Sometimes a creditor will continue to pester you after you have declared bankruptcy. The creditor may keep billing you even though the bankruptcy code makes this illegal. The creditor may even harass you.
Let me know if this happens. If a creditor violates your rights we may be able to sue that creditor for violating your rights.
Before you can sue a creditor you must send the creditor a warning letter. We can help you with a letter.
Here is a letter you can send if you are handling it yourself. You should send it certified.
Put a caption on the top of the letter with your case number. You can word the letter something like this:
As you are already aware I filed a petition commencing a case under title 11, United States Code and that an order of relief was entered under Chapter 7. Furthermore, the court has entered an order of discharge releasing me from all dischargeable debts.
I understand that you are a former creditor. All of my debts, including the debt to you, were discharged in the bankruptcy proceeding.
Nevertheless, you have been contacting me and you have been attempting to collect the discharged debt.
A bankruptcy discharge “operates as an injunction against the commencement or continuation” of any act to collect or recover a debt as a personal liability of the debtor. [ 11 USCA § 524(a)(2); Matter of Edgeworth, M.D. (5th Cir. 1993) 993 F.2d 51, 53; see also In re McGhan (9th Cir. 2002) 288 F.3d 1172, 1175] Any action or process “to collect, recover or offset any (discharged) debt as a personal liability of the debtor” is enjoined. 11 USCA § 524(a) (2)
In other words, the order discharging and relieving me of my debts acts as an injunction that prohibits any creditors from engaging in acts to recover on the debt at the time of the filing of the bankruptcy petition. This injunction applies to you.
Any postdischarge attempt to collect or recover on debt as a personal liability of the debtor is properly a basis for civil contempt proceedings. [ Walls v. Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. (9th Cir. 2002) 276 F.3d 502, 507] Your continued efforts at collecting money from me can and will subject you to being held in contempt of court.
The bankruptcy court is authorized to issue “any order, process, or judgment” necessary or appropriate to carry out the provisions of the Bankruptcy Code ( 11 USCA § 105(a)). The court may order you to pay me compensatory damages, plus attorney fees and costs, as sanctions for violating a § 524(a)(2) discharge injunction. [ Walls v. Wells Fargo Bank, N.A., supra, 276 F.3d at 507.
Loss of income resulting from related court appearances may also be recoverable. [See In re Barbour (BC ED NC 1987) 77 B.R. 530, 531] If I have to take off work to bring this contempt action you could be held liable for my loss of income (in addition to attorneys fees, costs, etc.)
In conclusion, demand is hereby made that you cease and desist from engaging in any efforts to collect money from me. If you violate the court’s order by continuing to make such efforts I will retain counsel in order to seek to hold you in contempt and I will request damages.