Bankruptcy Automatic Stay Attorney in Vancouver, Washington
Bankruptcy Automatic Stay might be discouraging and a hassle to deal with if you are not prepared. The automatic stay is put into effect as soon as the bankruptcy petition is filed. This can start a chain reaction that might end with your personal property being seized and sold at a public auction.
Incurring debt, mismanaging your funds, or an unfortunate medical emergency could make you think that you may need to file bankruptcy and surrender some of your property rights. Having an attorney in your corner who can keep the automatic stay lifted is a much better option than choosing to face the automatic stay by yourself.
At Robert Russell Law Office, we understand that you need a bankruptcy attorney who will give you peace of mind. We will review the details of your situation and carefully negotiate with creditors on your behalf. Your questions and knowledge gaps will be addressed openly with sound, practical advice that is easy for you to understand and implement. If you need help, give us a call today.
Why Do I Need a Bankruptcy Automatic Stay Attorney in Vancouver, Washington?
You’re going through a rough time, and you need help. That’s why you seek a Vancouver bankruptcy attorney to help you get an automatic stay on your creditors.
Many great attorneys are out there, but not all are created equal. You want an attorney knowledgeable in bankruptcy law and practice and well-versed in the local courts’ practices. They should be able to answer your questions about what happens next and help you understand how best to pursue your goals. And even though you’re living through some pretty stressful times, finding someone who makes you feel comfortable rather than overwhelmed or pressured is still essential.
When considering how to move forward with your case, the best place to start is with an attorney who understands all of the intricacies of this type of legal procedure.
- Be sure to find a bankruptcy automatic stay attorney that knows what they’re doing
- An attorney’s education level, proficiency, and experience matters
- Ask about their experience specifically in working with clients on cases like yours
Why Choose Robert Russell Law Office?
The process of filing for bankruptcy can be confusing, so you want to ensure you’re working with an experienced attorney who knows the ins and outs of the legal system. Robert Russell Law Office is a firm that has been helping clients in Vancouver, Washington, since 1997. Our lawyers have years of experience in bankruptcy and creditors’ rights law and are committed to providing excellent service to our clients.
We’re here for you if you need help with a Chapter 7 bankruptcy discharge or Chapter 13 bankruptcy repayment plan. Call us at ((360) 946-0122 today to schedule your initial consultation! Our firm will work hard to ensure that you get all the protection provided by the automatic stay and that you don’t have to face your creditors alone in court.
What is Bankruptcy Automatic Stay?
A court order known as the automatic stay immediately halts most civil lawsuits filed against you and most collection actions taken against your property by creditors, collection agencies, or government entities when you file for bankruptcy.
The automatic stay might be a strong justification for filing for bankruptcy. If you’re in danger of losing essential resources like utility services or a portion of your paycheck due to wage garnishment, bankruptcy may help you temporarily and even permanently.
What an Automatic Stay Can Prevent?
An automatic stay is a tool that gives Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 debtors clear benefits.
There are a few places it can be helpful, but keep in mind that its effects will only be temporary. Here are some:
- Foreclosure: As long as your bankruptcy case is open, an automatic stay will stop foreclosure proceedings.
- Eviction – Stays can be beneficial for tenants, but the relief is not as permanent as in the case of foreclosure. The eviction relief may be temporary, but the landlord may request that the stay be lifted while the bankruptcy filing is still active.
- Collecting overpaid public benefits – If you received any overpayments, such as Medicare or unemployment benefits (Covid19 benefits come to mind), an automatic stay prevents creditors from garnishing the excess money. Note: It doesn’t stop the agency that gives you benefits from stopping payments.
- Disconnection of utilities – While an automatic stay won’t pay off any outstanding utility bills, it can stop the disconnection of your utilities for at least 20 days.
- Multiple wage garnishment—You can get a stay to stop your wages from being garnished. By declaring bankruptcy, you may be able to permanently stop the garnishment of your wages if the debt that caused it is discharged.
What Cannot be Prevented by the Automatic Stay?
Occasionally, the automatic stay will not be helpful.
- Specific tax procedures. The IRS can still conduct an audit, issue a tax deficiency notice, request a tax return (which frequently leads to an audit), issue a tax assessment, and demand payment of such an assessment. The automatic stay prevents the IRS from temporarily issuing a tax lien or securing your property or income. Whether you will be responsible for the tax after your bankruptcy depends on whether the tax is discharged under Chapter 7 or whether you pay the debt under Chapter 13.
- Disciplinary proceedings. The automatic stay will not prevent a criminal proceeding. For example, if you were found guilty of writing a bad check, sentenced to community service, and told to pay a fine, filing for bankruptcy won’t stop you from having to do community service. If the fine were a punishment, you’d also have to pay it.
- Long-term debt from a pension. Despite the automatic stay, money can be deducted from certain pensions to repay a loan (including most job-related pensions and IRAs).
- Support actions. A bankruptcy filing does not stop a lawsuit filed against you to establish paternity or to establish, modify, or obtain child support or alimony.
- Multiple submissions. If you had a pending bankruptcy case during the preceding year, the stay would automatically terminate after 30 days unless you, the U.S. Trustee, the trustee, or a creditor ask for the stay to be extended, demonstrating that the current case was filed in good faith. If a creditor had a pending motion to lift the stay in the prior case, the court would assume that you acted in bad faith, and you will have to overcome this presumption to obtain the stay in the current case.
How Long is an Automatic Stay in Effect?
An automatic stay is in effect as long as your bankruptcy is active. The duration of your stay will be determined by the type of bankruptcy you file. Typically, Chapter 7 takes a few months to write. Chapter 13 could take between three and five years to complete.
However, if you have had another bankruptcy case dismissed within the past year, the automatic stay will only be in effect for 30 days. You may not be granted a stay if you have additional pending cases.
What Occurs once an Automatic Stay has been Lifted?
Since an automatic stay prevents most debt collectors and lawsuits from contacting you, lifting a stay or closing a bankruptcy case allows them to do so again.
Before the bankruptcy case is completed, creditors and debt collectors can also submit a motion to remove (or lift) the stay. The court may grant the creditor’s request if they can demonstrate that an automatic stay harms their business by demonstrating that they are losing money. However, this is typically determined case-by-case, and not all courts will lift an automatic stay.