As many of our clients and potential clients frequently express, one of the worst parts about falling behind on bills and accumulating debt is the creditor calls. Even when the bill collectors are professional and courteous, calls of this type are physically and emotionally draining. You may grow to dread the sound of your phone ringtone or going to check your mailbox. For many, it may seem that the creditor calls are unending and you may feel that you are under constant assault – even in your own home.
If the perceived harassment by creditors wasn’t bad enough, many people in this type of situation feel even more powerless because it may seem that no matter what they do, their debt only continues to grow. This is a horrible situation for any individual to face. The Philadelphia bankruptcy lawyers of Sadek & Cooper are proud to help Philadelphians and Pennsylvanians resolve debt through bankruptcy. One of the advantages of resolving your debts through Chapter 7 bankruptcy or Chapter 13 bankruptcy is the automatic stay. To discuss how bankruptcy’s automatic stay can stop creditor calls and help you get out of debt, call us at 215-995-2543 for a confidential consultation.
Bankruptcy’s Automatic Stay Can Stop Collection Attempts and Creditor Calls
One extremely welcome benefit of bankruptcy is what is known as the automatic stay. The automatic stay is codified in 11 USC Section 362. As the automatic stay’s name suggests, it goes into effect without the individual taking additional action when a bankruptcy petition is filed. The automatic stay will prohibit most creditors, bill collectors, and others from engaging in new or continuing collection activities against you. Aside from stopping collection actions, the automatic stay can also put a halt to evictions and foreclosures. The situations the automatic stay may address and mitigate include:
- Wage garnishments – If part of your wages are being captured to pay off debts, bankruptcy’s automatic stay can stop this action. Aside from permitting you to take home a full paycheck, a bankruptcy discharge may also allow you to eliminate the underlying debt.
- Mortgage foreclosure – If you are facing the foreclosure of your home, the automatic stay can provide some temporary relief permitting you to prepare to take more permanent steps to protect your home. An emergency Chapter 13 bankruptcy may be appropriate to stop the foreclosure.
- Eviction from your home – If you or your family is facing eviction, the automatic stay can provide some temporary relief. IF the landlord has already obtained a judgment for the premises, the automatic stay may not provide significant relief, however, it can often provide additional time to prepare a defense to the eviction.
These are only a few of the situations and benefits of bankruptcy’s automatic stay. The automatic stay may also be useful to prevent a utility (Electric, water, natural gas) shutoff. In certain cases, the bankruptcy filer may enjoy several of these benefits.
Why the Automatic Stay is Only Part of a Bankruptcy Solution
While the automatic stay does provide immediate relief, the relief is not permanent. Thus, one will generally need to complete a Chapter 7 or a Chapter 13 bankruptcy filing to address all aspects of the situation. While the automatic stay will prevent collection attempts for most debts, creditors can petition the court to lift the stay if it is not serving its intended purposes. Furthermore, certain debts such as child support obligations and certain tax debts are not affected by the stay. Finally, the temporary relief provided by the automatic stay is certainly welcome, but without addressing the underlying debt through bankruptcy, the root of the problem will remain. Thus, a discharge through Chapter 7 bankruptcy or through Chapter 13 bankruptcy is typically a necessary step in resolving your debts.
Work with a Strategic Bankruptcy Lawyer in Philadelphia
The bankruptcy attorneys of Sadek & Cooper approach every concern or situation strategically. We take the time to understand your concerns and goals before recommending a bankruptcy or non-bankruptcy solution to your debt concerns. To discuss how bankruptcy’s automatic stay can make creditor calls stop and help you resolve your financial concerns, call our law office at 215-995-2543 today.