An automatic stay goes into effect the instant you file your bankruptcy petition. This may seem like a huge relief, finally those harassing phone calls will stop and you don’t have to worry about your possessions being repossessed or foreclosure, at least for a while. But there are some debts that aren’t subject to the automatic stay, so it’s best to know what these are before you’re shocked by their continued presence.
- Evictions. If your landlord has already started eviction proceedings it may be too late to prevent it with an automatic stay. In some situations you can stop the eviction but you need to speak with your bankruptcy attorney immediately, before any paperwork has been filed by the landlord.
- Criminal Prosecution. If you’ve committed a crime or are accused of it then an automatic stay can’t prevent you from going to trial and anything that follows.
- Retirement Plan Loans. If you took out a loan against an IRA then any payments that are being automatically deducted from your paycheck will still be deducted.
- Support payments. Whether its child support, alimony or any other court ordered support payments will continue after an automatic stay.
- Paternity and Divorce. An automatic stay will have no effect on any paternity tests or divorce proceedings. The only time a divorce may be held up by an automatic stay is if there is property that needs to be divided.
There may be other exceptions to the automatic stay that apply in your situation so your best bet is to speak with a bankruptcy attorney.