When you file either a Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy petition, an “automatic stay” immediately goes into effect. The automatic stay prohibits most creditors from continuing any and all collection actions against you, including wage garnishments and car repossessions. After you file for bankruptcy relief, creditors are not even allowed to talk to you and all communication must go through your bankruptcy attorney. The automatic stay is very powerful and puts the full weight of the United States Bankruptcy Court to work for you. The automatic stay arises the minute your bankruptcy case is filed and makes certain your creditors leave you alone.
In some cases, you have a very short window of opportunity to get a repossessed car back if you can file a Chapter 13 bankruptcy and catch up on your car payments through your Chapter 13 plan. You might even be able to reduce the amount of your car loan in Chapter 13 if the value of your car is less than the amount of your loan and your loan has been open more than 2.5 years.
If a creditor violates the automatic stay after you file a petition in either Chapter 13 or Chapter 7, you have the right to bring the creditor before the court for contempt and to ask the court to impose fines and/or sanctions on the creditor. Bankruptcy Court judges do not take kindly to creditors who ignore the automatic stay, and these judges have been known to punish creditors severely. Very simply, once you file for bankruptcy, creditors must stop harassing you, release wage garnishments, and stop all collection efforts or suffer the consequences.
Once you reach out for the help that only filing bankruptcy can provide you can immediately benefit from the effects of the automatic stay! No more phone calls. No more collection letters. No more lawsuits. No repossessions. No foreclosures. No more threats. No more wage garnishments. Nothing. It’s the law.