You wrote, "Motion by lender to lift automatic stay (chapter 7) on foreclosure with already "scheduled" auction date. ... Does this mean they can change the april 16th auction sale date to an earlier date?"
A: The Motion for Relief seeks permission from the federal bankruptcy court to proceed with a remedy that lies under State law; hence, if State law allows the acceleration of the date of an auction, the remedy would require recouse to state law procedure after the grant of the order for relief from stay.
In Eastern District of MO, where I practice, there would be no time to seek an acceleration of the auction date following an order granting relief from the bankruptcy stay. I suspect your state is similar.
A bankruptcy does not affect a secured debt such as a mortgage. Thus, it is common for a mortgage lender to file to lift the automatic stay. All this means is that the mortgage lender can proceed with the foreclosure in state court. Whether or not the mortgage lender can change dates in the state proceeding is governed by your state's foreclosure laws.
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Most likely the objective of the stay-relief motion is to preserve the April 16 date. Notice of foreclosure sales must be public and typically for fairly long periods of time. You are correct that the most accurate information will come from your own attorney. Rather than obsess on Avvo, your efforts will be better spent on arranging to move.
Best wishes for an outcome you can accept, and please remember to designate a best answer.
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Procedurally, the scheduled sale was "stayed" upon the filing of your bankruptcy petition as the lender and any other creditor cannot take any action to collect on a debt, even a secured debt like your home, without obtaining permission from the Bankruptcy Court to proceed with the sale.
The Bank is following the rules provided in the Bankruptcy Code by filing a Motion to "Lift Stay" and thus have the court lift the initial automatic stay to permit the sale to proceed. Unless the house has equity in it and is otherwise necessary for the successful reorganization of the debtor as would be in a Chapter 13 proceeding, the Court will in almost all instances lift the stay to allow the sale to proceed.
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