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Ask Ellen Your Own Question
Ellen, Attorney
Category: Bankruptcy Law
Satisfied Customers: 36714
Experience:  Bankruptcy Lawyer. Experienced.
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A friend had his house sold for back taxes and moved out. He

Customer Question

A friend had his house sold for back taxes and moved out. He filed for a Ch. 7 bankruptcy, also. The city started sending him threatening letters about the grass on the property being in violation of city code. The city eventually mowed it and sent him a huge bill. Then a repair was done by the city on the water shutoff underground, also resulting in a bill to him. He contacted the city numerous times telling them he did not own the property any longer, and had filed and was granted a Ch. 7 bankruptcy, even showing them the discharge papers. He disputes these bills, but they are relentless in pursuing him for the money. They are now telling him they are going to attach his wages and personal property, including bank accounts. Can anything be done about suing the city?
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: Bankruptcy Law
Expert:  Ellen replied 6 years ago.

Thank you for your question.

since your friend sold his house he is no longer responsible for the house. thus he would not be responsible for the upkeep nor the tax liens on house. In order to attach your friends wages and personal property, the city will first need to file suit. Your friend will thus have the opportunity to be heard in court and present his defense.
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
And so, what about the city violating Federal law by harassing him over these bills which were discharged in bankruptcy?
Expert:  Ellen replied 6 years ago.

Your Could file an actionin federal court against the city under the FDCA based upon their threat to take an action that they cannot legally undertake.

It is a violation of the Federal Fair Debt Collection Act (FDCA) for a debt collector to use unfair tactics such as harassment, false statements, notify third parties or threaten acts they cannot legally undertake.

He may file suit in Federal Court for each violation of the Act.

I have attached the link to the FDCA for your review.

Federal Fair Debt Collection Act link: