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cfortunato
cfortunato, Attorney
Category: Bankruptcy Law
Satisfied Customers: 8023
Experience:  Bankruptcy professor.
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I have filed chapter 13 bankruptcy. My condo association will

Resolved Question:

I have filed chapter 13 bankruptcy. My condo association will not allow me to park in the parking lot, use any of the common facilities, nor will they give me a key to the mail box in the building because of unpaid maintenance fees. The plan calls for the repayment of these fees in full over 5 years but it will not be confirmed for 2 months. Now that I have filed Ch 13, will they be stopped from taking these actions against me?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Bankruptcy Law
Expert:  cfortunato replied 1 year ago.

cfortunato :

Hi - my name is XXXXX XXXXX I'm a Bankruptcy attorney here to assist you.

Customer:

Hi Chris, did you read my question?

cfortunato :

The "automatic stay", which protects Bankruptcy filers from the attempts of creditors to collect money owed, goes into affect as soon as a Bankruptcy is filed.

Customer:

So that means that the condo association must allow me access again to common areas?

cfortunato :

Yes - as continuing to prevent you from using the facilities would be a violation of the automatic stay.

Customer:

Thanks!

cfortunato :

You're welcome!

cfortunato :

(The automatic stay goes into affect before the Chapter 13 plan is confirmed.)

cfortunato, Attorney
Category: Bankruptcy Law
Satisfied Customers: 8023
Experience: Bankruptcy professor.
cfortunato and 4 other Bankruptcy Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

We discussed a situation yesterday about using common areas after filing bankruptcy chapter 13 in New Jersey. The condo association asserts that even after the filing that they will not restore privledges like parking until the account is paid in full. Under the plan, I am required to make payments on the arrears for 5 years plus the regular monthly payment of over 1000. but yet they state that I will not be able to use the building parking space and the nearest available parking is blocks away. Can you give me a specific statute which would prove that they are wrong and that I should be allowed full access to the building while in chapter 13?

Expert:  cfortunato replied 1 year ago.
The condo association's withholding of your privileges unless and until you pay your arrears is an attempt to get you pay - an attempt to collect the arrears from you.
Bankruptcy Stat. 362(a)(6) specifically forbids any creditor from engaging in, "any act to collect,...or recover a claim against the debtor that arose before the commencement of the case under this title".
You can see the entire statute here:
http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/11/362.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.

okay, I've relayed this to the lawyers for the condo association and they still say no. What is my next step to take action against them? It makes no sense for me to be paying arrears under the plan plus the current payment and not have access to parking and other facilities. Can I file a motion with the bankruptcy court and if so, what do I ask for? What penalties are applicable in this case? Thank you...

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