How to Stop Harassment From Creditors

Bankruptcy Lawyer Bryan W. Stone answers the question: “How do I find a bankruptcy attorney in Charlotte?”


In times of financial distress, the automatic stay granted during bankruptcy can be a lifesaver. Debtors seeking relief from the stress of mounting bills should retain an experienced Charlotte consumer bankruptcy lawyer who can help guide them through the bankruptcy process.


life-saver-Charlotte-Monroe-Lake-Norman-Bankruptcy-Lawyer-300x200An automatic stay is an automatic injunction that goes into effect immediately after a debtor files a petition for bankruptcy. Under Section 362 of the Bankruptcy Code, a stay freezes collection and enforcement actions by creditors, including but not limited to:


  • Actions to obtain a debtor’s property
  • Actions beginning or continuing lawsuits against a debtor
  • Actions to create, enforce, or perfect a lien against a debtor’s property
  • Garnishments or levies
  • Collection calls, letters, visits, or any other action by creditors to collect money
  • Repossession efforts


The stay also serves other purposes. It shields a debtor from creditors and provides debtors the chance to repair and reorganize their finances. It also puts all creditors on an even playing field, balancing the interests and rights of all creditors against each other in a way that directs an orderly distribution of repayment.


Length of Automatic Stays


The automatic stay remains in effect while a bankruptcy case is proceeding until either the property is no longer property of the estate, the debtor obtains a discharge (automatic stay then becomes a permanent injunction), a repayment plan under Chapter 13 ends, or the stay is lifted at the request of a creditor.


Notice of Automatic Stays


The court notifies creditors of a debtor’s bankruptcy, however, it is beneficial for a debtor or a debtor’s attorney to give notice to creditors to prevent creditors from moving forward with harassing collection efforts without knowledge of the stay. If a creditor tries to collect money from a debtor after this notice, the debtor has the right to sue the creditor and must notify his or her lawyer of such harassment immediately.




The automatic stay does not affect criminal prosecutions against debtors, actions involving payment of child support, alimony, or related divorce actions. Also, secured creditors may petition for relief from the automatic stay if they can show that the stay interferes or impairs with the creditor’s interest in the property.


North Carolina Consumer Bankruptcy Lawyers are Here to Help


The law regarding automatic stays in bankruptcy is complex, and the circumstances surrounding each bankruptcy are unique. The experienced and compassionate attorneys of Arnold & Smith, PLLC are here to help you file for bankruptcy relief under the Bankruptcy Code. If you are looking for a fresh start, contact us right away. We want to guide you through the bankruptcy process so that you can begin toward a better financial future. If you are contemplating bankruptcy in the Mecklenburg County, Iredell County or Union County area, please call the skilled lawyers at Arnold & Smith, PLLC at 704-370-2828 or find additional resources here.





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