The Automatic Stay

Making your creditors back off.

To contact us:

Phones for Bankruptcy and Debtors’ Rights matters:

     San Antonio 210-643-5889

     Houston 281-809-7557

     Toll free 1-888-360-6162

FAX:  210-738-3195


             Probably the greatest source of the relief you will experience when you file bankruptcy is the stay of collection actions afforded by the automatic stay.  The relief is immediate, beginning when you file.  While the stay is in effect your creditors may not file or pursue lawsuits, repossess property, create or enforce liens against property or exercise rights of setoff.


             On motion of a creditor, a bankruptcy court may grant relief from or “lift” the automatic stay if the creditor can show that its interests have not been given “adequate protection.”


             Eviction actions are NOT stayed if a court has ordered the debtor evicted BEFORE the bankruptcy petition is filed.  Additionally, an eviction may be filed and pursued after a tenant files bankruptcy if the eviction is based on the use of illegal substances or endangerment of the rental property.


             If you have had ONE previous bankruptcy case dismissed within a year before filing, you must file a motion to extend the automatic stay and get that motion granted within 30 days after the date of filing of your later bankruptcy petition or the automatic stay will expire.  If you have had TWO cases pending in the year before filing, you can get the benefit of the stay only after you file a motion to establish the stay and the judge grants your motion.