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Automatic stay in bankruptcy halts creditor collection efforts

When people in Mississippi file for bankruptcy, the court issues an automatic stay that prohibits creditors from continuing to seek payment. Although issues like multiple bankruptcy filings could interfere with the immediate issuance of an automatic stay, the court order typically becomes effective as soon as debtors file their bankruptcy paperwork and lasts until the discharge of debts. Creditors might initially violate the stay in the first couple of weeks after a filing because they have not yet processed the notice about a bankruptcy. Unless evidence shows that creditors willfully violated a stay, they will likely avoid legal consequences unless they persist with collection efforts.

Since debtors could expect to receive letters and telephone calls right away a bankruptcy filing, they should be ready to provide their case number and bankruptcy court information. Debtors should keep records of contact with creditors so that they can show that they provided notice to creditors about the stay. The court also mails official notices to all creditors, and attorneys can alert creditors to the stay for their clients as well.

Creditors that might repossess a vehicle or advance a foreclosure case could be held liable by a court if they seize property during a bankruptcy. A court will require the return of repossessed property and the payment of damages to the debtor if applicable.

A person concerned about mounting debts and missed payments could seek out the representation of a bankruptcy attorney. A legal review of the person's debts and income could provide insights about which chapter of bankruptcy to file. A lawyer could take action to inform creditors about a filing as soon as possible and challenge those that defy the automatic stay. With legal support, a person might prepare bankruptcy disclosures completely and stop repossession.

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