Violation of the Automatic Stay

Creditor had an affirmative duty to comply with the automatic stay, including ensuring that his actions did not prolong a violation of the stay that resulted from a state court motion filed prior to debtor’s bankruptcy. Creditor willfully violated the automatic stay where he defended an overbroad state court order in its entirety rather than take corrective action. Under 11 U.S.C. Sec. 362, debtor was entitled to recover as actual damages only the attorney fees related to enforcing the automatic stay and remedying the stay violation, not those incurred in prosecuting a subsequent adversary proceeding in which he pursued his claim for those damages.
Sternberg v. Johnston – filed October 1, 2009, amended October 22, 2009, second amendment February 8, 2010


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