The "automatic stay" provided by 11 U.S.C. §362 in most circumstances stops the commencement or continuation of most actions or proceedings that a creditor might take or be in the process of taking to collect money or property from the debtor. In some circumstances, however, if a debtor has had a prior case or cases dismissed within one year prior to the filing of the new case, the stay may not go into effect, or may be effective for only a short period of time, such as 30 days, unless the debtor takes action to reimpose or continue the stay. A creditor wishing to proceed with action against the debtor or the debtor's property in a case in which the stay is in effect must get permission from the court by obtaining relief from the automatic stay or face a potential claim for damages, including costs and attorney's fees, and, in appropriate circumstances, punitive damages. Creditors who are uncertain of their rights, or unsure if the automatic stay applies to them, should seek legal advice.
While the information presented above is as accurate as possible as of the date of publication, it should not be cited or relied upon as legal authority. It is highly recommended that legal advice be obtained from a bankruptcy attorney or legal association. For filing requirements, please refer to the United States Bankruptcy Code (Title 11, United States Code), and the Local Rules for the United States Bankruptcy Court for the District of Oregon.