THE AUTOMATIC STAY 11 U.S.C. 362(a)
The automatic stay commences immediately upon the filing of your bankruptcy and it is one of the most powerful protections afforded to you.
The automatic stay prevents creditors from:
- foreclosing/selling your home
- repossessing/selling your vehicle
- garnishing your wages
- levying your bank accounts
- calling you at home/work attempting to collect on a debt you owe
- commencing legal actions against you and sending you collection letters in the mail.
The automatic stay gives you the breathing space you need to get your finances back on track. If you are filing a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, the automatic stay ends the harassment of creditors until you receive your discharge, at which point the discharge injunction protects you from future harassment. If you file a Chapter 13, the automatic stay protects you while you reorganize your debts to catch up on your house payments and pay off your vehicles and other secured debts.
Actions a creditor takes against you in violation of the automatic stay is void and can subject the creditor taking the action to sanctions. A creditor who takes action against you or continues an action against you after they became aware of your bankruptcy filing are liable for any damages their actions caused. The creditor will also be responsible for your attorney’s fees.