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Can American Express Sue Me While My Bankruptcy Attorney is Preparing My Case? – Jane

“Dear Steve,

My husband and I had a business that we ended up closing as we got into severe debt. We closed it in 2008 june. We had nearly 180,000 dollars in debt and we took it as a personal loan as well as credit cards.

We were paying all our loans and credit cards on hardship programs till august and september on some.
In October we moved and we sold our property and moniess we brought with us…but had to pay taxes tht we owed from the business and then my hubby got laid off and i didnt have a job,…..so we went to a bankruptcy lawyer and only thing was most places these days are not hiring people who filed bankruptcy so we got jobs and now my amex has gone to a attorneys office…zwicker associates….telling me that they are going to sue if we do not settle.

And i had told amex previously we need a little time and we need to figure things out once we have a job. I mean from 35000 i got it down to 27000 but we owe other companies too and we have to file bankrutcy chapter 7 …we do not make enoough now and we just cannot do it. My question is can they still sue me while my attorney is preparing my bankruptcy case??? It’s the holidays what do i do?

Jane”

Dear Jane,

The first thing that jumped out at me was your statement “most places these days are not hiring people who filed bankruptcy.” Really? I have not found that to be true at all. Did you make this statement from an assumption or from personal experience?

Up until the moment your bankruptcy case is filed with the court, American Express or Zwicker Associates can sue you. It’s like you are running a race. You don’t officially finish with the race till you cross the finish line. Up until then you are someone that wants to finish the race. Nice, but irrelevant.

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People tell creditors and collectors all the time they will file bankruptcy and Amex and Zwicker have heard it so many times before it does not mean a darn thing. What does matter and what will stop them in their tracks is the bankruptcy case number assigned by the courts.

If you wanted, you could ask your bankruptcy attorney to contact them but that’s more informational than anything else and has no power to stop them if they want to file suit.

Obviously this has been brewing for some time. File as soon as possible. You don’t want the suit on your credit report.

What you do is call your bankruptcy attorney and ask your attorney what needs to happen to get your case filed as quickly as possible.

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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

  • An attorney is familiar with the rules and regulations of your state; hence, he can be the only option to solve your financial problem. Filing for bankruptcy is not at all a simple matter; you may sometimes become too worried to go through the process.

  • An attorney is familiar with the rules and regulations of your state; hence, he can be the only option to solve your financial problem. Filing for bankruptcy is not at all a simple matter; you may sometimes become too worried to go through the process.

  • dear steve can the trustee take my irs refund if i have already filed chapter 7 bankruptcy and have my case number.

  • Steve
    about the statement earlier, most jobs we applied asked us to do surveys and screenings always asked have you filed bankruptcy?
    When we asked the attorney he said they are these days doing that as they feel if the candidate was not good with his monies how can he handle theirs?

    jane

    • Jane,

      Here is a quote Deb just posted on another article. She said “Up to that time I struggled for 4 years to avoid BK at all costs and looking back afterward I can say it was the best thing that I could have done. I was debt free, had a fresh start, had credit offers within the first year, never faced trouble finding a job over it, and even got 2 loans (though not at the lowest interest available) within a year of it.”

      I really don’t understand the statement you heard about not getting jobs. Heck, you can even get a security clearance with a recent bankruptcy.

      Which is a bigger liability, a person with unresolved open debt problems or someone that took care of it and put it behind them.

      Steve

    • Jane,

      It is different depending on what part of the country you live in and some attorneys actually have payment plans available for it. Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcy have different prices with a Chapter 13 being about twice as much. I would urge you to contact a local bankruptcy attorney and go in and talk to them. This is not something you shop by price. Find one you like.

      Steve

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