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How bankruptcy’s automatic stay stops creditor harassment

On Behalf of | Apr 29, 2023 | Bankruptcy

Many people in New Jersey have trouble staying on top of their bills, and if you count yourself among them, something like an unanticipated medical expense has the potential to make your growing debt seem insurmountable. If you are facing an ongoing stream of calls from creditors and see no realistic way to dig yourself back out of debt within a reasonable timeframe, it might be time to consider filing for bankruptcy.

According to LendingTree, once you start a consumer bankruptcy case, an “automatic stay” comes into play. In simple terms, the automatic stay refers to a time period in which many, but not all, of your creditors, must stop coming after you with payment demands. While the automatic stay remains in effect, the following collection efforts must cease.

Utility collections

If you have electricity, water or other providers threatening to shut off your services, know that they may not legally do so for a certain span while the automatic stay is in effect.

Wage garnishments

If someone has a judgment against you enabling them to garnish some of your wages, this also stops during the automatic stay period. So, you should continue to receive your paycheck in its entirety while the automatic stay is in place.

General creditor collections

If you have become tired of having creditors call you at home or at work, know that they must stop these efforts once you formally start your bankruptcy case.

While bankruptcy’s automatic stay may give you some breathing room when it comes to dealing with creditors, it does not absolve you from having to cover all debts you may have. For instance, any child or spousal support obligations you may have remain in place despite the automatic stay.