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When a person files for bankruptcy, any of his or her debts are forgiven or included in a payment plan approved by the court. We briefly discussed last week how it is possible for people to go ahead and pay for discharged debts if they want to do so. That, however, isn’t a requirement for Florida bankruptcy cases. While it isn’t very common, it is possible that some people who file bankruptcy will end up being harassed by creditors who are trying to collect on a debt that was discharged.

One point that you can establish if you are in that situation is that you have filed for bankruptcy. If you have an attorney handling your bankruptcy, the debt collector must contact that attorney. The debt collector shouldn’t contact you.

Once you get off the phone with the debt collector, you should double check that the debt is one that was listed in your filing. You can find that by going over your filing paperwork. If the debt is listed and the debt collector still continues to call or collect the debt, you might find it necessary to take action against the debt collector.

Another point you should know when it comes to debt collection after bankruptcy is that some creditors might be able to repossess assets that are collateral. With that in mind, when a debt collector calls about a debt with collateral, such as a car loan company calling about a car that still has a balance due, you should learn about how you can keep your assets protected.

Source: Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, “Can a debt collector try to collect on a debt that was discharged in bankruptcy?” Dec. 19, 2014