Contested Bankruptcy Matters

Suggestion of Bankruptcy. You should provide a copy of any lawsuits you have received to your bankruptcy attorney or provide a copy of the bankruptcy court’s notice of the commencement of your case to your civil attorney, so that a Suggestion of Bankruptcy can be filed in any civil case in which you are a party.

Relief from Stay. In Chapter 7 bankruptcy cases secured creditors typically file a Motion for Relief from the Automatic Stay so that they are able to foreclose on your secured property in the event you do not pay your secured debt in a timely manner. Relief from stay motions are most often filed by mortgage lenders or car finance companies. The Court will usually grant this Motion but that does not mean that the creditor can take your property. The creditor can take your property only if you do not pay the loan in a timely manner under the terms of your mortgage or loan contract with the creditor, and only after the creditor forecloses its mortgage or lien in state court. If you are behind in your car loan payments, however, the creditor can repossess the vehicle once the stay is lifted.

Procedure for Stay Motions. When a secured creditor files a Motion for Relief From Stay the court will set a hearing. Since the court usually grants the Motion, most bankruptcy attorneys do not attend the hearing, and in many instances your attorney will consent to the granting of the Motion. You do not have to attend the hearing unless you want to contest the Motion, in which case, you should contact your bankruptcy attorney in advance.

Transferring Property After Filing. Immediately upon the filing of a bankruptcy petition, a legal “estate” is created by the law which consists of everything you own at the time you filed bankruptcy. This is called the “bankruptcy estate.” In fact, one of the Trustee’s principal duties is to collect the bankruptcy estate (that is, locate and assume jurisdiction over all the property). You should never sell, give away, or transfer any of your real or personal property which is part of your bankruptcy estate either immediately before or after the filing of your petition without checking with us.

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