Can a Debt Collector Collect on a Discharged Debt?

Can a Debt Collector Try To Collect On a Debt That Was Discharged in Bankruptcy?

As you navigate the world of personal finances, it’s crucial to understand the nuances of bankruptcy, especially the question, Can a debt collector try to collect on a debt that was discharged in bankruptcy?

Bankruptcy Basics

Bankruptcy is a legal status where an individual or business cannot repay the debts they owe to creditors. In most jurisdictions, bankruptcy is imposed by a court order, often initiated by the debtor.

What Does Bankruptcy Mean for Debtors?

When you file for bankruptcy, you’re essentially asking the court to discharge your debts. A discharge is a legal term that means you are no longer required to pay the debts that have been discharged.

Can a Debt Collector Try to Collect on a Debt That Was Discharged in Bankruptcy?

The short answer is No. If you’ve filed for bankruptcy, a debt collector cannot collect on debts included in the bankruptcy. If a debt collector continues to contact you, it’s essential to inform them of your bankruptcy case and provide them with your trustee’s contact details.

The Role of the Trustee

The trustee is an entity, usually an individual, responsible for administering bankruptcy cases. The trustee’s role is to communicate directly with the debt collector, alleviating you from the stress of dealing with these calls.

Possible Complications

Despite the rules against collecting discharged debt, complications may arise, causing debt collectors to continue their attempts.


Notification Delay: Your trustee will notify your creditors about your bankruptcy within five days of filing. However, the notification may take up to two weeks to reach the creditors, leading to a delay in the cessation of collection calls.

System Update Delay: Even if the creditors received the notice, they might not immediately update their system with the bankruptcy information, causing the calls to continue.

Involvement of Collection Agencies: If a creditor has handed over your account to a collection agency, the agency might not receive the notification promptly, causing the calls to persist.


How to Handle Persistent Collection Calls

If you continue to receive collection calls post-bankruptcy, remember to stay calm. Inform the debt collector about your bankruptcy filing. If they persist, provide them with your trustee’s contact details and ask them to communicate directly with the trustee.


Bankruptcy is a complex process with many moving parts.

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