Can Bankruptcy Prevent Evictions?

How Are Evictions Handled During Bankruptcy?

Can filing bankruptcy prevent eviction? When faced with financial difficulties, perhaps one of the worst nightmares is facing eviction. Whether you file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy or Chapter 13 bankruptcy, you may be allowed to remain on the property for a longer period or be given an opportunity to become current on your rent. How an eviction order is treated in a bankruptcy filing depends largely on whether the landlord obtained an order of eviction before or after you filed bankruptcy.

Can Filing Bankruptcy Prevent Eviction: If you file bankruptcy after your landlord has obtained a judgment

If you file bankruptcy after your landlord has been granted a judgment for possession of the property, then your bankruptcy can do very little to prevent the possession order from being enforced. However, in certain states you may be able to halt the eviction temporarily and get caught up on your rent.

Can Filing Bankruptcy Prevent Eviction: State Law Exception

If you reside in a state that allows renters to pay back their outstanding rent default even after their landlord has obtained a judgment for possession, then filing bankruptcy can allow you to remain on the property for a longer period of time, as well as give you an opportunity to catch up on you default payments.

To be able to stop the eviction, a certificate stating that the state’s laws still permit you to become current on your rent must be filed with your bankruptcy petition. In addition, you are also required to pay the court clerk the amount of rent that will be due within 30 days after the bankruptcy filing. After you have done this, you will have 30 days from the date of your bankruptcy to pay back all outstanding rent owed and file additional paperwork stating so. If you are able pay back the entire default amount and file the certification within the 30 days, then the Automatic Stay will remain in effect. Consequently, your landlord will be prohibited from proceeding with the eviction.

Can Filing Bankruptcy Prevent Eviction: If you filed bankruptcy before your landlord obtained a judgment

If you have filed bankruptcy before your landlord has begun the eviction process, the bankruptcy Automatic Stay protects you from immediate eviction. Your landlord is not allowed to start the eviction process or give you an eviction notice.

Can Filing Bankruptcy Prevent Eviction: Special Rules Pertaining to Property Endangerment or Illegal Drug Use

Even if you already filed a bankruptcy before your landlord got a judgment for possession of the property, if your landlord claims that you have engaged in illegal drug use in the property or endangered the property, Automatic Stay will not prevent the eviction.

In order to do this, your landlord is required to file a certification with the Court indicating that an eviction action was already filed on these grounds, or that you have endangered the property or used illegal drugs on the premises within the last 30 days.  If you fail to object to the landlord’s certification within 15 days, he or she can proceed with the eviction.  If you object, then a hearing will be held by the Court within 10 days of your objection to decide the issue.

 

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