Constant phone calls and letters from creditors and debt collectors are a major stressor — not to mention lawsuits filed against you. If you’re drowning in debt, chances are you already know you’re struggling and are desperately searching for a way out. The incessant pursuit by collection agencies can be an unnecessary reminder of your current struggles.
Filing for bankruptcy is an option that can help you manage your debts and give you hope for a fresh start. If you’re looking to file for bankruptcy, the automatic stay you are afforded upon filing can ease the anxiety over your financial situation by silencing creditors and debt collectors. Attorneys at Mariano & Coiro, P.C., are well-versed and knowledgeable in bankruptcy matters.
What is an automatic stay?
Bankruptcy law requires the temporary stoppage of harassment by collections agencies, government agencies and creditors. This is called an automatic stay and is generally enacted at the time you file for bankruptcy.
The automatic stay prohibits the pursuit of debts, including credit card debts, liens against your property or foreclosure against your house. However, there are some exceptions to an automatic stay. You may still have to pay child support payments, alimony, student loans and tax debts after declaring bankruptcy.
How long does an automatic stay last?
An automatic stay will immediately begin after you file for bankruptcy and will last for the duration of the bankruptcy until your debt is discharged, or your case is dismissed. Additionally, the length of the automatic stay may depend on whether you filed for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy. A Chapter 13 bankruptcy typically lasts longer than a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, which results in a longer automatic stay.
The number of times you’ve filed for bankruptcy, or if you have had any pending bankruptcy cases in the last 12 months, also affects the length of an automatic stay. In some cases, declaring bankruptcy won’t even result in an automatic stay, without first obtaining the court’s permission.
For example, if you’ve had a pending bankruptcy case in the last 12 months, your current filing could only result in an automatic stay of 30 days. Meanwhile, if you’ve had two or more pending bankruptcy cases in the last 12 months, an automatic stay will not automatically come into play. A court could order an automatic stay in certain situations of multiple filings, but it is not guaranteed.
Easing your mind during the bankruptcy process
An automatic stay plays an important role in alleviating the stress that stems from having a significant amount of debt, but it’s crucial to understand what an automatic stay can do for you. Another way to gain peace of mind throughout the bankruptcy process is by consulting an experienced bankruptcy lawyer. The team at Mariano & Coiro, P.C., bring over two decades in bankruptcy law to your case. Reach out today to speak with us.