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What is an Automatic Stay in Bankruptcy?

What is an Automatic Stay in Bankruptcy

What is an Automatic Stay in Bankruptcy?

When you file bankruptcy, all matters in which you are being sued for money/collections are stopped/stayed.

This is like a “pause” button on your debts.

However, when you file bankruptcy, most of your debts are wiped out.   The creditor can not collect or attempt to collect upon any debts while you are in bankruptcy.

When you file bankruptcy, your foreclosure/sheriff’s sale is also paused/stopped.

It is important to have a Board Certified Bankruptcy attorney handle your case.

Here is an example of a Debtor who decided to represent herself (pro se) and paid the price by not receiving protection/stay that she sought.


  • Pro Se Debtor filed for Chapter 13.
  • Filed a second Chapter 13 case pro se.
  • Debtor did not make a motion to have the 30-day stay extended and it expired.
  • Debtor attended Meeting of Creditors.
  • Debtor found out that the 30 day stay* had expired. (*which is basically a force field around you so creditors cannot touch your assets)
  • Debtor asked the Court to extend the automatic stay

 Court Ruling:

  • Court denied Debtor’s request to extend the automatic stay.
  • Debtor appealed.
  • Appellate Court denied appeal – the Debtor’s only excuse was that she was mistaken.
  • Bankruptcy code 362 (c) (3)(B) states she had only 30 days from the petition date to (1) file a motion to continue the automatic stay and (2) have the motion heard. 30 days means 30 days – no more.

As I always point out, Bankruptcy is a specialized field and pro se Debtors who handle their cases on their own are detriments to their goals.    Clients who have filed for a bankruptcy on their own or with an attorney who does not specialize in bankruptcy frequently ask me to take over the case.

Most times more work is required to take over a case than it is to start a new case.

Experienced and specialized representation is required before debtors go to Bankruptcy Court.   I am a Board Certified Bankruptcy Lawyer and I protect debtor’s assets.

A Bankruptcy Lawyer will know:   What is an automatic stay?   Also, what procedures and deadlines are required.

Call me for a free bankruptcy consult.   Ralph A. Ferro, Jr., Esq.  (201) 446-5904