No no’s for Creditors… (or, always get advice from an attorney before posting signs!)

Posted on September 10, 2009. Filed under: Chapter 13 Bankruptcy, Chapter 7 Bankruptcy, Consumer Alerts, Consumer Bankruptcy Attorney, Debt Collectors | Tags: , , , , |

A bankruptcy Court in Texas (In Re Collier, ED Texas) sanctioned a creditor for posting signs around a small community asking the debtor to come pay them:

“A creditor’s actions, after receiving written confirmation from a Chapter 13 debtor’s attorney of the existence of a bankruptcy case in the form of a printout from the Public Access to Court Electronic Records (PACER) system, in posting a sign on a public thoroughfare in the small community where the debtor and the creditor lived referencing the debtor’s unpaid debt, and asking, in capital letters, “WILL YOU PLEASE COME PAY ME!” was not merely an exercise of the creditor’s free speech rights to warn other parties that the debtor was not paying its debts. Rather, it represented an attempt by the creditor to shame the debtor into paying his debt to the creditor, for which damages could be awarded without violating the creditor’s First amendment rights.”

The lesson here is even if you are a creditor, always get advice from an attorney before you attempt to collect a debt, either before or after you get a notice from the bankruptcy court.   The advice from this for debtors currently in bankruptcy is to always report to your attorney any attempts to collect on a debt that you listed in your bankruptcy.  There may be remedies available to you to prevent this harassment.

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