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Should I Tell My Creditors I Am in the Process of Filing Bankruptcy? – Sofia

“Dear Steve,

I have $57,000 in credit card debt, famiy of 4, income of $41,000 a year. I also own a home which is worth about $130,000. I am current on the mortage. Last month, I stopped paying my credit cards and brought my utilities and insurance up to date. I qualify for Chapter 7. As you can imagine, the phone is ringing off the hook.

Do I tell my creditors, I am in the process of filing bankruptcy or do I just wait until I actually file? I have an appointment with a bankruptcy lawyer next week, but would like to know what to do in the meantime.

Sofia”

Dear Sofia,

Excellent question. I would suggest that you do nothing to tip your hand until you file. As soon as you file you will get a bankruptcy case number and that is your golden ticket to making the collection calls legally stop. If a collector calls after you file, and they might as your case filters through the system, say this:

“Thank you for calling me today but I have filed bankruptcy and this debt was included. My bankruptcy case number is [case number] and my attorney is [attorney name]. My attorney is representing me in this matter and you should only contact my attorney at [telephone number] for any further information on this debt. Do not contact me.

Thank you.”

Until you file bankruptcy anything you say about wanting to or intending to file bankruptcy is a hollow statement collectors hear all the time. Most will ignore it. But once you cough up the case number and attorney, collectors have a process on how to deal with that and will stop calling you.

Please update me on your progress by posting updates here in the comments section of your question. I’m very interested in how this works out for you.

Sincerly,
Steve

You are not alone. I'm here to help. There is no need to suffer in silence. We can get through this. Tomorrow can be better than today. Don't give up.

P.S. Be sure to read ‘The Secret of Surviving Through Difficult Economic Times. What I Learned On My Journey‘.

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About the author

Steve Rhode

Steve Rhode is the Get Out of Debt Guy and has been helping good people with bad debt problems since 1994. You can learn more about Steve, here.

7 Comments

  •  Question – My husband and I will hopefully file for Chapter 13 soon.  What worries me (well a LOT worries me!) is that we have a mortgage, a car loan (both current) and we also have two checking accounts there.  (One is my husband’s work travel account, but under his name).  The car loan will be included in the bankruptcy.  Will the bank penalize us in any way for “defaulting” on the car loan?  Can that affect our mortgage with them?

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