What constitutes a violation of the automatic stay?

UPDATED: Jan 16, 2015

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What constitutes a violation of the automatic stay?

I filed a Chapter 13 almost 3 1/2 years ago; I made my last payment to the trustee last month. Recently I refinanced my home mortgage. During the process of gathering information for the refinance I received a payoff letter from the lender, a bank, that did not mention any legal fees. It merely stated the amount due on the loan. Today the bank refused the pay off fee stating that I owe $2,611.07 in legal fees from being transferred to the their bankruptcy department. I have never been late with them, never in the rears and this mortgage was not included in the bankruptcy. Is this legal? Is it a violation of the stay?

Asked on January 16, 2015 under Bankruptcy Law, New York


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

No, it's not a violation of the stay:

The stay is just that: a "stay," or temporary stop to collections efforts. It does not stop charges, interest, amounts, etc. from accruing--it just prevents legal action to collect on them while the stay is in effect. If the stay is now not in effect, then there is no violation from the fact that they are seeking the money now, even it includes costs or fees accrued during your bankruptcy.

You write that the mortgage was not included in the bankruptcy, which further reduces the impact of the bankruptfy and stay on the account or deb.

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