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Jul 2011

I filed bankruptcy and they are still calling! When do we sue?

Posted by / in Virginia Bankruptcy / 66 comments

When you file bankruptcy, your creditors are required to leave you alone.

Section 362 of the bankruptcy law automatically tells them to stop any action or act to collect a debt from you.  They can’t call, they can’t send bills, they can’t take you to court.

But what if they don’t stop?  Should we remind them nicely?  Or just sue?

Here are the rules I worked out after handling twelve thousand bankruptcy cases.

Virginia bankruptcy lawyer Robert Weed

When a creditor keeps calling after your bankruptcy is filed, here are my rules on when we should sue.

First, we give everyone a pass for the first two weeks.  It takes a while for the court to send them a notice of the bankruptcy, for the post office to deliver it, and for them to update their records.  Two weeks seems fair for all that.

Second, we only sue if you are mad.  Suppose they call, and you tell them to stop; and they stop.  If your feeling is “no harm, no foul,” then that’s fine.  If you are upset or angry–maybe based on your history with this same creditor–then I’m upset, too.

Third, we give the benefit of the doubt to small outfits, especially doctors.  If a doctor’s office keeps billing you, they should get two warnings before we bring them in front of a judge.  Maybe they are doing it on purpose, but I believe in giving a break to little guys.

Fourth, we’ll forgive one honest mistake.  Let’s say American Express calls and demands payment three weeks into the bankruptcy.   You tell them to stop and they stop.  Maybe they lost the notice the court sent them about you.  They probably get a thousand bankruptcy notices–every day!   A handful of those get lost in the mail; and another handful might get lost in shuffle.  We all make mistakes.

Fifth, we get mad when people lie to you.  Instead of saying, oops, sorry our mistake, sometimes they come out with a lie.

Here are some lies we’ve heard in the last few months.

“Your lawyer filed the wrong kind of bankruptcy.”

“Bankruptcy doesn’t cover interest on this debt.”

“You filed personal bankruptcy and this is a business debt.”

If they try to hand you a line, we go after them.  We sue every time.  We want it to be expensive for companies who train their collection departments to be quick with a lie.

Sixth, we always go after debt collectors.  Not the original creditor, now, but debt collectors like NCO, LVNV, Midland, or Zwicker.  Why?

Because of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act.   Collectors had a history of being bad, so in 1978 Congress put them under a double check requirement.   In order to excuse a mistake, they first have to show it was an honest mistake; then they have to show they specifically tried to prevent that exact mistake.

So, first they have to show they honestly didn’t get the notice from the bankruptcy court.  Second, they have to show that they ran their own double check anyway to see if you filed bankruptcy before they called you.

Of course, they never really do that.  So we always sue.

Finally, we always sue people who don’t deserve the benefit of the doubt.

There’s one giant credit union based in Northern Virginia that never gets the benefit of the doubt from me.  Before bankruptcy, they skate right up to the edge of the law, and get away with it.

Code of Virginia § 18.2-429 makes it a class 3 misdemeanor to cause someone’s phone to ring with the “intent to annoy.”  This credit union calls people with the intent to annoy.

If your ex called you four or five times a day after you told them not to call, he (or she) would get prosecuted.  This credit union is not going to get prosecuted–even though they do the same thing.

But once the bankruptcy is in place, I go after them for the slightest slip-up.  Every time.  They don’t act like a respectable business;  I don’t treat them like one.

PS  Click here for our litigation intake form if you are one of my bankruptcy clients, and a creditor is still harassing you.  Get us the info, so we can get after them right away.

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Robert Weed has helped fifteen thousand people file bankruptcy in Northern Virginia. Robert Weed is a frequent panelist and speaker at the meetings of the National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys. He is one of Northern Virginia’s most experienced personal bankruptcy lawyers. As an expert on changing consumer bankruptcy laws, Robert Weed has been interviewed on local and national TV and quoted in newspapers across the country.

  • Reginald Salmon

    July 18, 2011, pm31 11:58 PM

    Thank you Mr. Weed for this email. I think I will give this creditor a pass this time, however going forward if I receive another bill stating I owe them some money. I would like to go ahead and sue. My question for you, is there a additional fee to sue creditors that try to get more money after my bankruptcy?? If so how much?? I was asking AJ, do you know how long the process might take for me to receive my garnishment check for $1675. Is that a month process or a couple of months??

    Thanks for your help with my bankruptcy, if I have anyone I can direct to your company I will. You and your team was great!!!!!!!!!!!!


    • Robert Weed

      July 19, 2011, am31 6:54 AM


  • John Watts

    September 5, 2011, pm30 7:27 PM


    Been a while since we have chatted at a conference. Great blog post. Would love to interview you by phone on a tele seminar on suing the bad guys during and after bankruptcy. Let me know if you are interested and keep up the good work!

    John Watts
    Birmingham, Alabama

  • Bankruptcy is not a car wash

    October 4, 2011, pm31 7:02 PM

    […] As your lawyer, I do care about those things.  I care about where you’ve been and where you are going–that can have a lot of impact on when and how I file your papers.  And I certainly care what happens to you afterward: if somebody tries to take away from your the new start, I sue. […]

  • AJ

    February 23, 2012, am29 10:41 AM

    I filed for bankruptcy in October 2011 and received a discharge 2 weeks ago. During this time, the credit union (NIHFCU) one of the morgtage holders would send me statements saying I owe money even throughout the automatic stay period. The courts did send notice to all my creditors. I received an email from their General Counsel back in December requesting payment. I informed him that I filed bankruptcy and that I intended to surrender the property (tenant occupied-tenant has been informed of bankruptcy proceedings back in October 2011). Her lease is on a month to month basis and she would like to stay a tenant (I also informed the bank of the tenants intention but also clarified that I have no control over what the bank does once they take possession). I still have not heard from them about taking possession of the property. I received a discharge and I am still receiving mail stating I owe money. None of their communication has the standard disclaimer that creditors include when they send communication to a party subject to automatic stay.Not sure what to do.

    • Robert Weed

      February 23, 2012, pm29 1:18 PM

      AJ, if you were my client, I’d ask the bankruptcy judge to sanction them. I’m quicker to do that than most bankruptcy lawyers around here–sometimes a little quicker than the judge thinks I should. But the bankruptcy law only works if the creditors respect it, so they need to get slapped if they don’t. You should ask your lawyer to go after them.

  • Tommy

    March 27, 2012, pm31 6:06 PM

    I had a chapter 7 BK that was discharged about a year and a half ago. one of my homes that was included in the BK I continued to pay for about a year. about 6 months ago Bank of America sold the loan to M&T bank and since they have been trying to collect this. Around the time M&T took it over I realized that the property market value got worse and that home was now negative equity so I decided to let it go and stop paying. M&T has been trying to collect for months now but it was only 1 phone call every 3 weeks or so. I didnt really care. Now yesterday they reported it to my credit bureaus and made my scores drastically fall. I worked my butt off to fix my score since the BK and now it is completely screwed. I hate this company as they are impossible to work with and get someone who cares on the phone. They’ve hung up on me and sent me through transfer hell. Originally all I wanted to do was have them fix it and have it removed. as of now it is still reporting and I want to take this to the limit. what are my options and what can i sue them for. what are the damages that i would be claiming? and would you want to represent me?

    • Robert Weed

      March 28, 2012, am31 10:49 AM


      If you are in Northern Virginia, I’d be glad to talk to you about whether I can help on this.

      M&T reporting you as late, rather than bankruptcy is definitely a violation of Fair Credit Reporting–IF (this is a big if) you dispute it and they don’t fix it. That dispute requirement really holds down the damages, because the first wrong reporting is where the big damage happened.

      Now, were you still current when BofA moved it to M&T? If you were already behind, then M&T is probably a “debt collector” and you can go after them under the Fair Debt collection Act. That doesn’t require a dispute. That’s a better line of attack, but it’s no walk in the park. You need an expert witness to tie in the wrong reporting with the drop in credit scores–so you have to spend some money up front if you want to try to prove more than $1000 or so in damages.

      M&T calling you is also a violation of the bankruptcy discharge. Here in Virginia, where the judges tend to be very conservative, that gets you legal fees (thank you) for making them stop–but not much more. the judges here say they do not have authority to just slam them so they don’t do it again.

  • Robert Weed

    May 22, 2012, pm31 4:15 PM

    Had two separate clients from 2008 come to see my paralegals in the last week. Both had debt collectors on second mortgages, listed in the bankruptcy, on houses that foreclosed in 2008, still sending them bills!

    Both of these folks did not have English as their primary language, which may be why they were so slow to come in and complain. I’m angry and I’m embarrassed! I’m angry at those debt collectors. I’m embarrassed that we did not explain clearly enough that I want to hear about those problems.

    We’ll sue on those in the next two weeks. The bankruptcy law is not much help if creditors feel free to ignore it. It’s my job to do more than make them stop. It’s my job to make them pay.

    Don’t expect to get much money out of these–especially not here in Virginia. But making the debt collector mail a check is sincere apology for acting illegally.

  • Carolyn

    August 14, 2012, pm31 2:42 PM

    I filed a chapter 7 on 7/26/2012. Previously I bought a car from a dealership. Between the time we filled out the paperwork until we took ownership of the vehicle, the payoff quote had changed and the dealership did not verify the amount I gave them (which I supplied about 4 weeks prior). They told me I owed them the difference and would not release the title that they kept until I paid them. I had to pay them 338.00 plus 68.00 to order a duplicate title which they didnt really order because they gave it to me 2 days later (takes 2 weeks to get one from Jefferson City). When I initially gave them the case number the business manager told me “this means nothing to me”. Either I had to pay or I was not gettin a title. I have been driving on expired temp tags for months. I am ready to sue.

    • Robert Weed

      August 17, 2012, am31 11:13 AM


      Sounds to me like your question is more a consumer law question than a bankruptcy law question.

      Most states have a couple lawyers who do car dealer fraud law–and that sounds to me like the kind of lawyer you need.

      Here’s one place to look. http://www.naca.net/find-attorney

      Good luck.

  • Jessie

    November 5, 2012, pm30 2:24 PM

    I told my bankruptcy lawyer that a creditor won’t stop calling and she said it’s a civil matter that I would have to take care of myself in small claims court.

    How do I do that?

    Situation: I filed 3 weeks ago (in Utah), and a certain creditor (listed on the mailing matrix) won’t stop calling me. The credit collection company (Revenue Cycle Solutions) continued to call each day, which I ignored (I figured they hadn’t gotten the notice yet). I called back on 11/1 and told them that I filed ch 13 and to stop calling me; I even gave her my case number. She stated that there’s nothing she can do with that information.

    They called me six times between the first and today (which I ignored); I called again today and received the same response: there’s nothing they can do with that information.

    How do I sue Revenue Cycle Solutions in civil court? (or bankruptcy court by myself)? and for how much can I sue them? I’d love to put them out of business! If you help me put this company out of business, I’ll give half the proceeds!

    I hope to hear from you soon. This is getting irritating.


    • Robert Weed

      November 5, 2012, pm30 2:43 PM


      First, I think you should post some negative comments on the internet on your bankruptcy lawyer, who clearly is not doing much in the way of customer service. (How did you find this lawyer?) Like what’s the point of bankruptcy if the creditors won’t leave you alone?

      Continuing to call absolutely violates the bankruptcy law–and it is also a Fair Debt violation. It is probably easier to get a lawyer to go after them on the Fair Debt Collection side. Getting another bankruptcy lawyer might be tougher.

      Here’s a link to two lawyers in Utah who do Fair Debt Collection law http://www.naca.net/find-attorney who are members of the National Association of Consumer Advocates. Talk to them and see if one or the other would like to help you. Looking on the internet, it looks like those debt collectors are really here in America–so I’d hope someone would be home when your new lawyer sends them court papers.

      Good luck.

  • Tania

    February 6, 2013, pm28 6:18 PM

    So my husband filed for bk back in feb 2010 as of yesterday hes been recieving phone callls from lawyer offices saying thee about to sue he got one phone call yesterday an one today .What can we do?

    • Robert Weed

      February 6, 2013, pm28 6:39 PM


      Get your bankruptcy lawyer to go after them. Assuming they are in the US. (You can expect illegal phone calls to collect internet payday loans, since they are probably coming from overseas.)

  • Jennifer

    May 2, 2013, pm31 8:11 PM

    We filed Bankruptcy in Dec 2010 and it was discharged in June 2011. Included in our backruptcy was a house that we had tenants in…we continued paying the loan because we had tenants in the house. We did miss a couple of payments, BOA, never called until Jan 2013. They have admitted to me over the phone several times that for some reason the codes on our account keep getting removed. I have given them our attorney name, number and our case number but they continue to call. I have spoken to several people in their BK department and they all say they have our BK information, apologize for the calls and tell me we don’t owe them any money..and then we get another call the next day asking when we are going to pay the past due and the same the next week and again a couple of weeks after. I have sent this information to our BK attorney and am awaiting his response but would like your thoughts on what we can do. BOA is a large enough company that they should have fixed this by now in my opinion. They have even sent collections letters to us and our property address. I have talked with them and told them that they can take possession of the house in the middle of the month. In January when this started I was understanding about it because they said they had updated all their systems and had some issues, but I am to the point now since this has been happening for 5 months that I am angry they keep calling, some of the reps are polite but some are extremely rude and claim they don’t have our information, I tell them to talk to someone in thier bankruptcy department and they have refused.

    • Robert Weed

      May 4, 2013, pm31 1:42 PM


      You are right to be angry. I’m suing Bank of America for that kind of BS right now–I tell more about it here. https://robertweed.com/blog/after-bankruptcy/after-bankruptcy-bank-of-america-cant-stop-themselves/.

      Any good bankruptcy lawyer should stand behind his work–and should jump all over Bank of America for this. Hope your lawyer goes after them–and let us know how it comes out.

      • Jennifer

        May 15, 2013, am31 4:41 AM

        I talked to our attorney today. He said that as far as the calling they should not be doing that. BOA is the worst he said. I asked him about the house and he said for me to call them like they have been call us and go to the home office near my house and ask about a deed in lieu of…I told him we had asked about doing that and they said we could not..he told me if we needed his help in getting this done that he is glad to help us.

        • Robert Weed

          May 15, 2013, am31 10:06 AM


          Good update. Thanks for posting it.

          • Jennifer

            August 13, 2013, pm31 4:06 PM

            SO BOA is continuing to make mistakes on our discharged account. They are now charging us fees for pictures, lawn mowing and an inspection every month since May. I did however get a supervisor today in the BK dept to admit on the phone with me that yes they have been making mistakes with the coding on our account since sometime in 2012. She said in Nov 2012 and July 11 2013 someone changed our codes on the account from BK code to military code and that this had happened every couple of months for 2 years but it had been caught before and changed back to BK codes..I have saved a previous statement from them and several current statements showing the difference since 2011-2013. I was also told today by a BK employee that our account was placed into regular servicing and so they are not doing anything illegal by trying to collect on the loan and that we were no longer protected under the BK code…the supervisor after admitting that someone has been changing the codes said that yes we are still covered and owe nothing on the loan. She has me read what the monthly statements we have been getting say …and then I read her what the statement from 2011 said..which is the 2nd paragraph it spells out that it is illegal for them or anyone else to try to attempt to collect this debt…so I have 2 questions…if this happens again yes we will be sueing them..can we sue them know for trying to collect the debt and the collection phone calls that we have received almost weekly since Jan 1 of this year?

            They also stated that after the foreclosure process is completed they will report the foreclosure to all credit reporting agencies..can they do that? I have been told that they can not since it was included in the BK and discharged that the foreclosure date is actually the BK date?

          • Robert Weed

            August 13, 2013, pm31 4:18 PM


            No then cannot report a foreclosure on your credit report, because of the bankruptcy. If you were my client, I’d be tempted to sue just on that threat.

          • Jennifer

            September 6, 2013, pm30 6:54 PM

            So another month and another attempt to collect on our debt..I have again contacted our BK attorney and I have started calling other BK attorneys to see if someone can help us..now BOA is saying we have to sign a document stating that we do not want foreclosure protection under SCRA..which we should not have to do anything else since this was included in out BK. They have yet again removed the bk codes on our account and today they hung up on me when I told them I wanted to speak to the BK dept..I am so done..help!!!

          • Robert Weed

            September 6, 2013, pm30 10:13 PM


            I really wish you were in Northern Virginia, so I could help you go after them!

  • Jay

    May 25, 2013, am31 11:56 AM

    Me and my wife filed for Chapter 7 BK over 3 years ago here in MD. The creditor who was the reason I filed BK in the first place has started back calling me, well they have a law office calling me talking about they are about to file a judgement against me. Now a year ago this same company called me I was nice I gave them the BK case number and explained everything to them but now a year later they have started back calling me. Can I sue them? This person I spoke even stated that she sees in the file about me filing BK and the record of the last call but wants me to fax her my BK papers. And even went as far to say that if she didn’t get the papers she would be forced to proceed. So I didn’t send her anything.

    • Robert Weed

      May 25, 2013, pm31 3:07 PM


      Yes you can sue them==and you should. There’s a violation of the bankruptcy discharge; and probably a violation of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. A good bankruptcy lawyer should stand behind his work–and step right up to the chance to stop this harassment by suing in the bankruptcy court. The Fair Debt Collection violation might need to be brought in a different court, depending on whether the bankruptcy judge there’s he has jurisdiction.

      This will happen al the time unless consumers–and their lawyers–fight back.

      Good luck. Go get ’em!

  • Stephanie

    September 2, 2013, am30 1:31 AM

    I filed and successfully discharged a chapter 13 BK in March 2013. A second mortgage was discharged without me having to pay anything towards it as part of the Chapter 13 plan. That’s how broke I was at the time. A motion/application to value of the collateral was signed by the BK court judge stating that there was 0.00 claim and the 2nd was an unsecured deed. Now BofA has sold the servicing of my 1st mortgage to Nationstar as of June. They are now trying to come after me for my 2nd mortgage.They sent me a letter stating I owed a payment on the 2nd of $23,000.00 which must be interest and payments that accrued over the 3 years of the Chapter 13 BK. When my present BK attorney sent them a demand letter, including a threat about legal action for trying to collect, they responded by sending me a letter thanking me for inquiring about paying off the 2nd mortgage debt with a schedule attached. All of these letters have disclaimers at the bottom with wording that says if this matter is part of a BK, than it is not an attempt to collect a debt even though the same document has all over it that Nationstar is a debt collector. So I have two questions: did my attorney miss something in the process regarding having the lien stripped for the discharged 2nd mortgage? Was there a specific document that should have been filed that would take care of that? Second question, sounds like I’m probably going to have to look around for another attorney regarding the lien stripping. Would it be prudent to also have that attorney sue for the collection attempts? Would getting the deed reconveyance make a good bargaining tool? Thank you!

    • Robert Weed

      September 2, 2013, am30 10:43 AM


      The second mortgage which should have been discharged and removed in your Chapter 13 is coming after you buy letter. You’re wondering what you should do to stop that; and more seriously, if your lawyer skipped a step in removing the second mortgage.

      I had this exact problem with Bank of America. You can read about it here. https://robertweed.com/2013/04/18/after-bankruptcy-bank-of-america-cant-stop-themselves/. It’s common for a debt collector, when you tell them about the bankruptcy, come back with some excuse about your lawyer not doing something right. So while you need to check and make sure your lawyer did what he was supposed to, another explanation is that BofA and now Nationstar are just stupid and greedy. They are banks, you know.

      Get more clarity from your lawyer, if you can. Or, get a second opinion from a lawyer where you are, who can look at the court records in your case and see if everything was done right. Assuming that the second mortgage was removed form your house through the chapter 13, please see that your lawyer follows up on his threat to sue.

  • Dee Smith

    September 28, 2013, am30 3:28 AM

    Hello. I had a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy in 2009 which was discharged in 2010. One of my creditors was a family law attorney as I was in the middle of a nasty divorce and I was still using that lawyer. At the time, I was considering a reaffirmation agreement to keep him retained, but we never signed any reaffirmation agreement and eventually, I got my BK discharge with him listed as one of the creditors. New charges were incurred after my BK filing date, as I continued to use his services. He keeps billing me for the pre bankruptcy fees as well as the “new fees” incurred after my BK filing date in July of 09. I make monthly payments on my bill but he refuses to take off the discharged portion which he got copies of all the papers both during and after my bankruptcy. He thinks he has special rights/privileges because of an email I sent him during the time I filed telling him I may want to reaffirm the debt. Fact is, we never did and no contract or written agreement was ever made and my discharge came in 2010 and he was listed and the prior fees were discharged. He won’t remove it from the bill. What are my options and can he sue me to get the pre- bankruptcy fees since I had written an email out of desperation which was never consummated into an actual written agreement? I am in California. Please let me know what to do.. Thanks.

    • Robert Weed

      September 28, 2013, am30 10:41 AM


      Congress tightened up the reaffirmation law in 2005–one of the “consumer protections” in that 2005 mostly very bad law. An email promising to pay is NOT a reaffirmation. There’s a form and a procedure spelled out in detail.

      So your divorce lawyer is clearly in violation of the bankruptcy law. He cannot keep billing you for the before-bankruptcy charges. You owe him only for the after bankruptcy fees and all your payments should be applied only to those. If you drag him in front of the bankruptcy judge, the bankruptcy judge will have a fit.

      You should talk to your bankrutpcy lawyer about what you want to do.

  • Theodore Price

    December 26, 2013, pm31 9:48 PM

    I had a time share with windham palms,it was joint between my wife and I,i filed it in a chapter 7 many years ago but just ould not find the paper work,while going through some old credit reports I found it filed under my name on the credit report,over the last few years they have called over 100 times and sent many letters,can I sue them

    • Robert Weed

      December 26, 2013, pm31 9:54 PM


      The problem is, your probably still own the timeshare. I explain that, here. https://robertweed.com/2013/03/05/but-i-surrendered-that-property-in-my-bankruptcy/.

      And if you still own the time share, the the maintenance fees since the bankruptcy are an after-bankruptcy debt. In other words, you still owe the maintenance fees from the date of the filing of the bankruptcy on through until today. So they can call to collect those debts.

      Now if they are calling about the mortgage on the timeshare, the financing you agreed to pay to buy it–that would be a violation. The bankruptcy wiped out that debt. In that case, yes you can sue them.

      It depends which debt they are trying to collect.

  • me Lee

    January 11, 2014, pm31 6:40 PM

    I filed chapter 13 in October 2010. I surrendered all property during the chapter 13, and all creditors filed foreclosure on my three homes. I was discharged from Chapter 13 on August 26, 2013. One company (second mortgage) called me during the chapter 13 repeatedly, Even when I told them I had filed chapter 13. Then when my discharged occurred they called me again. Now they have me listed as delinquent on this 2nd mortgage after the chapter 13 discharge, meaning they have me as delinquent on Aug, Sept, Oct and Nov. 2013. I have called them, written them, faxed them, sent them copies of my chapter 13, sent them copies to show that the original first mortgage loan company foreclosed on the property. This has been going on for 5 months now. Is there anything I can do. It is affecting my credit and I cannot even rebuild because they are showing me as delinquent after chapter 13. They were even showing me delinquent during chapter 13 for a while.

    • Robert Weed

      January 11, 2014, pm31 7:25 PM


      Two things. I HOPE that your lawyer drafted or amended the Chapter 13 to provide that you were surrendering the properties. If the chapter 13 was to catch up the properties and then you couldn’t do it, then you may still owe the money. Chapter 13 is really tricky that way.

      Assuming the chapter 13 was done (or amended) to show you were surrendering the property, you have two legal avenues.

      First, they are violating your bankruptcy discharge. I think EVERY bankruptcy lawyer SHOULD be available to reopen your bankruptcy case and sanction someone who violates your bankruptcy discharge. Not all bankruptcy lawyers stand behind their work; they all should. I offer my clients this five-year warranty. https://robertweed.com/bankruptcy-five-year-warranty/.

      Second, you need to get your credit reports, like I explain here. https://robertweed.com/2013/08/20/the-credit-report-you-need-is-the-credit-file-disclosure/. Your right to get your credit report fixed comes into play, primarily, by disputing with the credit bureaus. (Most people, like you, feel like they should start with the creditor, but that doesn’t protect your rights.)

      Then if the credit bureaus won’t fix it, you need to sue under the Fair Credit Reporting Act. Only a small number of bankruptcy lawyers also know about Fair Credit Reporting Law. You can find a lawyer who does that kind of work, here. http://naca.net/find-attorney

  • Scott Smith

    January 18, 2014, pm31 10:44 PM

    I filed for bankruptcy a month ago and have been to my 341 meeting and was told a discharge will be in a few months. A creditor, that was listed in the bankruptcy, has just filed a lawsuit against me…although they have yet to pay the filing fee. Can they do this? Thank you.


    • Robert Weed

      January 19, 2014, am31 11:50 AM


      Can they? Well they just did. Legally, of course not. (Unless they went to the bankruptcy court and got permission–are they your landlord that you are not paying?)

      Your lawyer needs to drag them in front of the bankruptcy judge.

      I wonder about what you are saying about having filed a lawsuit…although they have yet to pay the filing fee. I wonder if this is an illegal payday loan, who is PRETENDING to sue you.

      You obviously researched to see they haven’t paid the filing fee–so you know a little more about this than you have told us here.

  • Nicki Davis

    February 20, 2014, pm28 7:38 PM

    I filed a chapter 13 BK in January 2014 in effort to save our family home. The chapter 13 included a tax debt from 2011 and listed them as a priority creditor. I got assurance from the trustee, attorney, and IRS rep. to go ahead and file my taxes and that the IRS would not intercept my refund because it was included in my plan. I just received notification that the IRS took my refund to offset the 2011 tax debt. Is this legal? I’ve been researching this and keep finding that the IRS was not suppose to intercept my refund. Is this correct and if so; what’s a person to do?

    • Robert Weed

      February 20, 2014, pm28 9:19 PM


      The IRS intercepted your refund on January 1–they didn’t know how much the refund was or even if you would get one, but they still intercepted it on January 1–BEFORE you filed your Chapter 13.

      • Nicki Davis

        February 20, 2014, pm28 10:37 PM

        Thanks Mr. Weed for responding so quickly. The IRS actually intercepted my refund February 18, 2014. They received notification that the tax debt was to be included in my chapter 13 on January 28, 2014. Do you know of any hardship form that can be submitted to the IRS that will allow the refund refunded back to me and pay the debt through the plan as originally set up? Thank you.

        • Robert Weed

          February 20, 2014, pm28 11:37 PM


          Sorry I don’t know of anything that can undo that. And you are right of course that they “actually” intercepted your refund on February 18–but legally they intercepted it on January 1, which is why it was legal.

          • Nicki Davis

            February 21, 2014, pm28 1:48 PM

            Okay I think I found a possible remedy via means of filling out a 433A form. Thanks again for your response! Have a wonderful weekend!

  • Tammy Stlouis

    April 7, 2014, pm30 11:44 PM

    Hi…do you represent people that are out of state and have filed bankruptcy? My case was discharged last month and one creditor (for my mortgage) refuses to stop trying to collect. They refused to take my discharge and lawyers info. I had the paralegal call them, but they left her on hold for an hour and she had to leave a detailed voice mail. I know they are still going to harass me by calling and sending bills. The paralegal said all I can do is turn them into the federal trade comission if they keep calling and sending bills.

    Also..just FYI it was bank of america who originally had the loan..and once they found out I was filing bankruptcy…they sold it to Bayview servicing.

    • Robert Weed

      April 8, 2014, am30 12:18 AM


      I’m not very happy your bankruptcy lawyer won’t go after them. (Paralegal?! Did you file bankruptcy with a paralegal–or does the paralegal work for your lawyer?)

      You need to find a lawyer in your state who does FDCPA work. One place to look is here. http://www.naca.net/

      A perfect lawyer would be someone who does FDCPA who ALSO does bankruptcy law.

  • debbie

    October 3, 2014, am31 7:12 AM

    Attorney Weed,

    We are in a chapter 13 bankruptcy and I received a call from a loan company, thought they wanted to offer us a loan, The man said no it was for a loan we owe, I informed him of our bk and he said something came across his desk and he didn’t know why and I gave him our case number and he asked if it was dismissed and I told him no, he asked if this was my attorney and I verified yes that is our attorney do you need his number, he said he would check into it and if there was a problem he would call me back.

    Well, yesterday I saw that loan company took a payment out of my savings account. I called them and the lady I spoke to said she saw the notes on the account that he spoke to me and I said it was not discharged and still active, and she said he shouldn’t have done this, she gave me a name and number to call today. I told her that money better get back in my bank tomorrow.

    My question to you is: I know this company is in violation of the bankruptcy laws, and I now want to sue them. This man that I spoke to the other day is the same man who harassed us prior to the bk, and he just took the pymt out without doing any research on it obviously, so can I sue and for how much can I sue for?

    I am in Wisconsin. I did leave a message of this with my bk arty, but want another opinion to be sure my arty knows what I can do.

    Thank you

    • Robert Weed

      October 4, 2014, pm31 9:37 PM


      Well it’s definitely a bankruptcy violation. Whether its worth suing them for it, depends on on your judge. IF they give the money back right away, some judges would shrug it off. Others would really come down on them. We used to have a judge here who would have been really mad; the new judge, not so much.

  • sheronda neal

    March 4, 2015, am31 3:17 AM

    I filed bankruptcy in 2012. And it is closed. I received a letter from a collection agency for Westgate time share. They are on my bankruptcy as well. They are asking me to sign a document or I will be put in foreclosure. Can they do this.

  • John

    May 31, 2015, am31 10:45 AM

    A bank completed a foreclosure and sale against 4 rental properties of mine in April 2013. Three of those properties were jointly owned with another party who had no loan obligation with the creditor. The foreclosure was faulty against that defendant and two of the sales were set aside with respect to that defendant in July 2013.

    I filed Chapter 13 in September of 2013. Stay was lifted and the foreclosure proceeded in rem. The other party defeated Summary Judgment and was going to trial by 11/2014. Bank offered a verbal settlement to the other party. The other party accepted verbally. The case was dismissed. Once the agreement was put in writing it wasn’t what they discussed verbally and the other party wouldn’t sign.

    Now in May 2015 these properties are coming back to haunt me and I thought I was done with them in the bankruptcy. The bank entered a motion to have the case reopened and amended their complaint. This is where my problem starts. The amended complaint is saying that because I filed bankruptcy (mind you that was in 2013!) that I am in default on the note because of a ipso facto clause in the note. The bank is seeking a personal judgment against me for a sum of money that is $40K more than I owed when I filed for bankruptcy to start with…plus attorney fees. Through this whole ordeal, the properties are occupied with tenants who have paid their rents directly to the bank in full but the complaint has not even adjusted the amount owed to reflect the rents they have collected.

    What in the world is going on here? I can’t get rid of this! Can they do this to me? I’m still making my payments under my plan. This bank was part of the bankruptcy but I thought I agreed to surrender the properties. Can they come back at me now after all this time for a personal judgment just because they are squabbling with a different owner?

    • Robert Weed

      May 31, 2015, am31 11:34 AM


      Gosh. You have a more complicated investment real estate bankruptcy than any case I’ve done this year. What does your lawyer say? It would take a couple hours with all the facts on the table to big to understand your question, much less the answer.

      • John

        May 31, 2015, pm31 9:03 PM

        I understand. Your blog has been very helpful. I just received the papers this weekend and put a call in to my lawyer. I’m just terrified. I remember signing a paper during the bankruptcy with this bank and my attorney said I was done with them at that time. They couldn’t come back after me personally. They would have to go in rem.

        I talked with the other owner and she said she didn’t sign the settlement agreement because when they put it in writing, the bank didn’t give her credit for the $40K in rent the bank has accumulated throughout the case. I can understand that. I don’t see how a bank can just take that much money and apply it in the wind.

        More importantly though, I don’t understand how they can come back after me personally.

        • Robert Weed

          June 1, 2015, am30 10:20 AM


          I can say this. If you had filed Chapter 7, then no they can’t come after you personally. But filing chapter 13? I’d need to know a lot more aobut what’s going on.

  • Sue

    August 4, 2015, pm31 11:34 PM


    In April 2013, my husband and I filed chaper 7 to stop the foreclosure on our home. After being unemployed for years, he finally found a job, but because our sale date was around the corner, we didn’t have time to modify before the auction and the BK was the quickest way to stop it. After filing, we then modified our first, while ignoring our second (BofA). Our debts were discharged in July 2013.

    A few months into the new job, my husband’s boss stopped paying him. It took us weeks to finally get the money he was owed, but we were still able to make the payments to the first with the modified payments. But because the construction biz is still so slow in CA, with months of no employment we got behind on the first again and our house was sold at auction on May 13, 2015. During this entire time, we continued to get bills and phone calls from our second.

    Right before the house was sold in May, we received a letter from BofA that they had sold our loan to Capital One. Of course we ignored that, too, because we knew in May the house would be sold. (All the while laughing at why Cap One bought a loan that had been discharged in BK)

    We moved out of the house June 1 and I still continue to get statements from Cap One. This loan was discharged in the BK and the house is no longer mine. How do I get Cap One to leave us alone? If I write them a letter, what things should I make sure to include?

    Thank you so much for your time!

    • Robert Weed

      August 5, 2015, am31 11:20 AM


      Two ways to approach this problem. You could write to Cap One and tell them the date and case number when you filed Chapter 7–and that they should leave you alone.

      Or, you can try to have a laugh at their expense. From what you said, Cap One is violating the bankruptcy discharge AND the FDCPA. You can look for a lawyer in your area who does FDCPA law. And see if you can make a little money off of their annoying behaviour.

      One place to look for a lawyer would be here. http://www.consumeradvocates.org/find-attorney.


    May 11, 2016, pm31 1:45 PM

    Hello, May of 2010 I got a discharge letter from Phoenix, AZ for Chap 7.
    Couple of weeks ago(after 6 years later), I got a phone call from RMG group phone number @ 1-877-680-0046.
    Saying that I have unsatisfactory case from Bank of America credit card amount of $10000 that I owed and asking for settle amount of 50% otherwise they will get a judgement and sue me….
    I thought this account might have missed during the bankruptcy. After checking my file from the attorney and credit report that I pulled after 3 month later after bankruptcy , it clearly said that this account was “Discharged through Bankruptcy Chapter 7”
    So, I called back to them trying to avoid unnecessary future hassle and I informed them about the discharge. Now they are saying to me that “This particular account’s discharge was fraud, therefore The bank of America sold this account to us to recover their loss” also said there was breech of contract that I violated with BOA for this account in order to get a bankruptcy and asking me 25% of settlement instead of 50% . They basically told me that there was fraud on my discharge. But I did everything legitimately through my attorney and had no problem at all for 6 years.Is this scam?
    I needs some advise on this please. They said today is last day for settle and it really bothers me

    Thank you!

  • Jerry

    May 12, 2016, pm31 2:03 PM

    Thank you very much Attorney Weed,

    Such a relief to hear from you!

  • Maria

    May 21, 2016, pm31 5:35 PM

    Hello Mr Weed,

    Me and my husband file chapter7 2009 fallow the chapter13 combine chapter20 to be able to stripped the second mortgage. we’re done on our bankcruptcy 2014 and the judge sign and voided the second mortgage. I follow everything what my attorney told me. However since my BK done in 2014. Now 2016 My second mortgage sending me bills after bills. So reply I send the copy of the voiding the second mortgage I wrote them a letter that the account they trying to collect has been stripped from the BK. And even after I send the copy they still didn’t stope sending bills. Can I sue this people I been so much stress lately because of this.


    • Robert Weed

      May 22, 2016, am31 10:59 AM


      Yes, you can can should sue. Some judges would get really angry at them for harassing you, some would not care much; but if you were in the Northern VA area, I’d sue.

  • Tina

    October 12, 2016, am31 10:07 AM

    My landlord keep sending me noticed on past due rents that was included in my bankrupcy 10 mos ago ..after 10 months why are they sending threatening notices for demand of payment..should I sue? Is this harrassement? it’s evident they haven’t updated their systems or is being honary..

    • Robert Weed

      October 12, 2016, am31 10:24 AM


      Were you still in the property when the bankruptcy was filed. You do owe the money from the filing date until you moved out.

      If they are coming after you for money you owed when you filed, that’s a violation. Be sure to talk to your bankruptcy lawyer about it.

  • Lexi

    November 18, 2016, am30 7:16 AM

    Good Morning,
    I filed bankruptcy in March of 2014(discharged in June of that year) and kept my house(did not reaffirm) last year I missed a payment, but picked up the next month(I believe I now have what they call a “rolling” 30 day late) I have recently been bombarded with calls and letters over the last few months with a demand for payment. I called them after the first letter to tell them I filed bankruptcy and that they couldn’t contact me for payment because it was in violation of the automatic stay, but the rep told me I was wrong and that they could contact me anytime. Then they started calling me and I repeated that they were in violation of the automatic stay-I was assured they would not be contacting me anymore.i received more calls- I actually reached out to the company on facebook twice and was assured both times I would no longer be contacted and that my file was notated correctly. I then received three letters(all exactly the same) 2 by regular mail and one certified that I had to go to the post office and pick up. They were all dated the 11/8 the same day I was told I would not be contacted anymore. Yesterday I had yet another notice of a certified letter from them that I have to go to the post office to pick up again! Is there anything I can do at this point? They have violated the automatic stay repeatedly by contacting me. I know I have a payment to make up, I just don’t have the extra money to do it right now, and I’ve been making my payments every month since the missed one.i have records of their calls on my current phone and the letters I have received, unfortunately I don’t have the voice mails from my old phone since I’ve switched. Any information you can offer would be very helpful.
    Thank you

    PS Sorry forgot to add the value of our home is rising and could be about $20 – $30k under water still.

    • Robert Weed

      November 18, 2016, pm30 2:04 PM


      Some bankruptcy judges would fine them a little, some would fine them a lot; some would tell you to stop complaining. No idea about your judge where you are. What does your lawyer think.

      • Lexi

        November 18, 2016, pm30 7:45 PM

        Unfortunately I haven’t heard back from the lawyer yet. As far as the lawyer that handled my actual bankruptcy, the mortgage company was actually sending HIM my statements because they said they didn’t have my address. He told them he no longer represented me since the bankruptcy was discharged. The letter I went and picked up today was again the same exact letter just a different date(one day later) . Hopefully the lawyer I reached out to has some insight.


    December 28, 2016, pm31 7:23 PM

    I filed chapter 7 in November 2015. Received discharge in February 2016. I received a notice form court that a judgement had been entered against me for a debt that is included in my bankruptcy. Called the court and they informed me to come down and file an order to vacate the judgement which I did the same day. Well I just received a letter from the creditor( former land lord who happens to be a retired Judge) that he was objecting to the discharge. He was provided a bk case # and a copy of the discharge yet he is still objecting. I also sent him a copy of the Certificates of Mailing form the bk notification ctr for both the bk filing and the discharge showing that the notifications were sent to him, Can I sue him. I was not going to pursue anything until i provided him( via certified mail) of the bankruptcy, but then he had the audacity to send me a letter saying he objects to the order to vacate after i sent him the information.

    • Robert Weed

      December 29, 2016, am31 6:25 AM


      Based on what you told me that’s a clear violation of the bankruptcy discharge. You need to go to the bankruptcy judge to complain about that. Where’s your bankrutpcy lawyer in all this?

  • Mandy Adams

    August 21, 2018, pm31 5:08 PM

    I had 4 tv’s thru a rent to own company. The tv’s have all been broken(grandkids) I called them about the 1st one but they said they would not take it back and my insurance that i pay them doesn’t cover broken screens. So i have just been paying for the tv’s that i don’t have. I have had to file Chapter 13 and included this debt. I told my lawyer i don’t have the tv’s anymore, and he said that’s fine. I called the company the day after i filed and gave them my case number and my lawyer’s name. They have called me 3 times since then because they say they have to have the paper work and they haven’t gotten it yet. It’s been almost 4 weeks since i filed, however i told them right away. Now my lawyer wants to sue them because they know i filled but keep calling. Is this kind of thing worth sueing considering the property got broken and i can’t return it? He seems to thinks so. Just wanted another opinion. thankks

    • Robert Weed

      August 26, 2018, pm31 7:14 PM


      Most judges would be really ANGRY at what those rent to own people are doing. I had something similar here and my judge really slapped them around. Your lawyer obviously knows your judge and I don’t. But if people like you don’t fight these guys, they feel free to signore the law. So I’d encourage you to follow what your lawyer says.

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