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Will Bankruptcy Stop an Eviction?

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If you’ve received an eviction notice due to nonpayment of rent, you may be able to stop the process. Chances are, if you can’t afford your rent, you’re struggling to pay other bills as well. When you’re looming under the threat of becoming homeless because you can’t afford to pay your rent, it may be a good idea to talk to a Cleveland bankruptcy lawyer. At Luftman, Heck & Associates, we can discuss your case and help you determine what debt relief option may be best for you. Call us today at (216) 586-6600.

Automatic Stay

Filing for bankruptcy may delay an eviction process, but it might not stop it entirely. When you file for bankruptcy, the court issues an automatic stay, which stops bill collectors from being able to contact you or continue collecting from you. This stay is in place for the duration of your bankruptcy proceedings.

The automatic stay also puts a hold on any pending lawsuits against you. This means that even if you have active evictions proceedings at the time you file, your bankruptcy case will stay, or temporarily pause, your eviction case.

Motion for Relief from Automatic Stay

While the automatic stay will stop you eviction case, your landlord may choose to fight it. Your creditors are permitted to file a motion granting them relief from the automatic stay so they can continue pursuing collections from you. If your landlord files this motion, you are permitted to respond and explain your side. If the court finds in favor of your landlord, you will have to continue with your eviction case.

Your Timeline Matters

You might be able to stop an eviction process by filing for bankruptcy, but it depends on when you file. For example, if your landlord has already filed the eviction case in court and has been awarded a judgement for possession against you, there’s very little the bankruptcy filing can do for you. Once the judgment is awarded, your landlord can ignore the automatic stay and proceed with collections. Therefore, if you plan to file for bankruptcy, it’s best to do it as soon as possible, so you can also stop eviction proceedings.

Will Bankruptcy Discharge Unpaid Rent?

Depending on what chapter you file, you may be able to get the back rent you owe discharged in bankruptcy. If you file for Chapter 13 bankruptcy, chances are your unpaid rent will be added to your repayment plan. In this case, you will pay your landlord back, but it will likely be a reduced amount, and your payments will be more affordable and stretched over a three to five-year repayment period.

When you file for Chapter 7, most of your debts are discharged, and your assets are sold off to pay secured debts that cannot be forgiven. In a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, unpaid rent can be discharged, so you will likely be able to get this debt erased.

How a Cleveland Bankruptcy Attorney Can Help

When you’re thinking about filing for bankruptcy while facing eviction, time is of the essence. It’s best to discuss your options with a bankruptcy attorney as soon as possible. The attorneys at Luftman, Heck & Associates understand your dire situation. We can go over your case and figure out the best approach you can take so you have a better chance of keeping a roof over your head while you work to eliminate your debts. To schedule your free consultation, call us at (216) 586-6600 or contact us online.