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Bankruptcy Law Blog

Monday, October 26, 2020

Will Filing For Bankruptcy Protect Me From Eviction?

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, several states and cities across the country placed a temporary moratorium on evictions. But not Alabama. The only renters who have any sort of protection against eviction here are those living in HUD properties and rental houses with mortgages backed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. This is one of the reasons Alabama was ranked the worst state in the nation to live in during the coronavirus crisis.

Many renters who are having trouble making ends meet wondering if bankruptcy may be a solution. Renters who anticipate being evicted, or who have recently been served with an eviction notice, may be able to pause their eviction by filing for bankruptcy. Filing for bankruptcy hits the pause button on all other legal actions the debtor is facing — including eviction. What happens next depends on the type of bankruptcy filed.

Chapter 7 vs. Chapter 13

A debtor who files for bankruptcy under Chapter 7 of the bankruptcy code will be protected from eviction while their bankruptcy case is pending. So, a few months at best. During this time, the renter should use bankruptcy as an opportunity to work out a new agreement with the landlord or find a new living arrangement.

A Chapter 7 bankruptcy is often called a “fresh start” bankruptcy because most of the filer’s debts are wiped out by the court. Past due rent is a type of debt that can typically be discharged.

A renter who really wants to stay in their current rental until, and has the cash flow needed to keep making payments while also catching up on past-due payments, may want to file for bankruptcy under Chapter 13. A Chapter 13 bankruptcy includes a multi-year, court-supervised repayment plan that is designed to get the debt caught up on all of their obligations.

When Filing For Bankruptcy Won’t Help

Although filing for bankruptcy may protect a renter who fears eviction, it may not protect a renter who is already in the process of being evicted or a renter that is endangering the rental property.

If the landlord got a judgment for possession prior to the tenant filing for bankruptcy, the tenant will need to vacate the property. Filing for bankruptcy will not stop the eviction. This is why it is critical for tenants served with an eviction notice to speak with an attorney as soon as possible. Eviction cases proceed very quickly under Alabama law.

Landlords can also proceed with an eviction if they can show that the tenant is endangering the rental property, or has used drugs on the property in the last 30 days.

Mobile & Baldwin County Bankruptcy Attorneys

If you are facing eviction, and you suspect filing for bankruptcy may be the best path forward, the Padgett and Robertson team is here to help. Contact us today to schedule a free initial consultation where we can discuss your options.


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Padgett and Robertson assist clients with Bankruptcy, Personal Bankruptcy, Consumer Bankruptcy, Chapter 7 Bankruptcy, Chapter 13 Bankruptcy and The New Bankruptcy Law in Mobile, Alabama and throughout southern Alabama. Alabama State Bar Association Regulations require the following: "No representation is made that the quality of the legal services to be performed is greater than the quality of legal services performed by other lawyers." 11 U.S.C. 528 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code requires the following: "We are a debt relief agency. We help people file for bankruptcy relief under the Bankruptcy Code.”



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Alabama State Bar Association Regulations require the following: "No representation is made that the quality of the legal services to be performed is greater than the quality of legal services performed by other lawyers." 11 U.S.C. 528 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code requires the following: "We are a debt relief agency. We help people file for bankruptcy relief under the Bankruptcy Code.”