Consumer Bankruptcy Lawyer Giving Nevada Debtors Peace of Mind
Falling behind on bills is stressful. If you find yourself in this situation, creditors probably call you at all hours of the day and may send bullying letters in the mail. Some creditors may even bring garnishment actions to take money out of your paycheck. This type of treatment is disruptive and incredibly stressful. Is there anything you can do to get these debt collectors off your back?
The good news is that there is a relatively straightforward solution. It’s called the automatic stay, and once you file for bankruptcy, the court will contact all of your creditors and tell them to stop all collections actions immediately. An automatic stay can give you the peace of mind needed to complete your bankruptcy and get a fresh financial start. The Bankruptcy Law Office in Las Vegas has years of experience helping consumers stop collection actions, so call us today at (702) 997-4149.
How Do I Get an Automatic Stay?
Fortunately, you don’t really have to do anything to get an automatic stay other than file for bankruptcy. The lawyer who fills out your bankruptcy paperwork will list everyone to whom you owe money, including their phone numbers and mailing addresses. After you file your paperwork with the court, the court clerk will notify each creditor and tell them that you have filed for bankruptcy. This puts the automatic stay in place.
The automatic stay doesn’t last forever. Instead, it lasts only until the judge discharges your case. At that point, creditors can continue with their collection actions so long your bankruptcy did not wipe out their debts.
What Collection Actions Will Automatic Stays Stop?
In most cases, the automatic stay stops the majority of collections actions in their tracks. Once in place, the automatic stay will prevent your creditors from:
- Calling you about a debt
- Sending you collection letters
- Suing you in court
- Foreclosing on your home (temporarily)
- Garnishing your wages
To get the maximum protection from the automatic stay, you must give your bankruptcy lawyer a complete list and records of everyone to whom you owe money. If you accidentally forget and leave someone off of your filed paperwork, you should reach out to your attorney as soon as possible. Your attorney can quickly file amended paperwork with the bankruptcy court, which will notify your creditor of the automatic stay.
What Collection Actions Aren’t Stopped?
Although the automatic stay will resolve much of the debt you owe, there are a few exceptions. You should realize that the automatic stay doesn’t stop all creditors from collecting on debts. For example, creditors can still go ahead with:
- Actions to collect on unpaid child support and alimony
- Actions to collect on debts you incurred after you filed for bankruptcy
- Criminal proceedings against you
- Certain tax proceedings, such as audits or demands for payment from the IRS
When you meet for a consultation with your bankruptcy lawyer, you can review all of your debts and any ongoing or anticipated collection actions. If the automatic stay won’t stop a specific collection action, you can discuss other options with your lawyer.
Consequences of Ignoring the Automatic Stay
Some creditors might try to ignore the automatic stay and try to collect on a debt anyway—which is very stupid on their parts. Federal bankruptcy courts do not mess around, and once they enter a stay, they expect your creditors to follow it. Contact your bankruptcy attorney right away if any of your creditors try to collect on a debt during the automatic stay period. Keep detailed records, such as how they contacted you and when, as well as the names of people with whom you spoke. Then share this information and any documents with your lawyer.
Usually, creditors violate the automatic stay by accident. They might have overlooked the court notice or simply misplaced it. If they call, simply give them the details about your case, such as the court where you filed and your case number, which you can find on any bankruptcy paperwork. Alternately, you can refer them to your lawyer.
However, when a creditor repeatedly violates a stay, your lawyer can ask the court for an order demanding that the creditor stop contacting you. If the creditor continues to ignore the court, they can be ordered to pay money.
Instead of ignoring the automatic stay, some creditors might ask the bankruptcy court to lift it, which sometimes happens. Generally, a creditor can get the stay lifted if the debt is secured by property that isn’t insured or if you have defaulted on mortgage payments. For this reason, the automatic stay might only temporarily stop a bank from foreclosing on your property.
How a Las Vegas Bankruptcy Lawyer Can Help
Filing for bankruptcy requires that you be organized and detailed. The process isn’t overly complicated, but you’ll speed things up if you hire an experienced bankruptcy lawyer to whom you provide a complete list of your debts and creditors. The faster you can get to the courthouse to file for bankruptcy, the quicker you’ll get an automatic stay in place, which will finally get creditors off your back.
Instead of filing for bankruptcy yourself, find a qualified Las Vegas bankruptcy lawyer who gains your trust by explaining your options in plain English. Come up with a plan to pay your attorney that works with your finances and file your paperwork with the court as soon as possible.
Call a Las Vegas Bankruptcy Lawyer Today
Have collections taken their toll on your health and happiness? Seek peace of mind today by contacting a bankruptcy lawyer and filing for bankruptcy so that you secure your automatic stay. The Bankruptcy Law Office has years of experience filing consumer bankruptcies in Nevada and stopping collection actions cold. Reach out by calling (702) 997-4149 or by visiting us online.