify your creditors who may be planning on taking some action, such as a foreclosure sale. Regardless of creditor acts, most actions taken after the stay is in place are generally void and have no legal effect. However, you should not rely on this protection and should immediately notify your Orange County bankruptcy lawyer at 949 - 450 - 8500 if a creditor continues to send harassing letters, calls you, or threatens repossession.