What Can I Do When My Tenant Files Bankruptcy?

I have a rental unit and my tenant has been a very bad pay, and now I’m trying to get rid of him.  He filed bankruptcy.  Is there anything I can do? 

Depending upon where you are in the process of evicting your tenant, you may have greater or lesser rights.  If you have a judgment for possession and then your tenant files bankruptcy before the eviction, then you have lots of rights, and for the most part, that tenant doesn’t even get the automatic stay in place, so you should be able to just go out, contact the sheriff, and evict the tenant, unless the tenant posts a 30-day payment of the rent into court when they file the bankruptcy.  Then, they’re going to have those 30 days to show that they’re going to be able to bring the rent current.

They can do that, but only if you have a judgment for possession.  If you don’t have a judgment for possession and your tenant files a Chapter 13 or a Chapter 11, your tenant is going to be able to cure the arrears on the rent over some period of time, probably not longer than 6 months after a plan is confirmed, and they’re going to have to keep the rent current on a going forward basis.

So, it depends on where you are in the process, but you do have rights, usually greater rights than most other creditors have.  Of course, if it’s a Chapter 7, then you can evict the tenant if they can’t cure, but they will discharge all the arrears.

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