CALL NOW!
FREE PHONE/VIRTUAL CONSULTATION

How Do You Know if a Creditor is Violating a Bankruptcy Discharge?

Violation Of Bankruptcy Discharge Pasco, St Petersburg, Tampa Florida.Creditor violations of debt discharge in bankruptcy

Filing for bankruptcy offers a variety of benefits, the most important of which is the debt discharge.

After bankruptcy is successfully completed, your debts are discharged, which means you are no longer obligated to pay what you owe and creditors are not allowed to attempt collection efforts on those debts. The relief and clean slate that comes with debt discharge are often the most important reasons people choose to file.

But what happens if you hear from a creditor once your discharge is complete? Or you notice your bank account has been levied or your wages garnished in relation to a debt you assumed was discharged?

How do you know what creditors can and can’t do and what’s in violation of your bankruptcy discharge?

Here are a few things to consider:

Was the Debt in Question Dischargeable?

First, it’s important to understand what debts were discharged and which ones weren’t eligible for discharge when you filed for bankruptcy.

Not all creditors are discharged and there are some debts you might still owe, even if you filed for bankruptcy. A few of the most common types of non-dischargeable debt include court-ordered debts, taxes, and student loans. To learn more about non-dischargeable debts, check out this information from The Balance.

Did You Reaffirm the Debt?

If you reaffirm a debt in bankruptcy you’re still legally obligated to pay what you owe.

Reaffirming a debt can keep the property safe from repossession, but only if you do not fall behind on payments. Lenders are not only entitled to repo possessions if you don’t pay what you owe, but they can also file a lawsuit to collect the difference in value.

Are You Dealing with Zombie Debt?

One of the most common ways debt can come back to haunt you after it has been discharged in bankruptcy is through zombie debt.

Zombie debt is a dead debt that comes back to life after it is sold to another creditor. Despite it being wiped out in bankruptcy, it can still be sold, which often leads to the new owner attempting to collect on it. Their hope is you don’t realize you are no longer obligated to pay.

This new collector doesn’t have any more right to collect than the old owner of the debt, but many of them give it a try anyway.

Is a Creditor in Violation of the Discharge?

If a creditor tries to collect on a debt once it’s discharged, you could have a legal case against that creditor. There are a few exceptions.

For instance:

  • Debt collection efforts that occur as a result of a credit reporting error are not illegal. Failing to properly report the discharged debt also doesn’t violate the discharge injunction. You aren’t obligated to pay, but the collector is not breaking the law.
  • If someone else is linked to the debt, he or she remains responsible for it unless that person also files for bankruptcy. This means if you co-sign a loan and the other person files for bankruptcy, creditors are free to attempt to collect the debt from you.
  • Debt collection efforts linked to debts that did not qualify for discharge are not illegal. You are still obligated to pay on any debt that was not discharged in bankruptcy and collection efforts related to these debts is legal.

Every situation is different and the only way to confirm that a debt was discharged and you are no longer obligated to pay is to have a bankruptcy attorney review the information related to that debt. If you have questions or concerns about a debt or you believe a creditor is violating your bankruptcy discharge, the best thing you can do is contact an experienced bankruptcy professional.

If you’d like to know more about bankruptcy or want to speak to a Tampa area bankruptcy attorney about your obligations regarding certain debts, contact the Law Office of Robert M. Geller at 813-254-5696.

Archive

Video Testimonials

Tampa Bankruptcy Law Blog

5 Common Budgeting Mistakes Newlyweds Make and How to Avoid Them

Budgeting mistakes are common, especially when you’re young. Not all newlyweds are young adults, but many first-time marriages do involve...
Read More

When Should Married Couples File for Bankruptcy Together?

There's no easy answer to the question of timing when it comes to bankruptcy. In some cases, it may make...
Read More

Can Your Spouses Debt Force You Into Bankruptcy?

If you're married and your spouse has a lot of debt, you may be wondering if that debt can force...
Read More

Do You Need a Bankruptcy Attorney If You’re Divorcing with Financial Problems?

Divorce and bankruptcies are more common than many people realize. Financial problems make a stressful transition even more difficult. If...
Read More

Can You File Bankruptcy without Your Spouse?

Filing for bankruptcy is a decision that should not be taken lightly. It can affect your financial life and the...
Read More

How Seniors Can Avoid Bankruptcy

Seniors are at a high risk of bankruptcy, but there are ways to avoid it. What do you need to...
Read More

What Happens If I Own Too Many Assets to File for Chapter 7?

Does hiding assets in bankruptcy protect them from your creditors? If you own too many assets to qualify for Chapter...
Read More

How to Find the Best Lawyer for Filing for Bankruptcy after Retirement

Many retirees decide to file for bankruptcy as a way to get a fresh start. But finding the right lawyer...
Read More

Does Declaring Bankruptcy Affect My Retirement Savings?

When you're struggling with debt, the thought of bankruptcy might cross your mind. But what would that mean for your...
Read More

Is a Reverse Mortgage Right for Me?

Reverse mortgages in Florida are loans that allow homeowners 62 and older to borrow against the equity in their homes....
Read More

Bankruptcy

For The Next 5 Days GET A FREE BOOK About Bankruptcy

Learn More

Infographics

We are A Debt Relief Agency.
We help people file for bankruptcy under the Bankruptcy Code

Pay Online Bankruptcy Courses Newsletter Subscription

NACBA Logo avvo1 avvo2 avvo3 LEA BBB Logo

Call For A Free Initial Consultation

813.254.5696

Tampa Office

Law Offices of Robert M. Geller, P.A.
807 West Azeele Street
Tampa, FL 33606
T: (813) 254-5696
T: (800) 853-7549
F: (813) 253-3405

Map And Directions

St. Petersburg Office

Law Offices of Robert M. Geller, P.A.
125 5th Street South
(Wells Fargo Financial Center)
2nd Floor, Suite G
St. Petersburg, FL 33701
T: (727) 532-3939

Map And Directions

Pasco Office

23526 State Road 54
Lutz, FL 33559
T: (813) 336-2320

Map And Directions