An injunction that protects you from your creditors. It happens immediately and “automatically” at the moment you file your bankruptcy petition.
This injunction is not permanent and in particular cases some creditors (like mortgage holders or vehicle lien creditors) can obtain “relief” from this stay so that they can retake possession of their loan collateral when the debtor can’t afford to make the payments due on the collateralized loan.
Nevertheless, this automatic injunction or stay promptly stops foreclosures, the IRS, repossessions, lawsuits, collection phone calls and other actions to collect debts. It allows for kind of a cooling off period while the bankruptcy court deals with the important issues in the case and acts to permanently determine the rights of creditors, if any, during the bankruptcy case.