Emory Bankruptcy Developments Journal


In bankruptcy, the automatic stay thwarts the attempts of eager creditors to collect their debts, offering debtors in bankruptcy much-needed breathing space and providing for the most equitable distribution of estate property. It is no surprise that debtors remain eager to take advantage of the stay's vast protection, and for some time, repeated filings merely to access the stay were a major problem in this country. Congress responded by enacting § 362(c)(3)(A) of the Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act of 2005 ('BAPCPA'). Section 362(c)(3)(A) mandates that the automatic stay terminate, 'with respect to the debtor,' thirty days after the petition is filed if the debtor has had a prior case dismissed within one year of filing. A split of authority currently exists regarding the proper interpretation of this provision of the Bankruptcy Code.