Our youngest daughter plays softball in the Darling division. If you are not familiar with that age group in softball, the key to stopping play is to get the ball in the circle with the pitcher. I often yell—over and over—get the ball to the circle as the opponent’s team runs on a wild throw!
Recently, another parent who is new to the game asked me “what is the deal with the circle?” I explained of course and suddenly compared the “circle” to the “automatic stay” in bankruptcy. The automatic stay is implemented the second a bankruptcy is filed. The automatic stay stops phone calls, collection letters, and lawsuits. If a creditor tries to collect in any form or fashion without permission from the bankruptcy court, the creditor can be held accountable for violation of the automatic stay.
Once a bankruptcy is filed– a pending lawsuit can be stayed, a garnishment can be stopped, a foreclosure can be stayed (must file before the foreclosure date!) or the repo guy circling your neighborhood will be forbidden from taking any action. All of this is possible because of the automatic stay.
If you feel your “opponent” creditors are running wildly around the bases like the opposing team in a softball game, please call our office to speak with one of our attorneys so we can explain how the automatic stay is your “circle” of protection and get the help you need for a fresh start.
Gail Hughes Donaldson is a Managing Partner of the Bond & Botes Law Offices in Montgomery and Opelika, Alabama. She holds a Bachelor of Science from Auburn University at Montgomery, and a Juris Doctorate from Thomas Goode Jones School of Law. She’s been helping families work through the bankruptcy process since she started with Bond & Botes back in 1993 as a paralegal. Read her full bio here.