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Man who filed Chapter 13 sues over continued collector harassment

Once people make the difficult decision to file for bankruptcy, they often feel a sense of relief that they’ve taken some control over their debt situation and will no longer be constantly harassed by debt collectors. Not all collection companies, however, play by the rules.

An Illinois man has filed a federal lawsuit against a debt collection company. In the suit, he alleges that the company violated the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. According to the suit, he and his wife filed for Chapter 13 bankruptcy in 2014 and invoked automatic stay protections that should have stopped any collection attempts. However, the company that had taken over his car loan attempted to collect what he owed once it learned of his bankruptcy.

The plaintiff says that collectors sent him what’s known as a “dunning letter” demanding that he pay the $15,000-plus he owed on the car loan. He says that collectors also called his wife demanding payment. In his suit, he asserts that he was “unduly inconvenienced and harassed.”

The plaintiff is asking for actual and statutory damages as well as the payment of his legal and court fees. He is also asking the court to declare that the defendant violated the law.

This sort of situation is just one example of why it’s essential to have sound legal advice when bankruptcy becomes an option. With experienced guidance, you can better determine whether bankruptcy is your best choice and which type of bankruptcy is right for your situation. An experienced Florida bankruptcy lawyer can also assist you if you run into problems with collectors after you have filed for bankruptcy.

Source: The Madison County Record, “Suit claims collection agency violated law,” Molly English-Bowers, Jan. 22, 2016

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