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What Are Motions from Relief of Stay?

Filing bankruptcy triggers an automatic stay, which is a court order called an injunction that prevents creditors from further debt collection efforts.  The stay usually halts foreclosure, repossession, wage garnishment, lawsuits, and other creditor actions against you.

A motion for relief from stay is a motion that a creditor files with the court to relieve it from the automatic stay.  If approved by the court, this would allow them to continue some debt collection efforts.  The U.S. Courts also refer to it as a motion to lift the automatic stay.

You can contest a motion to lift the automatic stay.  Whether you contest or not depends on the strategy you and your bankruptcy lawyer are using in your bankruptcy.  Obviously, some debts you plan on paying.  There are certain assets you may plan on liquidating.  If your home or car is the subject of the motion to lift the automatic stay and you intend to surrender these assets, then there is no point in contesting the motion to lift the stay.

However, perhaps you plan on keeping your home and continuing to make payments on the mortgage through a chapter 13.  And let's say that the creditor is trying to take the home to satisfy a debt.  In this case, your bankruptcy lawyer could contest the creditor’s motion for relief.  If the court agrees with your position, all is well and the stay would remain in place.  However, if you fall behind on payments, the creditor could file another motion for relief that forces you to either pay arrearages or surrender the house.

Bankruptcy motions can complicate how a bankruptcy goes.  However, a skilled bankruptcy attorney can help you deal with bankruptcy successfully.

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