The Stay Law is a piece of legislation that gives debtors extra time to pay their creditors before their property is seized for payment. Several states passed such a law, beginning in the years of economic upheaval after the American Revolution  and continuing through much of the nineteenth century. North Carolina passed a stay law as early as 1794, and it remained in effect for more than 20 years. This statute called for debtors to have extensions of from 20 days to 6 months to pay their debts after a judgment of a justice of the peace. A stay law in 1809 gave similar extensions for debt payment until 1 Apr. 1810.
To protect debtors racked by economic hard times caused by the War of 1812 , the General Assembly  passed another stay law on 16 Dec. 1812. That statute, also known as the "suspension act," was to remain in effect until 1 Feb. 1814, but it was overturned as unconstitutional by the North Carolina Supreme Court  in the case of Jones v. Crittenden . A stay law of the early Reconstruction era was also struck down as unconstitutional in 1869.
Taylor, John Louis. "Jones v. Crittenden." North Carolina Reports Volume 4: Embracing Carolina Law Repository Vols. I and II January Term, 1811, to July Term, 1816, and North Carolina Term Reports July Term, 1816, to January Term, 1818, Inclusive. Raleigh, N.C.: Mitchell Printing Company. 1921. p.44-54. http://books.google.com/books?id=vdwzAQAAMAAJ&pg=PA44#v=onepage&q&f=false 
1 January 2006 | Norris, David A.