The filing of a bankruptcy case by a borrower invokes the protections of the automatic stay. In consumer cases, the Bankruptcy Code allows a debtor injured by a lender’s willful violation of the stay to recover actual damages, punitive damages, costs, and attorneys’ fees. A recent decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit highlights the risk to consumer lenders. In that case, a payday lender that sought to collect a $575 loan after the debtor filed for bankruptcy was held liable for $27,483.55.

In this webinar, we will focus on the scope and provisions of the automatic stay and suggest specific actions that consumer lenders can take to implement risk management procedures to avoid bankruptcy stay violations and to protect themselves against punitive damages awards should an inadvertent stay violation occur. A modest investment in risk management may provide protection from damage awards far in excess of the outstanding balance on the underlying loan.  


  • When does the automatic stay arise? 
  • What activities are prohibited by the automatic stay in a Chapter 7? In a Chapter 13? 
  • What are the risks to the lender associated with intentional and unintentional stay violations? 
  • What risk management procedures can be implemented to avoid punitive damage awards?


12:00 PM - 1:00 PM ET | Webinar


Alan S. Kaplinsky, Practice Leader
Consumer Financial Services Group


John L. Culhane, Jr.
Consumer Financial Services Group

Dean C. Waldt
Bankruptcy, Reorganization and Capital Recovery Group

Jon T. Pearson
Consumer Financial Services Group
Bankruptcy, Reorganization and Capital Recovery Group

This program is open to Ballard Spahr clients and members of the financial services industry. There is no cost to attend. This program is not eligible for continuing education credits.

Please register at least two days before the webinar. Login details will be sent to all approved registrants. For more information, contact Lisa Prickril at

Related Practices

Bankruptcy, Reorganization and Capital Recovery
Consumer Financial Services