Attorneys at the Affinity Law Firm represent individual debtors in Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 here in Jacksonville.

We also represent business Chapter 11 or Chapter 13 cases in the State of Florida.

Call today for a Bankruptcy Consultation.


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Gust Sarris
I was a business consultant and Entrepreneur for many years. During this time I had many attorneys and often felt that they certainly knew the law but often did not understand my business. About 8 years ago through my business efforts, I was in a place and time in my life where I could take some time off. I was always curious about the law and made the decision to attend law school. The first law practice I joined was not a fit for me. When I left I wanted to have a law firm that understood business and had a common sense approach to all forms of law The Affinity Law Firm was founded and immediately merged with the Law Office of Millie Kanyar. A strong partnership was formed that relied strongly on technology, business models, and an "affinity" for the law. In a short time another partner joined, Graham Syfert, and we have not stopped growing. Affinity Law now handles many types of law but has not forgot the basics that client service is number one. From the sound of our name you will find our approach to law refreshing. I hope that if you have read this far you will give us your enough trust to come in and see us and we will earn your trust. - Gust Sarris
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Bankruptcy Basics - The Automatic Stay

What is a “stay” or “automatic stay” and what does it do?

A “stay” is a legal restriction on creditors which imposes a wide range of prohibitions on their attempts to foreclose, repossess, collect and/or harass you.  The purpose of the stay is to ensure a fresh start for the person filing for bankruptcy and ensure an evenhanded management of the creditors involved.

The stay is often referred to as “automatic” because the act of filing a bankruptcy petition is all that is needed to bring it in to effect.  No extra paper work is required and no court action is required.  However, there are some actions are not stayed.

The automatic stay is governed by the language of 11 U.S.C. 362  (link may be outdated)

What is stayed?

  • Foreclosure
  • Garnishment
  • Wage Garnishment
  • Ongoing Litigation (Lawsuits and Court based collections)
  • Debt Collection Attempts (Creditor calls, etc.)
  • Any New Litigation to Collect
Well then what is not stayed?

Typically, things that are NOT stayed are:
  • Actions of creditors against co-debtors under Chapters 7 and 11
  • Criminal actions
  • Collection of alimony, maintenance, and support from property not part of estate
  • Proceedings that seeks establishment of paternity
  • Certain governmental actions or proceedings
  • Acts of creditors to maintain or continue perfection of an interest in property
People overwhelmed and being suffocated by creditors are allowed to breathe from the automatic stay.  It is important to contact a bankruptcy attorney to properly file all the necessary documents and ensure that your bankruptcy is a success.


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