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Photo of attorneys Shelley Slafkes and Bruce Levitt
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Stop Your Creditors Cold with an Automatic Stay

On Behalf of | Dec 18, 2018 | Bankruptcy Automatic Stay

No one has ever accused a creditor of being patient and understanding. To the contrary, stories of aggression, harassment, or hostility are the norm. If you have been trying to pay your debts, but continue to be on the receiving end of notices, threats, and collection efforts, you need a break. In fact, if you are reading this, it is because you are looking for solutions to this very real problem.

This is why the bankruptcy process exists, and regardless of whether it is the best choice for your circumstances, it is well worth your time to at least consult with a bankruptcy attorney to weigh your debt relief options. In becoming informed of your options, one of the most appealing aspects of bankruptcy relief that you will hear is the automatic stay, which is effectively a means of stopping your creditors cold.

An Automatic Stay Provides Fast Relief

An automatic stay is a temporary injunction that automatically issues at the outset of bankruptcy proceedings. Upon receiving notice of this stay, nearly all creditors are legally prohibited from the following actions against a debtor:

· Collection calls, notices, and harassment for payment. Under an automatic stay, creditors are put on notice that they are legally prohibited from continuing to harass you for money. This means those calls and voicemails from numbers you do not recognize must stop, or the guilty creditor can be held accountable for violating the court ordered stay.

· Pending lawsuits: If a creditor has a pending lawsuit against you for a judgment of what they allege you owe them, an automatic stay prohibits that creditor from obtaining a judgment against you as long as the injunction is in place.

· Eviction or foreclosure. If you are at risk of eviction, but your landlord has not yet obtained a judgment against you, the automatic stay will temporarily give you some cover against getting evicted. Likewise, an automatic stay will temporarily prevent the bank from foreclosing on your home while you work things out in your bankruptcy proceedings; however, it should be noted that bankruptcy does not eliminate the lien that your primary lender has on your house.

· Wage garnishment and levies. Besides foreclosure and eviction actions-which literally make debtors lose their homes-wage garnishment and levies are some of the most troublesome for debtors. Imagine struggling to make ends meet and attempting to repay your debts in good faith, only to get your paycheck docked or property taken from you. While the stay generally will not return the money or property that has already been paid or taken, it will prohibit continued garnishment or the threat of garnishment while the stay is in effect.

There are limits to the automatic stay. For example, the stay does not stop a debtor’s responsibilities involving specific types of financial responsibilities, such as child support orders, IRS tax obligations, or criminal liability. In addition, creditors have the ability to file a motion to lift the stay as to their rights to continue their collection efforts.

Let Levitt & Slafkes, P.C. Work For You

If you are interested in putting an immediate hold on creditor collection efforts, contact Levitt & Slafkes, P.C. You need an opportunity to get some breathing room, and the bankruptcy process may be your best option. For decades, we have dedicated ourselves to helping clients to successfully navigate the bankruptcy process. With our knowledge and experience, you can rest assured that you are in good hands while we help you achieve debt relief. Contact Levitt & Slafkes, P.C., at (973) 323-2953 today, or reach us online to schedule a free consultation.

We are proudly designated as a debt relief agency by an Act of Congress. We have proudly assisted consumers in filing for Bankruptcy Relief for over 30 years.