The Automatic Stay
In most instances, the filing of the bankruptcy case automatically stays certain collection and other actions against the debtor and the debtor's property. Under certain circumstances, the stay may be limited to 30 days or not exist at all, although the debtor can request the court to extend or impose a stay. If a creditor attempts to collect a debt or take other action in violation of the Bankruptcy Code, they may be penalized. Consult a lawyer to determine your rights.