O'Connor First
Serving All OfNew York And Vermont
877-886-4029 Toll Free
518-465-0400 New York

Utilizing an automatic stay and identifying creditor harassment

The process of filing bankruptcy may bring significant emotion in your family. Though bankruptcy is a relief of debts, the decision to file is not usually made lightly. On top of your mixed emotions in determining which chapter to file and when to begin the process, you receive phone calls from badgering creditors with threats and claims that you owe more than you thought.

In New York, creditors have no authority to make false claims against you for debt owed, and you can report claims of unlicensed creditors to the Department of Consumer Affairs. Not only is it stressful to receive these phone calls, it is illegal if the claims are not valid. To protect yourself from creditor contact altogether, you may wish to begin the process of filing bankruptcy and receive an automatic stay to end all communication between you and creditors. When going through the bankruptcy process, especially if you face suspicious creditors, you want to hire an experienced attorney that can help you file an automatic stay, lead you in the direction of bankruptcy relief and help handle the illegal acts of creditors.

Illegal creditor harassment

Before you file bankruptcy, you may be receiving calls or letters claiming that you owe money to various crediting agencies. These usually consist of banks or credit card companies that you have not yet paid for their loan services.

Creditors can contact you to alert you of your owed payment. However, when the contact shifts from an alert to owed money to a threat of prosecution, you may have the right to bring a complaint against the contacting company.

New York law states that harassment is illegal when applied to those owing money to creditors. The following acts may imply that you can bring action against the creditors, and your attorney can help you determine whether a creditor's actions are illegal. Creditors may not:

  • Claim that the organization represents someone they do not
  • Make threats of arrests or deportation
  • Explain that you have committed a punishable crime
  • Threaten to take your income or property for the owed money
  • Use violent or inappropriate language
  • Make up debt or falsely claim your debt is greater than it is
  • Call you more than twice a week before 8:00 a.m. and 9:00 p.m.
  • Contact family members or employers

Automatic stay protection

According to New York law, when you file bankruptcy, an automatic stay occurs. This stay acts as a halt on creditors' contact with you, as the action of filing bankruptcy indicates your will to begin paying creditors. The law states that by filing, creditors may not:

  • Issue proceedings against you to collect debt
  • Obtain possession of your property as payment for owed debt
  • Establish a lien on your property or assets

The burden of receiving constant phone calls and letters takes a significant distressing toll on those facing large amounts of debt. By filing and working with an attorney to begin sorting out and creating a plan of repayment includes an end to all contact from creditors. Should an automatic stay take effect, but creditors continue to contact you, creditor organizations can face penalties.

Debt collection agencies may not illegally harass you for your owed debts. You have the right to privacy and security, so you and your attorney will determine if legal action is necessary against the creditors. Even if creditors' actions prove legal under New York law, you have the ability to halt the communication by beginning the bankruptcy process, which enacts an automatic stay.

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information
Email Us For a Response

Speak To An Experienced Attorney.

High-Quality Representation At An Affordable Price. Contact Us Today.

Learn more about how we can help you by calling the firm at 877-886-4029.

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.


Privacy Policy

This site uses Google's Invisible reCAPTCHA, which is subject to Google's Privacy Policy and Terms of Use.

  • dri | The Voice of the Defense Bar
  • BEST'S Client Recommended 2019 | Insurance Attorneys
  • AV Preeminent
  • Bar Register Preeminent Lawyers
  • Lawyer of the Year
  • IADC
  • MPL
  • Best Lawyers
  • FDCC
  • Peer Rated
  • Plus
  • New York State Academy of Trial Lawyers
  • Lawyer of the Year
  • TIDA
  • Best Lawyers | Best Law Firms | US News |2019

20 Corporate Woods Boulevard
Albany, NY 12211

Toll Free: 877-886-4029
Phone: 518-465-0400
Fax: 518-465-0015
Albany Law Office Map

507 Main Street
Bennington, VT 05201

Toll Free: 877-886-4029
Fax: 518-465-0015
Map & Directions