Can Bankruptcy Lead to Eviction?

According to the reports of Census Bureau reports in Pennsylvania, around 70% of residents live in the house of their own. Around 20% are tenants. So, the tenants might file for bankruptcy in chapter 7 or chapter 13 too. So, when you are a tenant and filing bankruptcy, would it result in your eviction? Our experienced Pittsburgh bankruptcy lawyer answers your question here.

The Effect of Automatic Stay on Eviction

Precisely, your eviction from your rented property depends on one fact, whether or not, your landlord has obtained the eviction judgment before or after your filing bankruptcy. When you are filing for bankruptcy, you get an automatic stay that effectively stops your creditors from pursuing you to get the money. That stay extends to the landlord. This means that you are already behind on rent and file for bankruptcy, your landlord cannot pursue you anymore for the rent as long as the bankruptcy case is not discharged.

However, there is one thing that you have to think about. If the creditor, including your landlord, request the court to lift the automatic stay and the court agrees to do that, the landlord can proceed with the original plan of evicting you from their property. For that, the landlord has to be in the hearing where the lift has been granted by the court. Now, to avoid a situation like this, you need to hire an experienced Pittsburgh bankruptcy lawyer so that they can make a convincing argument on your case and keep the stay for you.

In Case the Eviction Process Has Begun Before Filing for Bankruptcy

Previously, landlords didn’t have much power in such cases. But with the Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act (BAPCPA), in 2005, a new layer of complexity got added with the bankruptcy cases.

If the landlord has got the judgment of eviction prior to the bankruptcy filing, he or she will not be bound by the automatic stay. At the same time, if the tenant stands accused of seriously violating the terms of the agreement including serious damage or destruction of the property, then the landlord can move forward with the eviction process o matter whether the tenant has filed for bankruptcy or not. In this case, as a tenant, you will only get a 15 days notice certificate from the landlord for eviction.

However, you as a tenant can still fight back. You can counter-serve an objection that the court will be obligated to hold a hearing. If you can prove during this objection that the issues raised by the landlord are not true, then the court will block the eviction from proceeding.

In this case, you must think of the role of the trustee in this matter. The trustee might permit you to keep living on the property. It is often a necessary step instead of forcing the debtor to pay for a new accommodation while they have to pay for the creditors. However, if your current accommodation is expensive, the trustee might determine a lower rent situation that will terminate your lease effectively.

For more information about bankruptcy, come to Pittsburgh Bankruptcy Law Group.

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