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What is the automatic stay?

On Behalf of | Jun 26, 2020 | Bankruptcy

When you file bankruptcy, you get automatic protection under the law from creditors taking further actions against you.

According to Cornell Law School, the automatic stay is a court order that prevents your creditors from continuing to take collection actions. It is for this reason why people say they file for bankruptcy protection.

Stops all actions

Not only does the automatic stay stop creditors from calling you and sending you collection notices but also if a creditor is taking you to court to sue you for a debt, it stops those proceedings as well. Other creditors also cannot file court cases against you for debts at this time. If you have an active judgment against you, it also will pause that. It also prevents a creditor from trying to take your property. For example, if you owe on your car loan, the lender cannot repossess the vehicle when you are under an automatic stay.


As with any law, there are exceptions to the automatic stay. It does not stop other court cases for civil matters not related to your finances, except for child support and spousal support cases, which may continue. The state may also continue to report overdue support payments to credit agencies and take any actions necessary to collect past due amounts.

You must also continue to meet your tax obligations. You must file your tax returns by the deadline, if applicable, and taxing agencies may still request payment from you for taxes due.


The automatic stay remains in place from when the court accepts your petition until it discharges or dismisses your cases.