The short answer to this question is, absolutely not!  When your bankruptcy petition is filed, the automatic stay goes into effect immediately.  The automatic stay is the law that states that once someone has filed for bankruptcy protection, a creditor cannot do anything to continue trying to collect from this person.  This includes filing a lawsuit, or, if the debtor was sued prior to the lawsuit, continue the law suit. 

Credit card companies and other lenders don’t really have the resources to sue everyone that is falling behind on their payments.  But, after enough time goes by, they will bring an action against you for breach of contract.  Usually, there is no good defense to a law suit such as this:  You got a loan, you stopped repaying it, the law unfortunately does not consider the hardship that caused you to default, or the good intentions you may have for future repayment…. 

Filing for bankruptcy protection can help you stop the law suit, and prevent wage garnishment.  Even if the law suit was completed prior to filing your bankruptcy, and your wages are already being garnished, the bankruptcy laws put an end to the garnishment.  They most important aspect here is to list the plaintiff as well as their attorneys on your petition, to ensure they are notified about your bankruptcy filing.

Timing is often key to prevent garnishment altogether.  If you have gotten sued (you will have been served with a Summons and Complaint) you should speak to an attorney as soon as possible to determine the best course of action.  In this conversation with the attorney, be sure to also discuss any previous (old) law suits that may have already gone to judgment.  If such a previous lawsuit resulted in a lien on your property, your attorney, through the bankruptcy process, can likely do something about this lien – but only if she knows about it.

Remember, knowledge is power, and sticking your head in the sand after you have been served is never the best course of action.  A free consultation with a bankruptcy attorney such as myself will enable you to better understand your options.  Visit our website at www.marcowimmerlaw.com to find out more about us and our philosophy.

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