Bankruptcy And Fed Up Landlords: What To Know
Nothing strikes fear and anxiety in the hearts of those suffering from financial difficulties like that of losing a roof over their head. Having a place to live means security, and the threat of losing that security can only add to the stress level you are already dealing with. If you are considering the nuclear option (bankruptcy), you should take heart that you may be able to stop the eviction process immediately upon a federal filing. To learn more about using bankruptcy to halt an eviction, read on.
The Powerful Automatic Stay
One valuable component of a chapter 7 bankruptcy filing is the automatic stay. This legal maneuver allows for several different types of actions to be "stayed" or halted, and it is available immediately upon filing. That's right, you do not need to wait for the bankruptcy to be final several months down the road to benefit from the automatic stay.
In the case of evictions, the reach of the automatic stay depends on what actions your landlord has already taken in regards to your back rent situation. Many landlords make threats of eviction to encourage payment of rent, but following through with that is a different matter. If there was ever a good reason not to procrastinate filing for bankruptcy, the threat of eviction is one, since you may be able to stay in your rental home for several more months if you manage to make it to the clerk's office before your landlord does.
The Landlord Has Not Filed for an Eviction
Once you have filed for bankruptcy, work with your landlord and make attempts to bring your back rent up to date. Any stoppage of eviction proceedings is only a temporary one, so you cannot depend on the automatic stay to help you forever. As luck would have it, you may now have more cash available for this purpose, since a chapter 7 filing means no more having to come up with those very high minimum payments of your credit cards. Re-do that budget and see how much rosier your financial situation might be now that you have begun to shed yourself of debt.
The Landlord Has Filed For Eviction
If the eviction process has already begun by your landlord filing with the court, there may be little that can be done to save your rights to a home. The amount of time you have before you must vacate varies from state to state, so check with your bankruptcy attorney to find out how much time you have to make other arrangements.