Are debt collection agencies hounding you with calls? If so, you are not alone. About 35% of American adults with a credit file have debt in the collection phase, according to the Urban Institute. As many people will tell you, debt collectors can be very aggressive at times, as well.
Consumers file complaints about debt collectors more than any other industry, according to the Federal Trade Commission. Debt collection complaints accounted for 27% of total complaints the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau received between July 2011 and March 2018. Filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy is one way to get debt collection agencies to stop calling.
Stop annoying calls
Chapter 7 is the simplest form of a bankruptcy filing and takes about three to four months to complete, according to the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts. Chapter 7 refers to liquidation bankruptcy because it discharges most unsecured debt, such as medical bills and credit card debt.
Tell collectors to call your attorney
If you have filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy and a debt collector continues to call, tell the collector about your filing. First, check to see if your filing includes the debt the collector is calling about.
While your Chapter 7 case is proceeding, the collection agency must contact your attorney – not you. You should let your attorney know the collection agency is contacting you. If the bankruptcy court discharges your debt, it will bar the agency from the collection of the debt.
Send collectors a letter
Chapter 7 proceedings will protect you from annoying calls from debt collection agencies, but you must tell the agency which attorney is representing you and give the agency the attorney’s contact information.
Remember to contact the debt collection agency in writing about your Chapter 7 filing and tell them you have an attorney. Also, keep written records of all communication with the collectors. These records can help when meeting with your lawyer and during court proceedings.