Richard J. Shurtz, Attorney at Law

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Will bankruptcy really give me relief from bill collectors?

Dealing with creditors and debt collectors can be one of the most traumatizing aspects of being in severe debt. Some Washington debtors may even begin to fear incoming phone calls out of worry of who might be on the other end. For those in serious need of debt relief, bankruptcy does more than just them help handle overwhelming debt -- it can also provides relief from bill collectors.

Harassing phone calls from creditors can quickly begin to take a serious toll on consumers who are struggling to keep their heads above water. It can often feel like there is no escape from the endless ringing or constant voicemails, but a little thing called the automatic stay can provide a much needed reprieve. The automatic stay does not require a long, drawn out process to implement, and is instead put into action as soon as a person files for bankruptcy.

So what exactly does the automatic stay do? For one, creditors and harassing debt collectors will have to hang up the phone and refrain from those incessant phone calls. Additionally, lawsuits filed as attempts to collect on a debt will also be stopped. This includes foreclosure and eviction proceedings as well as wage garnishments. While an automatic stay is not a cure-all as some legal proceedings cannot be affected -- including paternity suits and wage garnishments concerning pension loans -- it is still a quite useful tool for those in need.

The vast majority of the time, people in Washington who are in serious debt truly want to pay their bills but, due to various circumstances, are simply unable to do so. Constant overwhelming and harassing phone calls do little -- if anything -- to improve the situation and instead mostly lead to further stress for individuals who are already struggling to do the best that they can. Typically, one of the best ways to get relief from bill collectors is to enact an automatic stay by seeking much needed debt relief through bankruptcy.

Source: FindLaw, "The Automatic Stay: Stopping Creditors with Bankruptcy", Accessed on Aug. 4, 2015

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