I've filed bankruptcy, Chapter 7 and they keep sending collection letters to my mother-in-law's house. Is there a form I need to report them to the bankruptcy court? The debt is already included in my filings and the law firm is on my creditors matrix.
I've also never used my mother-in-law's house as a mailing address and never lived with her.
You need to send a strongly worded letter stating that their continued attempts to collect are a violation of the automatic stay and that you will take action if they continue. Point out in the letter that they have received notice of the bankruptcy case already, and you are merely sending this as a courtesy. Then, if they do continue, you can file a motion with the court seeking sanctions against them for a willful violation of the Stay. You will probably need an attorney to assist you with that.
Mark J. Markus, Attorney at Law
Lawsuit / Dispute Attorney
Contacting family members for no reason violates both the automatic stay of your bankruptcy court petition and the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. If you wish to pursue this, you need to file the appropriate pleadings with the bankruptcy court for these violations. A letter does nothing, if they are still ignoring the bankruptcy petition, as they were sent notice of your case, per the creditors matrix.
I'd recommend your having legal counsel assist you with this matter. Please note that the limitations period is one year from date of the harassing letters and any other violations you may find.
A letter is good for starters. Always send it certified. If they continue to harass you and your bankruptcy attorney is unwilling or unable to prosecute the action for you then consider contacting my office. I handle these on a contingency basis with no out of pocket fees to you in the event I cannot get you any money. The more attempts to resolve the matter informally the better your case/damages will be which is why it is important to send everything certified mail.
Mr. Larkin is a San Diego Bankruptcy Attorney and is licensed in California. His response here does not constitute legal advice and does not create an attorney/ client relationship. The response is in the form of legal education and is intended to provide general information about the matter in question. Many times the questioner may leave out details which would make the reply unsuitable. Mr. Larkin strongly advises the questioner to confer with an attorney in their own state to acquire more information about the specifics of their case.