What happens if one of my creditors keeps trying to collect from me after I file for bankruptcy?
When a person files for bankruptcy, something called the "automatic stay" goes into effect. The automatic stay prevents most lenders and creditors from taking further steps to collect a debt, including forclosing on or repossessing property. To learn more about the automatic stay, including when it does not apply and when it may be removed or "lifted," see How the Automatic Stay Protects Bankruptcy Filers.
If a creditor ignores the automatic stay and continues its collection efforts, and you are harmed by the actions, you can recover actual damages, including costs and attorneys’ fees. However, the creditor's violation must be "willfull." In certain circumstances, you may be able to recover punitive damages as well.
Updated by: Kathleen Michon, J.D.