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Before, during, and after bankruptcy, if you’ve hired an attorney to help you through the process: use her!

The first thing that happens upon retaining (hiring) a bankruptcy attorney is that you can direct all of your creditors to call her. They can’t speak to you if you are represented by counsel and you tell them that. Thank heavens for the Fair Debt Collections Practices Act.

And, if you are going to file bankruptcy, it’s usually okay and often advisable, to stop paying your unsecured non-priority debts. These are the bills that are probably going away. Stop paying them. If you’re not sure if you should pay something or not, call your bankruptcy attorney and ask.

Once you file the paperwork for the bankruptcy, you’ll have many questions. Speak to your attorney. She’ll know. She’ll be able to tell you what to expect at the Creditor’s meeting. She’ll be able to tell you what to do with the nasty bill or letter you got even though you filed for bankruptcy. Call her.

After the bankruptcy is over, ask your attorney what happens next. And call your attorney when a creditor calls. And always call when a creditor says you still owe them or the debt didn’t go away.

Recently, a client called me to ask if she did the right thing in having her father use his credit card to pay the creditor who called and told her she was going to jail that week if she didn’t make a payment right away! Amazing what lies creditors can come up with and what they can get naïve debtors to believe. We stopped the credit card charge, and I’ll deal with the creditor, but all that angst and upset could have been avoided if the debtor had simply called her attorney!

Call your bankruptcy attorney.

That’s why you hired one.

Carolyn Secor is a Clearwater bankruptcy attorney and Clearwater foreclosure attorney serving Palm Harbor, New Port Richey, Oldsmar, Tarpon Springs, Seminole, St. Petersburg, and the Tampa Bay area.

If you would like more information on our practice, please consult our website at or call 727-335-7151.