The Automatic Stay & How It Can Help You


In chess, when you are outmatched and your opponent is closing in around you, it can be a helpless feeling. But the game’s not over until someone gets checkmate. When your back is against the wall in the game of chess, there’s one thing you can do stop his advancement and stave off elimination, at least for a period of time. If you are able to put your opponent in check, even if they are in no real danger and can easily escape, it can change the game. But by putting them in check, it forces them to play defense and keeps them from going on the offensive. By doing this, you buy yourself more time to catch up and potentially put yourself in a position to win.

When debt seems insurmountable and creditors and collection agencies are calling and moving in, the same ideas apply —you need to know how to make the right move. If your back is against the wall financially and creditors are closing in on you, there is one thing you can do to buy yourself some time to get back into the game. The way to “put your opponent in check” is a useful kind of protection that bankruptcy law provides called the automatic stay.

If you are are facing the threat of eviction, foreclosure, lawsuits from creditors, or repossession, filing for bankruptcy may be the option that makes sense. The moment your bankruptcy is filed, the automatic stay is put in place. This automatic stay buys you time in a number of different ways.


If a creditor decides to file a lawsuit against you, the automatic stay will stop the lawsuit from proceeding. In fact, it makes it illegal for creditors to obtain a judgment or pursue a lawsuit after bankruptcy has been filed. This does not apply to all lawsuits. For example, it does not apply to any domestic violence case, criminal case, paternity case, child/spouse support case, or the restriction of a license.


If you are being threatened with having your electric, water, gas, or telephone service cut off, the automatic stay will keep that from immediately happening.


One of the worst parts of being in financial trouble is dealing with creditors. The automatic stay will keep creditors form harassing you or contacting you in any way. They will also be unable to collect any money or property from you once the bankruptcy is filed.


As long as the bankruptcy is filed first, the automatic stay can help you to postpone or avoid eviction or foreclosure. Your property cannot be repossessed while the automatic stay is in effect as well. This buys you time to get current on what you owe in an effort to keep your property.

All of this is designed to give you time and options. It isn’t a permanent fix, but it can allow you to catch up on mortgages and car notes, negotiate with creditors, and give you time to find replacements for property that you may eventually lose.

If you are under financial pressure and your back is against the wall, here at Grand Law Firm we can help. We have the knowledge and experience to help you get out from under that financial pressure and give you a fresh start. For a free consultation, contact us today.

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