What is the Automatic Stay?


The bankruptcy process can be a hard and confusing one, but with a knowledgable Georgia bankruptcy attorney on your side, you can finally achieve the financial freedom you’ve been looking for. The automatic stay is a part of the bankruptcy process, but what does all of this mean for you and your finances? What is the automatic stay?

Automatic Stay

The automatic stay immediately stops all creditor actions upon the filing of a bankruptcy case. After a period of time, creditors are usually given the opportunity to seek relief from the automatic stay to continue their collection efforts.

The automatic stay is one of the fundamental protections for a debtor in bankruptcy.  Unlike much in the Bankruptcy Code, the automatic stay does precisely what you might think: it “stays” or “stops” creditors. When does it stay or stop creditor activity? “Automatically.”

What exactly does it mean?

Put into practice, the automatic stay will stop a creditor’s activities immediately upon filing the bankruptcy case. To name just a few of the nine broadly construed protections, creditors are stopped from continuing lawsuits against the debtor, repossessing property, or creating liens on the debtors’ assets.

Are there exceptions to the automatic stay?

Like most things in the law, there are exceptions. In fact, there are a bunch of exceptions (way too many to get into here). Most of the exceptions, though, are quite narrow and have limited application to most bankruptcy cases. Some exceptions have broader application, such as when a debtor may file several bankruptcy cases in a short period of time the stay may never apply at all.

Because bankruptcy attempts to strike a balance between protecting the interests of both debtors and creditors, creditors are not without their remedies. In many instances, creditors (or other interested parties) are allowed to seek “relief” from the automatic stay; that is, obtain a judicial ruling that the automatic stay does not or should not preclude them from collection activities. Specific stay relief grounds are well beyond the scope of this post and is something we will cover in a future entry (or, likely, multiple entries).

Need help from a Georgia bankruptcy attorney?

Wadkins & Wallace is ready to help you on your journey to financial freedom. Our experienced and compassionate team knows Georgia bankruptcy law, and we will use our knowledge to help you succeed. Contact us today by calling 706-221-9451 or by clicking here and you will receive a free consultation.