Automatic Stay

The automatic stay goes into effect immediately upon the commencement of your case. The automatic stay makes it unlawful in most cases for creditors to take any action to collect a debt, including repossession, foreclosure, garnishments and levies. It prevents creditors from proceeding with lawsuits, sending collection letters and making phone calls. The automatic stay is hedged or conditioned in some circumstances. Filing bankruptcy will not stay acts to collect back support, including revocation of driver’s licenses or professional licenses. Creditors omitted from the official list of creditors are free to continue collection action even if they have actual notice of the bankruptcy. If a prior case is dismissed, the duration or even the existence of a stay is limited in subsequent cases. Landlords are free to complete evictions, even when the tenant-debtors are paying rent.

If a creditor continues to attempt to collect a debt, immediately notify the creditor in writing that you have filed bankruptcy, and provide them with either the case name, number and filing date or a copy of the petition that shows it was filed. If the creditor still continues to collect, you may be entitled to take legal action against the creditor.