How long does it take after I file Bankruptcy until the creditors stop harassing me?

The short answer: just a matter of a few days.

There are two powerful forces working for you to ensure this happens promptly.  First of all, the “automatic stay” is a serious federal law that requires creditors to act promptly to stop all efforts to collect.  Secondly, the court has a modern, computerized system for delivering the automatic stay order to the creditors.iStock_000016201621Small_transp_2

The court mails a written notice to every creditor listed in your petition, usually the very day you file, or the next day.  Immediately upon filing your petition, the “Bankruptcy Noticing Center” in Herndon, VA has computer access to your information and prints and mails the notice of your filing. Creditors get the notices 2-3 days after you file, depending on the speed of the mail.  Some creditors are even enrolled in EBN (“Electronic Bankruptcy Noticing”) and get the notice electronically within hours of your filing.

Creditors must stop sending invoices and billing notices immediately, and most creditors diligently obey this rule.  Some smaller creditors may take a while to process your notice and stop your next scheduled bill; and even in large institutions like big credit card companies, it may take a week or so for your status to filter through their system, but it’s fair to say that after a week you should notice the quiet, and after two weeks they should all have disappeared.

Of course, if there is something urgent in your situation, like a foreclosure, threatened repossession, or wage attachment, we can (and often do) manually give notice to the creditors to stop those actions immediately.  And, once in a while creditors slip through the cracks and don’t get the notice because of a change of address or other glitch, and in those cases, we send a manual notice and correct the address on the court’s records so they get future notices.


But all in all, the system works with great efficiency and you will notice the phone calls, letters, and bills disappearing within days; and within 1-2 weeks, you will be enjoying the calm.


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