07 Aug Losing A Job For Filing For Bankruptcy & Fair Credit Reporting Act Violations
Many clients wonder if they will lose their job if they file for bankruptcy protection. The answer in the majority of cases is no, you will not lose your job if you file for bankruptcy. It is actually against the law to fire an employee for filing for bankruptcy; this provision is found in the bankruptcy code. The other issue with jobs if you do not file for bankruptcy if a creditor pulls your credit and see a lot of unpaid bills, that could hurt your chances of landing a job. Once you get your bankruptcy discharge all of the negative payment history and the dischargeable debt goes away. This cleans up most people’s credit report, leaving it cleaner than before the bankruptcy happened.
Of course certain jobs may have requirements preventing someone from filing for bankruptcy, so it is a good idea to check with your current employer to see if they have any restrictions. In most cases employers would probably want an employee to file for bankruptcy, because it relieves the financial stress that may otherwise harm their productivity at work. If an employee is debt free and without financial strain, they can focus their energies on their employment, instead of calls and letters from bill collectors.
If you are currently getting calls and letters at your place of employment, it is possible that it is a violation of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act provides for money damages and attorney fees if a creditor violates rules regarding how they can collect debt. One thing they cannot do is call you at work after you have told them to stop calling, the last thing debt collectors should do is something that affects your livelihood. In some cases creditors even call and write letters after a client files for bankruptcy protection. In most cases this is also a violation of the FDCPA and the bankruptcy automatic stay. If you have any of the above issues happen to you our office may be able to help. A recent article reported that around 35% of Americans face some form of bill collection efforts. This can be for simple mistakes or the inability to payback high interest rate credit cards.
It seems that once you are in the collection system it is hard to explain that you do not actually owe the money even if the creditor makes a mistake. The area where this really hurts consumers is when the creditor places this inaccurate information on somebody’s credit report. The remedy consumers have is to dispute the inaccurate information in the hopes that it will be corrected, and if that does not work they can hire an attorney to sue under the Fair Credit Reporting Act.
The ability to report on a individuals credit is a powerful tool and one that is often used with impunity by collection agencies, in some cases they do not do basic research or head consumers complaints about the information being inaccurate. All it takes for these agencies to report negative information on your credit, is a billing mistake from their client. This happens all the time in regards to medical bills. Once that negative information is reported in can have devastating effects on your credit, all for a debt that is being disputed or that was placed in collections by mistake. Your credit is nothing more than a tool for these collections agencies to wield to force you to pay a bill that may not be accurate.
The reason why this commonly happens in medical billing is that it is not always clear what the insurance company pays and what you need to pay. This is further complicated by the fact that some providers in hospitals do not accept the insurance you have, but still work on you in the hospital, even though the hospital accepts your insurance. This may leave you thinking that all the bills are covered, when in fact, you may need to call the hospital or your insurance company to get a bill paid. If you do not call to find out if the bill should be paid by insurance, you could end up in collections for a bill that should have been paid by insurance.
In Minnesota some of these medical bills collectors always report on credit, and they rely 100% of the faulty information reported to them by their client. The only way to stop this from happening is bringing suit against these collectors under the Fair Debt Collections Practices Act, forcing them to actually investigate disputes, and not place inaccurate information on credit reports. It seems too easy to ruin a person’s credit by inaccurate reporting of medical and other bills. The power to report on credit should not rest with these collections agencies. If you are having problems with these issues, give our office a call.