What is a Bankruptcy Discharge?
A bankruptcy discharge is a court order that renders a debt permanently unenforceable. Your lender is not, and will never be, allowed to continue pursuing payment of the debt that has been discharged. If you are still getting calls from your lender or another agency about the debt, there has either been a communication breakdown or someone is acting illegally, and it may be time to seek help from an experienced bankruptcy attorney to ensure that the bankruptcy discharge is enforced.
You Should NOT be Getting Phone Calls About Discharged Debt
If you are still getting contacted about a debt that has been discharged, it may be that:
- Your lender is hoping to scare you into paying them something. Your lender could try to provide a list of excuses why the discharge isn’t valid or you still owe them, such as ‘this isn’t the right type of discharge for this debt’ or ‘we are not listed on the discharge.’ These tactics are designed to pressure you into paying something you do not owe, and this is a Discharge Violation.
- Your lender has sold the debt to a debt buyer. A debt buyer, also known as a collection agency or debt collector, buys discharged debts from lenders for pennies on the dollar and employs ruthless tactics to try to get people to pay, such as incessant phone calls and letters. If you are receiving calls or letters from a company other than your lender, this is likely the case, and this is a Discharge Violation.
What Can I Do to Enforce the Bankruptcy Discharge?
In addition to being a Bankruptcy Discharge Violation, these actions could violate the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act (NJCFA) and The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA). These are state and federal laws that protect consumers from abusive debt collection methods such as:
- Calling before 8:00am or after 9:00pm
- Calling frequently with the intent to annoy or harass
- Contacting the consumer at their workplace
- Misrepresentation or false threat of legal action
- Contacting a consumer known to have legal representation