The New York Times recently wrote about announcements from Bank of America and JPMorgan Chase that the banks will be updating consumer credit reports to remove debts discharged in bankruptcy proceedings. The move comes following a series of lawsuits alleging that several creditor banks have not only failed to accurately report information to the credit reporting agencies, but have also been caught selling discharged debts to third party collectors who attempt to collect debts discharged in bankruptcy. An attempt to collect a discharged debt is often a violation of federal law. Under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, consumer debts including medical debt, and personal credit card debt cannot be collected following a discharge in bankruptcy. Yet, as the New York Times reports, it is not uncommon for collection letters, phone calls and even lawsuits to resume after the finality of bankruptcy proceedings.
If you believe that you are being subjected to collection efforts on debt that has been discharged in bankruptcy, you may be entitled to monetary relief and injunctive relief including a stop to collection efforts and repair to your credit history if negative information was reported following discharge. Often times, a client’s relationship with their bankruptcy attorney ends at the time of discharge. It is advisable that you seek professional help from an attorney who practices financial consumer rights litigation. Do not assume that an attorney you previously worked with is aware that collections are continuing.
AS REPORTED IN THE NY TIMES MAY 7, 2015