Automatic Stay

How do you get an Automatic Stay?
The Law Firm of Christopher Hewitt has successfully filed bankruptcies in Riverside and Orange counties for almost twenty years. Suppose you are in a situation where you need to stop an imminent foreclosure, vehicle repossession, or lawsuit; our firm can help you file a Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 in an emergency time frame and get you an Automatic Stay (11 USC 362). Christopher Hewitt's experience in bankruptcy allows him to understand your situation quickly and act with haste under the law to get you results fast, including filing for emergency bankruptcy. If you cannot file for bankruptcy in Riverside or Orange County, you may consider Debt Settlement.

What is an Automatic Stay? 11 U.S. Code § 362

An automatic stay is an injunction imposed against your creditors trying to take action against you or your property. The injunction halts these creditors or collection agencies from taking any action against you, your assets, or your home. The injunction prohibits filing lawsuits, collecting debts, repossessing cars or other secured debt, garnishing wages, filing liens, or foreclosing on property. It will also stop creditors from calling and harassing you for payments. Utility companies will not be able to disconnect your service for 20 days. If an employer has already garnished wages, but the funds have not yet been credited to the debtor's account, garnishment refunds are possible through the Stay. In a foreclosure, if you get the automatic Stay even one minute before the deadline, the Stay will protect your home.

Read more about Automatic Stays:

Benefits of an Automatic Stay for the Debtor

An Automatic Stay grants people peace of mind to slow down and figure out their next step by presenting the debtor time to organize their finances through bankruptcy. Debtors facing evictions or car repossessions receive emotional relief and time to plan their next step. The harassing phone calls and emails will stop, and you can solve your financial issues with a clear head. It is important to note that filing for bankruptcy to get an Automatic Stay to avoid eviction will not make the debt go away; it will only kick the can down the road. If you are in arrears on your mortgage payment, you must find a way to pay back the amount owed to bring your account current before lifting the Automatic Stay to keep your home.

What if a Creditor Violates the Automatic Stay?
Willful Violations (11 USC 262 Subsection k): Individuals injured by willful violations of a stay may recover damages. If a creditor is well aware of your Automatic Stay but still attempts to collect or harass you for collections, they can be subjected to punitive damages by the court. The creditor must first rectify any damage they may have caused and can also face sanctions if they deliberately and intentionally violate the Stay. Sometimes creditors are unaware of the bankruptcy filing, and a warning is sufficient to change their actions. However, those creditors who violate the law can be subject to paying damages and attorney fees to the debtor.

How long can you have an Automatic Stay?
The Automatic Stay will last as long as your bankruptcy is ongoing and until your case is either discharged or dismissed. Depending on the debtor's debts, the value of their assets can affect how the automatic Stay will last and play out. Ultimately, a Chapter 7 will be much shorter than a Chapter 13 bankruptcy for an automatic stay.

Chapter 7 Automatic Stay
For a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, this will typically mean 3-4 months as the entire bankruptcy process only takes that long before discharge. Because the timeframe is much shorter, creditors only sometimes need to file a motion for relief from Stay. The debtor will usually either surrender the secured asset back to the creditor or retain and pay it through a reaffirmation agreement.

Chapter 13 Automatic Stay
Due to the length of a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, the Automatic Stay will last far longer. As Chapter 13 lasts 3-5 years, the automatic Stay will generally be effective throughout this period. However, if the debtor does not pay according to the Chapter 13 plan they have agreed with the court and any secured asset isn’t being paid for as approved, the creditor will likely file a motion for Relief From Stay. Once the Stay is lifted, the debtor loses their rights under this injunction and becomes subject to the risk of losing the secured asset.

Free Consultation
At the Office of Christopher Hewitt, we understand the complexities and emotional toll of the bankruptcy and automatic stay process. Our team actively safeguards your valued assets to the fullest extent the law allows. We will work closely with you to identify what matters most in your financial landscape and strive to achieve the best possible outcome. With our expertise and guidance, you can confidently navigate the bankruptcy journey, ensuring that your priorities are front and center. Let us be your trusted partner in securing a more stable and prosperous financial future. Call now for a free consultation.

Client Reviews
I highly recommend Christopher Hewitt. Chris was doing pretty good job on my case with full support from processing, scheduling and other questions. We are in desperate situation facing foreclosure and credit card debt at that time, he saved us. He has my highest recommendation with regard to his expertise. Rizal H K
We found the law office of Christopher Hewitt to be a pleasant relationship in our legal situation. The law office was always responsive and always treated my questions as important and answered very quickly. The law office always advised me and I got great advise on our situation. I would highly recommend this law office for your legal dilemma. John H
Ibegan a business relationship with the Law Office of Christopher Hewitt and dealt with Mr. Hewitt directly. I utilized his service in debt management and because of him i am debt free within 6 months!!! I cannot thank him enough for all the hard work he did and how effective he was with all my creditors. I definitely could not have been this successful with eradicating my debt if i had not employed Mr. Hewitt's services. I strongly recommend him and his Law Office to anyone looking for legal help. Thank you so much!!! Debra B.
The Law Office of Chris Hewitt was great at handling my debt settlement. I was able to speak directly with the attorney multiple times and he always knew what was going on with my accounts and gave me clear advise. I did not feel like he made any false promises and was very realistic about what the outcomes would be. At the end of the year I was able to pay off all my credit cards at less than 40% of what I owed at the time I hired him. I would highly recommend Chris Hewitt for any one who has debt issues and does not want to file for bankruptcy. Karen H.
Basically, if I could describe my experience with Chris Hewitt in three words they would be, professional, straight-forward, and helpful. Going into filing chapter 7 bankruptcy, I had no clue where to begin. Chris took me where I was at and guided me along a process that proved to be clearing financially and emotionally. Plus, I am quite certain nobody could have done it for a better price. I would recommend his service to anybody. Thank you. Dylan H.