What to Do If a Creditor Violates the Automatic Stay?
You have several options if a creditor continues its collection actions against you in violation of the automatic stay.
Tell the creditor about your bankruptcy. Typically, informing the collector of the bankruptcy protection will cause the collector to correct its violation. Many times the collector is unaware of your case (through error or negligence) and will stop collecting and correct its violation. For instance, if a collector garnishes your wages after the bankruptcy case is filed, it must immediately return the money.
Notify the bankruptcy court. If the collector does not stop and correct its violation, the next step is to notify the bankruptcy court. The court can sanction the collector for violating its automatic stay order if the collection action is “willful.” The action is willful if:
The automatic stay order was in force and was actually violated
The collector knew of the bankruptcy case and either ignored the court’s order or failed to immediately correct its action after learning of the bankruptcy case, and
the collector intentionally acted.
A violation of the automatic stay does not depend upon the collector’s intent to violate the stay order, only that the collector intended to start or continue collecting in violation of the order.
Typically, the court can sanction an infraction of the automated keep under its power of ridicule (due to the fact that the creditor breached the court’s order). The court can impose fines, examine lawyer’s charges, and also buy the collection agency to make restitution. Compensatory damages are not offered.
File a lawsuit. If a collector continues to collect violates the automatic stay, it may also violate other state or federal laws including:
- State unfair trade practice laws
- The federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act
- State fair debt collection practices laws, or
- The Fair Credit Reporting Act.
- In order to collect penalties or damages under another law, you’ll have to file a separate lawsuit.
Start Your Relief Process Today by Contacting a Texas Bankruptcy Attorney
- Bankruptcy Attorney
- Chapter 7 Bankruptcy
- Chapter 13 Bankruptcy
- Asset Protection
- Creditor Harassment
- Debt Lawyer
- IRS Debt Attorney
- Loan Modification Lawyer
- Student Loan Debt Lawyer
Areas we service in Texas
Houston | San Antonio | Dallas | Austin | Fort Worth | El Paso | Arlington | Corpus Christi | Plano | Laredo | Lubbock | Garland | Irving | Amarillo | Grand Prairie | Brownsville | McKinney | Frisco | Pasadena | Mesquite | Killeen | McAllen | Carrollton | Midland | Waco | Denton | Abilene | Odessa | Beaumont | Round Rock | Richardson | Pearland | College Station | Wichita Falls | Lewisville | Tyler | The Woodlands | San Angelo | League City | Allen | Sugar Land | Edinburg | Mission | Longview | Bryan | Pharr | Baytown | Missouri City | Temple | Flower Mound | New Braunfels | Atascocita | North Richland Hills | Conroe | Victoria | Cedar Park | Harlingen | Mansfield | Georgetown | San Marcos | Rowlett | Pflugerville | Port Arthur | Spring | Euless | DeSoto | Grapevine | Galveston | Bedford | Cedar Hill | Texas City | Wylie | Keller | Haltom City | Burleson | Rockwall | The Colony | Coppell | Huntsville | Sherman | Duncanville | Weslaco | Hurst | Channelview | Lancaster | Friendswood | Little Elm | Schertz | Leander | Texarkana | Mission Bend | San Juan | Lufkin | Del Rio | Kyle | Rosenberg | La Porte | Nacogdoches | Deer Park | Waxahachie | Socorro | Copperas Cove | Farmers Branch | Fort Hood | Cleburne | Southlake | Harker Heights | Big Spring | Eagle Pass | Weatherford | Seguin | Lake Jackson | Cibolo | Greenville | Kingsville | Alvin | Colleyville | Balch Springs | Timberwood Park | Paris | University Park | Sachse | Watauga | San Benito | Corsicana | Marshall | Cloverleaf | Denison | Kerrville | West Odessa | Hutto | Benbrook | Brushy Creek | Midlothian | Saginaw | Converse | Canyon Lake | Corinth | Plainview | Murphy | Belton | Fresno | Stephenville | Universal City | Dickinson | Angleton | Alice | Orange | Horizon City | Alamo | Brownwood | Ennis | Bellaire | Stafford | Forney | Palestine | Pampa | Cinco Ranch | Bay City | South Houston | Nederland | White Settlement | Terrell | Taylor | Mercedes | Pecan Grove | Brenham | Donna | Uvalde | Gainesville | Katy | Highland Village | Portland | Sulphur Springs | Mount Pleasant | Prosper | La Marque | Seagoville | Sienna Plantation | Alton | Groves | West University Place | Gatesville | Humble | New Territory | Addison | Aldine | Live Oak | Hereford | Dumas | Kilgore | Canyon | Jacksonville | Crowley | Mineral Wells | Rio Grande City | Hewitt | Lakeway | Four Corners | Levelland | Andrews | Rendon | Seabrook | Hidalgo | Buda | Boerne | La Homa | Henderson | Lockhart | Beeville | Santa Fe | Borger | Forest Hill | Athens | Port Neches | Greatwood | Lumberton | Port Lavaca | Freeport | Richmond | Glenn Heights | Red Oak | Wells Branch | Snyder | Trophy Club | Azle | El Campo | Robstown | Tomball | Robinson | Royse City | Anna | Clute | Leon Valley | Galena Park | Raymondville | Webster | Fredericksburg | Burkburnett | Vidor | Sweetwater | Jacinto City | Eidson Road | Vernon | Rockport | Roma | Bellmead | Bonham