Can A Bankruptcy Filing Save You From Eviction?

A bankruptcy filing can usually save a home from foreclosure, but whether or not it can save it from eviction depends on various factors. For instance, when you file for bankruptcy has an impact on if bankruptcy can help you stay in your rental. If you are considering bankruptcy to avoid eviction, here is what you need to know.  

How Does Bankruptcy Stop an Eviction?

When you file for bankruptcy, several things occur. One of those is an automatic stay is put into place. The automatic stay is designed to offer you protection from creditors until a decision is made regarding your bankruptcy petition. 

If your eviction meets the criteria, you will be able to successfully prevent your landlord from moving forward on removing you from the home. The automatic stay will afford you the opportunity to either work out an agreement with the landlord or use the time until the bankruptcy is completed to save money to move.  

What Criteria Do You Have to Meet?

Whether or not the bankruptcy filing will save you from eviction depends on when you filed your petition and the reason the landlord wants you out of the property. If the landlord has not went to court to get an eviction judgment against you, the automatic stay will most likely save you. The stay will keep the landlord from taking any legal actions until the bankruptcy is complete.  

However, if the landlord has already obtained the judgment, you will have to move. Depending on your state's laws, you might be able to ask for a special exception that would allow you to remain on the property and work out a payment arrangement with the landlord.  

What If the Eviction Is Not for Non-Payment?

The reasons for evictions are not just limited to non-payment. In some instances, landlords evict tenants for dangerous or prohibited behavior that could have a negative impact on the property. If you were evicted for this reason, it is unlikely that an automatic stay would help you. 

The landlord could argue to the court that allowing you to remain on the property is dangerous. If the judge agrees, the eviction order will stand and you will have to find another place to live.  

Since state laws vary, there are many other factors that could possibly influence whether or not you can rely on a bankruptcy filing to help you avoid an eviction. To determine if it is possible, consult with a bankruptcy attorney like Dunnigan & Messier P.C. in your area.