As a Tennessee resident who is getting hounded by creditors or debt collectors, you may be feeling as if you are at your wit’s end. Receiving seemingly constant communications from creditors can prove anxiety-inducing at best, and you may be wondering whether bankruptcy’s “automatic stay” could potentially grant you some temporary relief.

Just what is bankruptcy’s automatic stay, and how might it help stop creditor harassment? According to LendingTree, the automatic stay is something that takes effect as soon as you begin bankruptcy proceedings, and it essentially bans most creditors from coming after you to collect on debts for a given period. Typically, the automatic stay kicks in as soon as you initiate bankruptcy proceedings, and it can give you relief from certain types of communications for a set amount of time.

For example, if your financial situation has gotten to the point where you have concerns about keeping the lights on, bankruptcy’s automatic stay period may help. How? Typically, utility companies may not shut off your services once you have begun bankruptcy proceedings, and they cannot do so until your bankruptcy case closes, which often takes between three and four months.

Similarly, if you are currently losing a percentage of your wages due to wage garnishment for unpaid bills, bankruptcy’s automatic stay should halt the garnishment. The automatic stay period may, too, give you some relief with regard to housing. If, say, your landlord was trying to evict you from your rental home, but he or she is not yet in possession of an eviction judgment, bankruptcy’s automatic stay will typically halt the process.

This copy is for educational purposes and is not a substitute or replacement for legal advice.