A common misconception about filing bankruptcy is that a bankruptcy is only filed to protect a debtor from his or her creditors or collectors during times of financial hardship. Of course, those that find themselves in default on a mortgage or vehicle or are being sued by a creditor or collector are usually experiencing a downturn in their finances. However, some consumers may have passed through a time of hardship, have recovered, but are having trouble bringing their debts back to a current status. Any of these events, and others, can drive people into bankruptcy. What is not well known is that bankruptcy can be used not only as a shield to protect oneself from their creditors and collectors but also as a sword to combat creditors and collectors who are engaging in unlawful and unjust practices. In bankruptcy, the consumer (or debtor as one who files bankruptcy is called) can protect their property and assets while prosecuting claims against their creditors and collectors before the Federal Bankruptcy Courts. Indeed, Bankruptcy Courts, in many circumstances, enjoy what is referred to as supplemental or pendant jurisdiction. What this means is that claims that could be brought before a state court or a Federal District Court can be brought before the Bankruptcy Court while ones property and assets are protected. Whether claims arise from mortgage servicing abuse, mortgage modifications, Fair Debt Collection Practices Act violations or a number of other sources of consumer strife, the Bankruptcy Court may be the best venue to assert one’s claims. Hargis Law Office evaluates its potential client’s claims with this in mind and, in certain instances, will file a bankruptcy petition to get immediate protection and litigate issues that those clients face before the United States Bankruptcy Court. HLO offers free consultations to explore this method of litigation as an extra measure of protection.