Attorney at Law

Automatic Stay

 Automatic Stay - Bankruptcy Protection in South Carolina


About the Bankruptcy Automatic Stay

The automatic stay is an injunction that stops wage garnishment, foreclosure proceedings, repossessions, lawsuits, and all other collection activities against the debtor. The stay takes effect immediately after the petition is filed. The stay is automatic, meaning you don’t have to wait for a hearing or any paperwork from the court – the stay is effective immediately. Being a versatile Charleston South Carolina bankruptcy attorney, I can make sure wage garnishments are stopped immediately upon filing your petition.

The Bankruptcy legislation which deals with the automatic stay in South Carolina was written to allow the debtor the time he or she needs to get their finances in order, get their life back on track and take advantage of the whole purpose of filing bankruptcy, which is to give the debtor a fresh start. The protection offered by the automatic stay is exactly the intent the legislature had in mind when writing the bankruptcy laws. As your bankruptcy lawyer I make sure you are afforded this protection.

The automatic stay prevents creditors from contacting the debtor to demand payment by letter, phone or any other means. Whether you live in Charleston South Carolina or anywhere else, if the creditor violates this stay, he is in violation of U.S. Bankruptcy laws and the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. Repercussions against the creditor can be severe if they wilfully and intentionally try to collect after you file. Creditors are not allowed to contact you for any reason – none. As your bankruptcy attorney, I will make sure they stop calling you. Creditors cannot start a lawsuit against you after you file bankruptcy, cannot ask you to secure an old debt, cannot attempt to enforce judgments against you, cannot conduct a scheduled foreclosure sale, cannot perfect liens against your property, cannot repossess collateral that is estate property, or direct any employer to continue wage garnishments.

Stop Wage Garnishment

If your wages are being garnished, you can stop the garnishment by filing bankruptcy. Bankruptcy is a powerful tool you can use to eliminate the wage garnishment and quickly get your life back on track. A wage garnishment must be stopped, by federal law, upon your filing the bankruptcy petition. An automatic stay goes into effect once you file your bankruptcy, which means all collection activities must be stopped. This includes the wage garnishment. You will begin receiving your full check again the pay period after you file. You can even get back your wages that were garnished in the 90 days prior to filing your bankruptcy if you have had over $600 total garnished. How much you get back depends on the dollar amount available in South Carolina bankruptcy exemptions. Exemptions vary and are dependent upon your assets and filing status. But many people are able to get all their wages returned. If you qualify for bankruptcy, after filing, as your bankruptcy lawyer, I can file a complaint against the creditor in bankruptcy court and get your wages returned to you.

When you file the Chapter 7 bankruptcy, as your bankruptcy attorney, I will include all your creditors on your petition, and notify your creditors of the bankruptcy. However, to stop the garnishment immediately, you should call the Human Resources or Payroll department of your employer immediately upon filing and give them your case number. If you receive a discharge from the South Carolina bankruptcy court, your debt to the creditor who is garnishing your wages will be wiped clean. The creditor cannot resume the garnishment after the bankruptcy. Priority debts, such as federal taxes, child support or spousal support, cannot be discharged in bankruptcy. If your wages are being garnished for child support or spousal support, a bankruptcy will not stop those garnishments.

Charleston Bankruptcy Attorney Ready to Roll

To learn more about how the automatic stay can protect you, contact my Charleston South Carolina office online or by calling (843) 814-4215 and meet with an experienced bankruptcy attorney.