Generally when a debtor files for bankruptcy there is an automatic stay.
There are a few circumstances where the stay might be for a limited time
period or not automatic at all. This is usually when a debtor has recently
had a pending bankruptcy case. It is important that you inform your
attorney of all prior bankruptcies so that he/she can determine whether any
additional motions need to be filed.
The protection of the automatic stay, explained in Section 362 of the
Bankruptcy Code, provides protections for individuals filing for bankruptcy
from garnishments, bank account freezes, repossessions, and foreclosures.
If you are aware of an immediate threat of any of these issues you should
inform your attorney. He/she may take additional steps, including sending
a fax to the attorney handling the collections, to notify that individual
as quickly as possible that you have filed a bankruptcy.
If you are facing a foreclosure you should speak with an attorney as soon
as possible. Filing for bankruptcy can stop a foreclosure, but only if the
bankruptcy is filed before the house is foreclosed. If the threat of
foreclosure is immediate your attorney can file an emergency petition.
Basically, this provides enough information to stop the foreclosure. Over
the next 14 days you and your attorney will need to provide the court with
the rest of the required information to complete your bankruptcy filing.
If you are facing a repossession you need to consult an attorney and file
your bankruptcy as soon as possible. The emergency option, as discussed
above, is available in this situation also. However, in the case of
vehicles, it may be possible to have a vehicle returned after it has been
repossessed. There is a very limited time to have your car returned and to
have the vehicle returned you will have to pay fees incurred, potentially
including towing and storage fees.
If you are facing a garnishment you can file for bankruptcy to stop the
garnishment. As a practical matter sometimes checks are garnished after
the filing date because garnishments are often automatic and it may take a
few weeks to stop them. If this happens you are entitled to a refund of
any money garnished after your case is filed. Unfortunately, nothing can
be done to recover funds from before your case is filed.
If you have questions, or would like to schedule a consultation, contact a
St. Louis Bankruptcy Attorney Today.