What is a Stay and How Can it Help You?

One of the more frustrating and difficult parts of being in a financial freefall is the non-stop badgering and harassment from creditors. When you are home, the phone is constantly ringing – no matter how often you let it go to voicemail. Those daily voicemails are humiliating. What’s worse, the piles of delinquent letters that fill your mailbox are constant reminders of your situation.

When you file for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy protection, the court grants an automatic “stay.” Once the stay is in place, your creditors must back off; the calls and mail must stop. A stay prohibits most creditors from continuing to take actions against you in attempts to collect the debt. In addition to that immediate relief, the automatic stay also affords you time to regroup and reorganize your finances.

Note: There are some instances in which creditors can still pursue a debt, even after an automatic stay has been granted. There are also circumstances under which a creditor may ask the court to lift the stay. To understand the specific details and nuances, call a bankruptcy attorney today.

In certain instances, an automatic stay can delay or event completely prevent certain things from happening. While a delay may only put off the inevitable, it will allow you to breathe and try to get yourself back on your feet. Preventing any of the following negative events is or near catastrophic things happening to you and your family.

• Eviction/foreclosure: If you’re behind on your rent, an automatic stay may prevent eviction or at least delay eviction. Same goes for foreclosures if you are behind on your home mortgage. The eviction or foreclosure may eventually go through, however, a stay may buy you some extra time.
• Utilities being terminated: If you’re only debt is a heat bill, it’s unlikely that it’s worth filing for bankruptcy, depending on how cold it is. However, if it is just one of many bills you can’t afford to pay, and a company is threatening to cut you off, filing for bankruptcy prevents termination of utilities for 20 days.
• Stops wage garnishment: Multiple wage garnishments can financially paralyze a person and an automatic stay stops wage garnishments.

If the incessant calls from creditors are becoming too much to handle, filing for bankruptcy protection may be the answer. Stop those calls and letters and get some time to get your financial life in order. Speak to a bankruptcy attorney for more information.

Joel R. Spivack, Esquire, has been a successful bankruptcy lawyer in Southern New Jersey for over 20 years. Contact the Law Office of Joel R. Spivack today for a free consultation. Call today at 856-488-1200. 

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Attorney Joel R. Spivack is an experienced bankruptcy and residential real estate transactions lawyer in Cherry Hill, New Jersey. Clients come to us for legal services, but what we really provide is peace of mind. For more than 30 years, Attorney Spivack has helped people make wise, informed decisions about bankruptcy filings, debt relief options and residential real estate transactions.
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