Bankruptcy Law Questions? Ask a Bankruptcy Lawyer.
The automatic stay doesn't do what you are suggesting. Rather it is the bankruptcy trustee's power to avoid "preference transfers," under Bankr. Code Section 547(b), which are made within 90 days of filing bankruptcy.
However, there are many exceptions to this rule, and sometimes, even where there is no exception, the trustee will not want to pay the legal expenses necessary to force a turnover of property by a creditor. So, while the law exists to force such a turnover -- this does not mean that the turnover will actually be required or possible to accomplish.
I hope I've answered your question. Please let me know if you require further clarification. And, please provide a positive feedback rating for my answer (click 3, 4 or 5 stars) -- otherwise, Justanswer retains your entire payment, and I receive nothing for my efforts in your behalf. Note: If you cannot find the rating button on your webpage, please just type in your rating in a response to this note, and customer service will apply the rating for you.
Thanks again for using Justanswer!
Bankr. Code 522(f) -- applies to exempt property, such as Social Security retirement income.
Errata: Should be Bankr. Code 522(h).
Thanks for using Justanswer