What should I do if a creditor demands payment of a debt after I file my case?

Most efforts by a creditor to collect a pre-petition debt (one that you owe as of the filing of your case) or to obtain your property without the permission of the bankruptcy court are violations of the automatic stay.

The court may punish a creditor who knowingly violates the automatic stay and the creditor is liable to the debtor for harm caused. If you did not list a debt on the schedules filed with the court, the creditor may not be on notice of the bankruptcy. Therefore, you should inform the creditor of your bankruptcy and request that the creditor stop the collection efforts.

If you are represented by an attorney, you should give the creditor your attorney’s name and telephone number. If you are not represented by an attorney, you should give the creditor additional information about the case–the date of filing, the court in which the case was filed and the case number. If improper collection action continues, you should consult with an attorney, notify the trustee or seek protection from the court.

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