Whenever an individual files for bankruptcy, typically the court will issue a discharge that releases the debtor from their legal responsibility to pay any debts listed in the case. Certain types of debt may be excluded from discharges, including debts owed to the IRS, child support or alimony, student loans or other types of debts.
Bankruptcy discharges are permanent and they require that creditors or collections agencies cease all attempts to contact you or pursue legal action. In some cases, courts may revoke a discharge if they discover an individual has not been completely honest in their proceedings or did not follow the proper procedure. Additionally, if a debt is not listed in your bankruptcy paperwork, it may not be discharged.
Typically, most bankruptcy courts grant a discharge of debt. However, the timing of the discharge may change based on the proceedings or the type of bankruptcy you file for. Some discharges will not go into effect until several months after the bankruptcy case is closed.
During bankruptcy proceedings, a court will usually give a debtor an automatic stay that prohibits creditors from pursuing them for payment while their bankruptcy case is being decided. If you have filed for bankruptcy more than once in the past year, the court may not grant the stay and you can still be contacted by creditors about your debts.
Additionally, whenever you file for bankruptcy, any creditors will be notified and they will have an opportunity to file an objection to a bankruptcy discharge.
Once your bankruptcy has been filed, any listed creditor in your bankruptcy should receive a notice from the court or your attorney notifying them of the Bankruptcy stay. All communication from the creditor should stop at this point. Sometimes notices may be sent out but have not yet reached the creditor so be sure to keep your bankruptcy information handy and provide it to the creditor if they call. When the case has been decided, if you are granted a bankruptcy discharge, a clerk of the court should mail a copy of the order of discharge to all creditors as well as you and your attorney. Once the creditor receives this documentation, they should cease all attempts to contact you.
If creditors are still attempting to call you, you should follow-up with the court clerk first to ensure that the documentation of bankruptcy discharge was sent to the creditor in question. You can also follow-up with the creditor and provide the documentation of your bankruptcy discharge yourself.
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