The filing of a Chapter 13 case automatically stays (stops) all lawsuits, attachments, garnishments, foreclosures, and other actions by creditors against the debtor or the debtor’s property.  This stay is called the automatic stay.  A few days after the case is filed, the court will mail a notice to all creditors advising them of the automatic stay.  Certain creditors may be notified sooner, if necessary.  Most creditors are prohibited from proceeding against the debtor during the entire course of the Chapter 13 case.  If the debtor is later granted a Chapter 13 discharge, the creditors will then be prohibited from collecting the discharged debts from the debtor after the case is closed.  If the debtor has had a prior bankruptcy case dismissed within the past year, he or she may be denied the protection of the automatic stay.