Filing for bankruptcy in Las Vegas entitles you to special protection known as the automatic stay. The automatic stay means that creditors, collection agencies, repo men, etc. are prohibited from even attempting to take any of your positions as long as you’re in the middle of your bankruptcy case. And that includes making phone calls or communicating with you in an attempt to collect.
Then again, that doesn’t always stop creditors from trying to collect. Fortunately, if you do file for bankruptcy and someone tries to take something from you without the Bankruptcy Court’s permission, the law is on your side.
Here are 4 things to do if you’re concerned that a creditor may try to collect or take your car or other assets:
1. Pay attention and take detailed notes. Write everything down and keep a good record of any such attempts by a creditor, whether they involve calling or showing up in person.
2. Notify the creditor. If your car is repossessed or a creditor does continue to call you, simply write a letter to the creditor notifying them that they are in violation of the automatic stay. This step of notifying is very important from the Bankruptcy Court’s perspective. After all, how could a creditor know not to call you unless they’re actually aware of your bankruptcy filing? So if a bankruptcy judge knows that you made every effort to notify the creditor, that will work in your favor and against the creditor when the time comes to decide penalties for violating the automatic stay.
3. Take legal action. Your next step, if the creditor continues to violate the automatic stay by calling you or not returning your assets after you’ve asked nicely, is to file an “adversary action” against the creditor. This gives the bankruptcy judge the opportunity to review the situation, remedy your situation and, if appropriate, penalize the creditor. To file an adversary action in Las Vegas, you most likely will want to work with an experienced Las Vegas bankruptcy attorney.
4. “Motion for turnover.” Filing this motion is the final step that, e.g., gets your car back if your car was repossessed. It supports your right to reclaim what was yours.
If you have questions about the automatic stay and stopping automatic stay violations, please contact an experienced Haines & Krieger Las Vegas bankruptcy attorney at 702-880-5554 for a free initial consultation.