By Robert J. Semrad | Published October 31 2016 |
The Power of the Automatic Stay
If you are behind in your bills, you’ve probably gotten letters from you creditors as well as phone calls threatening to take action to collect on your debts. As if the harassing phone calls aren’t enough, your various creditors could also:
- Shut off your utilities
- Foreclose on your home or evict you from your apartment
- Sue to get a judgment for the amount you owe and a court order to garnish your earnings
- Repossess your vehicle(s)
Fortunately, there’s a way you can stop this cascade of dominoes. You can halt your creditors in their tracks and keep them at bay while you work on a plan to resolve your finances. The answer is bankruptcy.
For many consumers facing overwhelming debt, bankruptcy provides a way to wipe their slate clean and get a fresh start. When you file for bankruptcy, the court issues an automatic stay. That is a court order to your creditors that they cannot contact you in any way to attempt to collect what you owe. The protection of the automatic stay means:
- No more creditor phone calls
- No disruption of essential services
- No foreclosure or eviction
- No lawsuits over your debt
- No repossession of your car, truck or other property
The bankruptcy court decides who gets paid and how much. If you file for Chapter 7, the automatic stay lasts throughout the bankruptcy process, and afterward the court discharges your remaining debt. If you file Chapter 13, you must abide by your court-approved repayment plan for the term of the plan, and then the court discharges your remaining debt. In neither case can a creditor defy the automatic stay and make an end run around the bankruptcy court. From the moment you file, creditor harassment is over.
If you have significant debt, it may be time to consider bankruptcy. An experienced Atlanta attorney at DebtStoppers can explain everything you need to know to make an informed decision. To schedule a free consultation, call DebtStoppers today at 678-673-2142 or contact our office online.