Bank of America will pay for trying to collect discharged debts
Many people in Atlanta benefit from filing Chapter 7 bankruptcy in order to obtain a fresh financial start and rid themselves of creditor harassment once and for all. Filing bankruptcy can grind creditor harassment to a halt, as well as allow people to discharge debts or reorganize them into more affordable plans.
Unfortunately, as the Wall Street Journal recently pointed out in a report, in some cases banks overstep boundaries even after a person has filed bankruptcy by continuing attempts to collect debts that have been discharged.
When a debt is discharged, the slate is supposed to be wiped clean. Discharging a debt means a consumer is no longer legally obligated to pay it. In fact, the consumer should not pay it.
Bank of America, however, is one bank that has recently come under fire for harassing consumers over discharged debts. In one case, the large bank badgered a couple by mail and over the phone about paying a home loan that the couple had already been relieved of in Chapter 7 bankruptcy.
A judge has now ordered the bank to pay $10,000 for every month that it continues to contact the couple about the loan. The bank has also been ordered to pay the couple’s attorney’s fees.
It is disappointing that banks are continuing to disrespect the rights of consumers. Filing bankruptcy should allow consumers to start fresh and become freed of creditor harassment. Consumers in Georgia should take note that creditors do not have the right to force the payment of discharged debts. Those who are being contacted about debts that have been discharged should seek legal counsel.
Source: Wall Street Journal, “Bankruptcy Judge Sends a Message to Bank of America,” Peg Brickley, Oct. 4, 2013