Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Automatic Stay In Bankruptcy

I was asked to write about the automatic stay in bankruptcy so this is a special request post.

If you are anything like I was you may be having a hard time before the bankruptcy with the harassing creditor calls. I didn't get much peace for nearly a year. The calls literally made me sick to my stomach and I eventually stopped answering the phone altogether.

That didn't stop it from ringing though and it made me flinch every time it did. It was a job in and of itself just to check my voice mail for the 10 percent of calls that I actually wanted to answer.

For this reason alone, once I made the decision to file, I couldn't wait to actually do it. It would take me a while to pay off the lawyer so he could file but I knew that once I filed the bankruptcy automatic stay would go into effect and my creditors would have to leave me alone.

In bankruptcy law, the automatic stay is an automatic injunction that halts actions by creditors to collect debts from a debtor who has declared bankruptcy...this means they cannot contact you about your debt through any medium for any reason! The automatic stay goes into effect the moment your bankruptcy petition is filed. This is the moment you begin to wipe the sweat from your entire body.

Talk to your attorney about your situation though because there are some exceptions. Secured creditors (creditors that have collateral backing the loan such as a car or house) can petition the court for relief from the automatic stay and it can be granted if they can show cause. Cause usually means that they have to show that there was some type of fraud committed.

When the debtor gets a discharge, the automatic stay is replaced by a permanent injunction prohibiting creditors from ever attempting to collect on those discharged debts. The permanent injunction does not apply to any debts acquired after the date of filing.

I hope this post satisfies the person that requested it. I'm gonna have a lot more to say about creditor harassment in the future but if you have any more questions about the automatic stay in bankruptcy, please let me know. I know there is much to cover.

As always..the best of luck to all!


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