Q: Does automatic stay in Ch. 13 apply to non-noticed creditor?
Debtor did not list me as a creditor, so I got no notice. He let me proceed with lawsuit confirming my arbitration award against him until I won. I served him with notices and documents and still neither he nor his attorney told me about bankruptcy. 5 days after I obtained judgment and noticed him, his attorney informed me that debtor had declared bankruptcy, there was an automatic stay, so my judgment was of no effect. The next day the attorney asked for the Ch. 13 case to be dismissed. Did the stay apply to me even though I got no notice? I believe the debtor's and attorney's actions were a deliberate tactic by the way.
A: If the case is dismissed, then everything is back at square one.
Whether your judgment is valid is a decision that must be reached upon examination of all the facts--both procedural and substantive--by your own lawyer there in California. Your facts are too specific to ask a lawyer to opine without the basic information.
A: Yes. It applied once you learned of it. However, if the 13 is dismissed, your judgment is still good. Collect away.
A: The dismissal of the bankruptcy case is a benefit to you. There is no stay in effect and no bankruptcy pending. I do also suggest that you talk with a local bankruptcy attorney for more details.
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