Once you file bankruptcy, all collection activity by your creditors or collection agencies must stop. Foreclosures and repossessions cannot go ahead unless the court gives permission.
However, if you are trying to save property that has a secured creditor, like a house or a car, it is important to make your regular monthly payments, or the secured creditor will file motion to ask the court to be able to continue the foreclosure or repossession.
Note: Special rules apply to the automatic stay if you have filed before, and the case was dismissed in the previous year. You should talk to a lawyer if you have already filed bankruptcy in the past and want to file again.
Most unsecured debts are eliminated in a Chapter 13 bankruptcy. This includes utilities. After a bankruptcy is filed, a utility provider must restore service. You must provide assurance of future payment by paying a deposit. This must be paid in about 20 days.
Property of the bankruptcy estate
When you file a bankruptcy case, all of your property becomes part of the bankruptcy estate, which is under the jurisdiction of the judge. Creditors can not do anything with the property without permission from the bankruptcy judge. This is true even if the creditor has a lien on the property.
You cannot sell or transfer the property in the bankruptcy estate without permission from the bankruptcy trustee or the judge. But you can use the property until the trustee asks you to turn it over to him or her.
On the bankruptcy petition, you must honestly list all your property. This includes items that you might not consider yours, such as an inheritance, money you expect to get from a lawsuit, or a tax refund.
Also, since the Chapter 13 Bankruptcy plan will last 3-5 years, you will have to let the trustee know if you get any new property during that time.
A Chapter 13 plan may also stop an eviction. For a bankruptcy to stop an eviction, it must be filed before the 5 day notice or other eviction notice, and you must pay the back rent owed through the Chapter 13 plan.
Updated: August 2017