Chapter 7 bankruptcyThe automatic stay stops most collection efforts during your bankruptcy. But the stay is not absolute – creditors can ask the bankruptcy court to remove the stay, called lifting the automatic stay. If successful, the creditor can continue its collection efforts against you.
Read on to learn how creditors can lift the stay, when they might ask the court to lift the stay, and more.
What Is the Automatic Stay?
The automatic stay prohibits creditors from collecting from you while your bankruptcy case is proceeding. It takes effect immediately upon filing the bankruptcy case (that’s why it’s called automatic), and it stops (stays) collection action on pre-bankruptcy debts. The intent is to give you a breathing spell from creditor harassment while you develop a plan to reorganize your finances.
The automatic stay is both broad and powerful. Since it only has a few narrow exceptions, creditors must tread very carefully during a bankruptcy case or risk violating the court’s injunction.
(To learn more about the automatic stay, see the articles in our Bankruptcy’s Automatic Stay area.)
Asking the Court to Remove the Stay: Motions to Lift the Stay
If a creditor wants to continue to collect from the debtor during the bankruptcy, it can seek permission directly from the court to do so, known as “lifting” or getting “relief from” the automatic stay. The creditor must do this by filing a “motion” with the court.
Motions to lift the stay are not as common as one would think. When a creditor files a motion to lift the automatic stay, the debtor is entitled to notice and a hearing. The burden is on the creditor to convince the bankruptcy court that there is a very good reason to lift the stay, and the court is predisposed to continue the bankruptcy protection. For instance, the court will not lift the stay when an unsecured debt will be included in the debtor’s discharge.
When a Court Might Lift the Automatic Stay
Can credit repair help you in Arkansas to achieve financial stability? How long does a bankruptcy stay on your credit report?
The length of time you’ll see a bankruptcy stay on your credit report depends on what type it is. A Chapter 7 bankruptcy remains on your credit report for 10 years while a Chapter 13 bankruptcy remains on your credit report for just 7 years.
However, contrary to popular belief, bankruptcies can be removed from your credit report early and you can get credit after a bankruptcy. You do NOT have to wait up to 7 or 10 years before being able to get a mortgage, car loan, or any other type of credit again. In fact, it usually only takes a few years to be able to get access to loans and credit cards again. But that can seem like a long wait when you need cash upfront. Plus, once you do start to qualify again, you’ll still be paying extraordinarily high interest rates.
Rather than getting stuck with high interest rates and low balance maximums, work on negating the effects of bankruptcy as much as possible. Between disputing the bankruptcy itself and taking concrete actions to rebuild your credit, you can get much better offers for credit cards and loans. One mistake doesn’t have to set you back financially for the next ten years. Read on to find out the various ways in which you can recover from having a bankruptcy on your credit report.
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