The day you file for bankruptcy, the automatic stay goes into effect.  The automatic stay is a court order that requires anyone you owe money to stop trying to collect until your bankruptcy case is closed or dismissed.  You may get a few phone calls or letters after you file because it will take your creditors a few days to get the notice that you’ve filed bankruptcy.

As of the date you file, all collection activity including lawsuits, utility disconnections, some eviction actions, garnishments, and foreclosures must stop.  However, a creditor can ask the court to lift the automatic stay so that they can proceed with their collection activities.  This is usually done by filing a motion with the bankruptcy court and takes at least 3 weeks, if unopposed.

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