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Do previous bankruptcies affect the automatic stay?

On Behalf of | May 25, 2022 | Chapter 7 Bankruptcy

When you have creditors hounding you to pay back your debts, you may start thinking about filing for bankruptcy in Florida to give yourself some relief. The first time you file for bankruptcy, something called the automatic stay kicks into play, which gives you temporary relief from certain creditors. Yet, if you file for bankruptcy more than once, things may work somewhat differently.

Per The Florida Bar, the automatic stay period usually kicks in as soon as you file for personal bankruptcy.

How the automatic stay works

Once you file for personal bankruptcy, the automatic stay comes into play and prevents credit card companies from harassing you at home or at work. It also protects you against foreclosure or eviction in most cases, and it also prevents companies from being able to shut off your utilities while the stay remains in effect. During the stay period, any wage garnishments you may be experiencing also cease.

How the automatic stay works in subsequent bankruptcies

In some cases, the state may consider you a “serial bankruptcy filer.” For this to be true, you must have had one or more bankruptcy cases pending during the preceding year. If you had one such case pending, the automatic stay still kicks into effect, but it only lasts 30 days. However, if you had two or more bankruptcies pending during the preceding year, you are not going to have the automatic stay kick in at all.

If you want and have one prior bankruptcy pending from the year prior, you may ask the bankruptcy court to extend the automatic stay beyond 30 days. However, the court has no obligation to agree to the request.

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