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Irvine Bankruptcy Lawyer / Automatic Stay in Bankruptcy

If you are to the point where you are filing for bankruptcy, you have already reached a stressful time in your life. You are overwhelmed by a mountain of debt, and time may be of the essence. Creditors and bill collectors might be knocking down your door, and some might already have gone so far as to garnish your wages, put a lien on your property, repossess your car or institute foreclosure proceedings on your house. You need help and you need it now, but bankruptcy can take months to complete. What do you do in the meantime?

This is where the automatic stay comes in. The automatic stay is a powerful feature of a bankruptcy filing that provides you with immediate protection and relief. Learn more about the automatic stay below. For help with Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Orange County, Los Angeles, or all of Southern California, call The Law Office of Charles A. May for a free consultation with a knowledgeable and dedicated lawyer.

What Is the Automatic Stay in Bankruptcy?

The automatic stay is a legal injunction that goes into effect as soon as you file for bankruptcy. This provision temporarily halts most actions by creditors to collect debt from you. In simpler terms, it acts like a financial “pause button,” providing you with the breathing room you need to reorganize your finances under the protection of the bankruptcy court.

Types of Actions Halted by Automatic Stay

The automatic stay impacts a variety of financial transactions and proceedings, including the following:

  1. Foreclosure Proceedings: If your home is at risk of foreclosure, the automatic stay will temporarily halt the foreclosure process.
  2. Wage Garnishments: Creditors won’t be able to garnish your wages while the automatic stay is in effect.
  3. Utility Disconnections: You get a reprieve of at least 20 days from utility disconnections, like water and electricity.
  4. Evictions: Although there are exceptions, the automatic stay may delay eviction proceedings for a short period of time
  5. Collection Calls and Lawsuits: All collection efforts must cease, offering you peace of mind as you work on restructuring your debts.

Limitations and Exceptions

While the automatic stay is powerful, it is not without limitations. Certain obligations, such as actions to collect past-due alimony or support, are not halted. Also, if you have filed for bankruptcy multiple times within a year, the automatic stay might only last for a limited period or not apply at all.

How Long Does the Automatic Stay Last?

The automatic stay remains in effect until the bankruptcy court lifts it, or your bankruptcy case is closed or dismissed. In Chapter 7 bankruptcies, this is often when the debts are discharged. In Chapter 13 cases, the stay usually lasts until the repayment plan is completed.

Taking Advantage of the Automatic Stay

To ensure you fully benefit from the automatic stay provision, it is essential to consult with experienced legal professionals. The Law Office of Charles A. May offers comprehensive guidance in consumer bankruptcy cases, helping you navigate the automatic stay and other essential bankruptcy features tailored to your unique financial situation.

Contact The Law Office of Charles A. May for Help With Bankruptcy

The automatic stay in bankruptcy is one of the most immediate and effective tools to halt stressful collection activities, giving you time to breathe and plan your financial future. Remember, however, that it might not apply to every situation you are facing. Consulting with a knowledgeable bankruptcy attorney can help you understand how the automatic stay applies in your case and what you can expect.

For skilled and compassionate help with Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Orange County, Los Angeles and all of Southern California, call The Law Office of Charles A. May for a free consultation.

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