When you file a bankruptcy case there is an automatic stay that goes into effect. This stay protects a debtor from their creditors trying to collect. Most importantly it protects a debtor from a foreclosure or a repossession of their home or car. A creditor can request relief from the stay or request that the stay be lifted. Normally they do this when you have missed payments under the plan or direct payments on your secured debt. If the stay is lifted the creditor can start to collect. This means they can start calling you and foreclose, or repossess the collateral.
You will usually be mailed the motion by the creditor. If you get the motion, contact your attorney to discuss your options. Many times the attorney can work with your creditor to resolve the motion without the stay lifting. Usually the best way to resolve the motion is to get caught up with the payments. Sometimes if you are only behind a few payments this can be done prior to the hearing or you can enter an agreement with the creditor to do it over the next few months. Otherwise you may need to change the terms of your plan to cure the delinquency amount through your chapter 13 plan. It’s important to contact your attorney because they know what options will work best to resolve the motion.
Motions to lift stay are much more common in a chapter 13 however they can also occur in a chapter 7 case as well. The reason they are less common in a chapter 7 case is because the case usually only lasts a few months and then the stay ends so it is not necessary to file a motion. If a creditor does file a motion it is usually to repossess collateral the debtor is surrendering. If you are in chapter 7 and you receive a motion to lift stay you should contact your bankruptcy attorney to know what to do next and to discuss your options.