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Automatic Stay Protection

If you are behind on your car payment or mortgage payments and need some time to get your finances in order, bankruptcy’s automatic stay protections may be able to help you. The automatic stay is one of the benefits that those who file for Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 Bankruptcy receive. Although it does not offer protection against all debt collection activity (i.e. a child support action can still proceed), it does offer protection against many types of creditors. The automatic stay can offer you protection from:

  • A lender who is looking to foreclose on your house;
  • A bank or other creditor who is in danger of repossessing your car;
  • Creditors who are harassing you with collection activities;
  • A landlord who is about to initiate eviction proceedings;
  • A utility company who is threatening to disconnect your gas, electric, water, or telephone utility; and
  • A creditor or creditors who are looking to garnish your wages.

If you need help and protection from one of these creditors, it is important that you do not wait. One of the chief benefits of the automatic stay is its ability to offer protection quickly. Once a lender has foreclosed on your house or repossessed your car, it may be too late for the automatic stay to help. With eviction proceedings, for example, the automatic stay will not stop a landlord if he or she has already obtained a judgment of possession. Contact a Hayward Automatic Stay Attorney for help today.

What is the Automatic Stay?

Section 362 of the Bankruptcy Code is known as the “automatic stay.” The automatic stay is an injunction against the activities of certain creditors that goes into effect at the moment a petition for bankruptcy is filed. An injunction is, in effect, an order from the bankruptcy court that tells creditors they must stop collection activities. If a creditor willfully violates the automatic stay, they can be subject to any actual damages that the bankruptcy filer suffers, including costs and attorneys’ fees.

The automatic stay is a feature of bankruptcy that is common to both Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 Bankruptcies. In Chapter 7 Bankruptcy, the automatic stay can be used to protect the debtor’s exempt property, such as their house or car, from repossession or foreclosure. In Chapter 13 Bankruptcy, the automatic stay has the added benefit of giving the debtor more time to reorganize their finances and to decide on a Chapter 13 payment plan.

Although the automatic stay goes into effect immediately upon filing, it is important to know that a creditor, such as a mortgage lender, can seek the court’s permission to proceed with foreclosure activity. The same is true with an auto lender and car repossession. This is done through a Motion to Lift the Automatic Stay, and if the bankruptcy court grants the motion, the creditor is allowed to proceed. Ultimately, this means that although the protections of the automatic stay can be extremely helpful for many debtors, they are intended to be temporary while the debtor either reorganizes his or her finances or proceeds with bankruptcy.

Contact a Hayward Bankruptcy Attorney for Automatic Stay Protection Today

For many of the actions that an automatic stay offers protection against, time is of the essence. If you are worried about a home foreclosure, car repossession, or other type of creditor activity, contact an experienced automatic stay protection attorney today by calling us at 510-255-4646 or contacting us online. We can advise you about whether the automatic stay can protect you against your creditors and whether filing for bankruptcy is a good option for you.

The Law Offices of Melanie Tavare is a debt relief agency. We help people file for bankruptcy relief under the Bankruptcy Code


"Melanie is the best she very responsive and helpful throughout the process everything was taken care of smoothly. If you are thinking of going through bankruptcy she is the best attorney for you. I will forever be grateful having the chance to work with her. She is very honest too."


"I can't thank Melanie enough for helping me through a challenging process and doing so with incredible knowledge, professionalism and tenacity! She went to great lengths to keep me informed, she responded quickly to my questions, and communicated in terms that I could understand. I highly recommend getting in touch with Melanie should you have the need."


"Choosing to work with Atty. Melanie has been one of the best decisions I've ever made. She was a very patient professional to work with and attentive while providing valuable solutions to all of my concerns. If you are searching for of an Attorney who is knowledgeable, transparent, and diligent - well that's Atty. Melanie."


"What I liked about working with Melanie was how prompt and easy to work with she was. She made the process clear and understandable with as little stress as possible. I would work with her again and recommend her to others."