Advice for Those Facing Bankruptcy

David R. Chenelle, Esq., a Partner and Director at Perkins & Anctil, P.C. writes in our recent newsletter: Upon filing for protection under the provisions of the United States Bankruptcy Code all creditors are immediately prohibited from instituting further collection activity against any debtor unless they receive permission to do so by order of the Bankruptcy Court.
However, when creditors choose to ignore the provisions of the automatic stay and pursue collection against a debtor in a willful, aggressive and persistent manner a Debtor, in turn, can pursue an action against the creditor for violation of the automatic stay, violation of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, the Fair Credit Reporting Act, and the Massachusetts Consumer Protection Statute.
Attorney Chenelle pursued a claim against a creditor for this precise reason when it violated a Debtor’s rights and willfully and persistently pursued collection against a retired Vietnam Veteran despite his discharge from his bankruptcy causing him emotional distress, embarrassment and months of aggravation.
Reprieve from creditors is an institutional component and right afforded to all Debtors through the bankruptcy process and creditors who choose to ignore that right may face consequences in the form of the payment of restitution to the Debtor and payment of legal fees and costs to the Debtor’s attorney, as was the result of the case handled by Attorney Chenelle.