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Regardless of whether you file a Chapter 7, Chapter 11, Chapter 12 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy, the filing of a bankruptcy petition triggers an “automatic stay”. In short the automatic stay prevents creditors from trying to collect from you without specific authority from the United States Bankruptcy Court. Creditors cannot continue to call, send collection letters or garnish your wages. Once in bankruptcy the automatic stay prevents yourmortgagee from continuing foreclosure proceedings. The purpose of the automatic stay is to give honest debtors breathing room so to reach the best decision of how to handle their debts and assets. Certain debts – such as secured debts – are covered by the automatic stay, but other conditions apply.
While it is important to understand what the automatic stay in bankruptcy is, it is equally important for debtors to have a full understanding of what the stay is not. While the automatic stay stops creditors from continuing to attempt to collect past debts, it does not give a debtor license to stop paying mortgage payments, rent or other ongoing debts going forward. The automatic stay gives breathing room, it is not to be confused with a discharge. The automatic stay simply forces your creditors to participate in the bankruptcy process, and receive payment (if any payment is available) under the priority scheme established by the Bankruptcy Code. Creditors may not exercise self-help methods of collection, proceed with state court actions, with foreclosure proceedings or sales, or repossess vehicles without first obtaining relief from the automatic stay.
An attorney at the Law Offices of James Wingfield can discuss the specifics of the automatic stay as it would pertain to your specific situation. To schedule a free initial consultation visit the contact page on this website or call us at 508-797-0200.
The United States Bankruptcy, District of Massachusetts
11 U.S.C. § 362 – Automatic Stay
How can the Automatic Stay keep me in my home?
How Often Can I File For Bankruptcy?
The Law Offices of James Wingfield is proud to be a debt relief agency. We help the individuals, families and small businesses of the Worcester area file for bankruptcy relief under the United States Bankruptcy Code. The Law Offices of James Wingfield serves Central and Western Massachusetts clients in Worcester County, Hampden County, Hampshire County and Middlesex County including Worcester, Shrewsbury, Springfield, Westborough, Southborough, Framingham, Northampton, Natick, Amherst, Fitchburg, Leomister, Douglas, Uxbridge, Gardner, Belchertown, Holyoke, Wilbraham and Chicopee. The information contained and obtained in this website does not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice. Contacting us, be it through this website, via email of by telephone does not create an attorney-client relationship. An attorney-client relationship is only created upon execution of an engagement agreement or fee agreement.