The automatic stay that results from filing bankruptcy will halt most judicial and administrative collection actions (including foreclosure); however, as your Miami, Florida foreclosure defense lawyer will point out, it will not stop all legal proceedings.
Actions stopped by the automatic stay
When a Miami, Florida foreclosure defense lawyer or bankruptcy lawyer files a bankruptcy petition on the debtor’s behalf, the automatic stay immediately goes into effect. The stay will stop most collection activities, as well as judicial proceedings. The stay will remain in effect until:
• The bankruptcy is closed (sometimes referred to as “terminated);
• The bankruptcy is dismissed; or
• A discharge is granted or denied.
If a creditor continues to attempt to collect from you after being notified that you have filed bankruptcy, you may be entitled to monetary damages, including attorneys’ fees and costs.
Actions not halted
The automatic stay does not stop all proceedings and obligations. For example, actions that are not stayed by filing bankruptcy include:
• Criminal matters;
• Domestic violence, divorce, domestic support, child custody, or visitation actions;
• Enforcement of a lien or security interest in real property if the property was subject to an order dismissing a bankruptcy case within the past two years (though the debtor may request relief from this provision if he or she acted in good faith);
• Enforcement of a lien or security interest in real property if the debtor was ineligible because a case was dismissed for failure to abide by the court’s order or if the bankruptcy was filed in violation of an order prohibiting the debtor from filing another bankruptcy;
• Evictions, if the landlord obtained a judgment of possession prior to the filing of bankruptcy or on the basis of the tenant using illegal substances or endangering the property;
• Withholding, suspending, or restricting a driver’s license or occupational license;
• Interception of a tax refund, as well as tax obligations, such as audits and tax assessments;
• Actions on property tax liens or a special assessment on real property imposed by a governmental unit (if tax became due subsequent to the bankruptcy filing); and
• Withholding of income from a debtor’s wages for a loan, pension, profit sharing, stock bonus, or other plan.
This list is not exhaustive by any means. A skilled bankruptcy lawyer can fully advise you of all actions that are not halted by the automatic stay. If you need the services of a Miami, Florida foreclosure defense lawyer or bankruptcy lawyer, call Miriam Montalvo at (305) 416-0072 to schedule an initial consultation.