If I file for Chapter 7, will my creditors stop harassing me?
Yes! Once you file a bankruptcy case, your creditors must immediately discontinue calling or otherwise harassing you. From that point on, all contact must be made through the court system. When you file for bankruptcy, an “automatic stay” goes into effect, which prohibits creditors from taking any direct action against you (unless the bankruptcy court gives specific permission). At this point, creditors cannot try to collect debts through phone calls or letters, file lawsuits against you for the debts, record liens against your property, or seize your property or garnish your wages. However, even the automatic stay does not prevent you from having to pay alimony or debts to the IRS. Furthermore, filing for bankruptcy, generally, will only prevent your landlord, utility company, or your mortgagor from pursuing an action against you for only a few days or weeks; after that, utility companies can shut off your utilities if you do not provide assurances or a deposit; a landlord can continue an eviction; and a mortgagor can continue with a foreclosure proceeding.