The following guest post is written by Atlanta Bankruptcy Attorney Will Geer, whose firm helps consumers and small businesses file bankruptcy to overcome unmanageable debt.
Debt collectors are the scourges of society in my book. Who would call an elderly woman struggling to feed herself on Social Security and tell her that if she doesn’t pay her past due medical bills, the hospital will take all her Social Security money and force her into a nursing home to die? A debt collector would, and this story was told to me by a very real client.
In the above situation, the debt collector would most certainly be liable for significant damages under the federal law known as the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. But sometimes, there are just too many creditors knocking at your door to want to fight that battle over and over again.
Fortunately, there exists a solution to your debt problems that is fully endorsed by the U.S. Government. That solution is found in Title 11 of the U.S. Code, otherwise known as the Bankruptcy Code. Each year, millions of Americans file bankruptcy to achieve a fresh start and obtain freedom from overwhelming debt.
You may ask how bankruptcy can actually stop the creditors from calling. When a person files bankruptcy, something called the “automatic stay” goes into effect that does just what its name implies. It “stays” all creditor collection activity against the newly filed debtor. Collection activity includes everything you could think of regarding creditor action against you, including all forms of communication (phone calls, letters, emails, etc.), garnishments, repossessions, and foreclosures.
Regardless of whether you file a Chapter 7 bankruptcy or a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, you will receive a discharge shortly before your case is closed, meaning that all the debts you owed prior to filing bankruptcy will be wiped out. The only exceptions are a few debts Congress felt should not be dischargeable, such as student loans, DUI fines, debt incurred by fraud, and certain tax obligations.
Not only that, but subsequent to filing, a permanent injunction is put into place, meaning that none of your creditors from before you filed can ever contact you again regarding your debts.
Hopefully this information will give you some comfort in knowing that a solution to your debt problems does exist, whether it is fighting debts you truly do not owe or filing bankruptcy to obtain a fresh start on life.
Bankruptcy is not for everybody, and only an experienced attorney specializing in bankruptcy law can advise you whether or not filing for bankruptcy relief is the appropriate solution to your debt problems.