The Automatic Stay

One of the most difficult aspects of having financial problems is being harassed by collectors for repayment. This harassment can include phone calls at home or at work, letters, and even garnishment notices sent to your employer. The collection tactics take a toll on your mental and physical health, since they can be draining, embarrassing, and downright hostile. To address this problem, Arizona bankruptcy filing includes an automatic stay – a stop – to all forms of contact from your creditors.

Filing for bankruptcy in Arizona evokes an automatic stay. This automatic stay is a special legal provision that immediately stops all creditors’ attempts to collect a debt during your case. For example, the automatic stay will immediately stop a wage garnishment or keep one from being started in the first place. There is an exclusion for garnishments to recover debts that are not dischargeable in bankruptcy, such as child support.

The automatic stay stops:

  • Garnishment or levies of wages or bank accounts
  • Collection attempts through harassing phone calls or letters
  • Starting or continuing any lawsuits
  • Repossession of assets
  • Foreclosure on property
  • Disconnection of utilities

The automatic stay provides time and protection for you while your bankruptcy filing is reviewed by the bankruptcy court to determine the rights of all of the creditors.

Since the automatic stay has an immediate effect, it is important to consult with an experienced bankruptcy attorney if your wages have been or will be garnished, if your home will be foreclosed, if your vehicle will be repossessed, or if your utilities are about to be disconnected.

The automatic stay will stop many unfortunate circumstances, but there are exceptions. Experienced legal advice is always a good idea, especially if you find yourself in any of the circumstances outlined above. A bankruptcy attorney can help you understand your rights and any alternatives that are available to you in addition to the automatic stay.