Many people assume that the cost of filing for bankruptcy may interfere with paying for essential bills like rent and utilities, possibly leading to an eviction. The truth is that the Automatic Stay protection immediately stops the collection process for many existing debts, and may even provide protection from foreclosure or eviction. Here’s what you need to know about eviction during bankruptcy:
Timing is everything
Your landlord’s ability to evict you depends on when you file for bankruptcy. In order to evict you, the landlord would have to have received a judgment for possession before you completed filing for bankruptcy. If you’ve already filed, the Automatic Stay prohibits your landlord from starting the eviction process without a hearing to remove the Automatic Stay.
Automatic Stay Protection
Once your bankruptcy filing is complete, you will be under Automatic Stay protection. Automatic Stay protects you from wage garnishments, most debt collectors, and foreclosure/eviction. For the most part, your payments will stop, but there are some exceptions such as child support payments and certain taxes.
Exemptions to the stay
Your landlord has the right to appeal to the courts to obtain an exemption from this automatic stay protection so he or she can evict you. An exemption may be granted if you are accused of using drugs or presenting a property hazard. Your landlord would have to provide proof that this occurred on the property within the past 30 days. In this instance, you would have 15 days to offer an objection. Then, the court will meet within 10 days to hear you and your landlord and determine whether your objection is valid.
It’s never fun to fall behind on payments, but we understand that sometimes unexpected events or circumstances can cause financial hardship. If you are seeking relief from debt collectors or foreclosure, bankruptcy may be the right choice for you.