Chapter 7 Automatic Stay
When you file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, the court puts in place an “automatic stay.” The stay automatically stops most collection actions against you, which means your creditors must stop trying to collect money from you to pay the debt while the bankruptcy is ongoing. While the stay is in place, your creditors generally may not start or continue a lawsuit against you, garnish your wages, or even make telephone calls to you demanding payments. For certain types of debts (i.e. when you’ve previously filed for bankruptcy), the stay is only in place for a short period of time, and creditors can ask the court to lift or remove the stay and allow them to continue trying to collect on their debt.
Legal Editor: James Shenwick, February 2015 (updated December 2017)
Changes may occur in this area of law. The information provided is brought to you as a public service with the help and assistance of volunteer legal editors, and is intended to help you better understand the law in general. It is not intended to be legal advice regarding your particular problem or to substitute for the advice of a lawyer.
Our lawyers are screened and approved – they have all gone through an application and interview process. Each lawyer we recommend has been screened for significant experience, knowledge of ethics codes and rules, and law office practices, including customer service skills and handling of fees and billing.
When you call us, you will be speaking with an attorney. One of our attorney referral counselors takes your call and talks with you about your legal question, or reviews your online referral request. There is no charge to speak with one of our attorney referral counselors -- we’re here to help.