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Houston Bankruptcy - Bankruptcy and Eviction

Past due rent is dischargeable in a bankruptcy proceeding. In other words you can get rid of or eliminate past due rent in a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy as well as a Chapter 13 Bankruptcy. If you do file for bankruptcy and you are still renting, it is important to stay current with all ongoing rent payments after you file. If you don’t stay current with rent after filing for bankruptcy, the landlord can take positions to get you evicted because of your post-petition default. If you need to file for bankruptcy relief and have questions about eviction and bankruptcy, contact The Law Offices Of R.J.Atkinson, where an experienced Bankruptcy Lawyer can answer your questions about bankruptcy and eviction at a free bankruptcy evaluation.

Behind on Rent and Filing for Bankruptcy…

Just because you owe your landlord rent doesn’t mean they can just throw you out. Only an order of the court can compel you to leave your home. Owing money and being behind on your rent payments, isn’t enough to legally get you out of a rental property. A landlord, or any other party cannot just go to where you live, throw you out, and change the locks. There is a legal process that must be adhered to. Landlords must follow the rules within their legal rights to do so and no landlord can just kick you out without adhering to the legal process.

So if you have fallen upon hard times and haven’t paid the rent, your landlord may take positions to get you evicted from the premises. If you are being evicted from your home and in turn file for bankruptcy protection, the automatic stay of bankruptcy might give you some time, but it is minimal. The most recent changes to the bankruptcy laws make it much easier for landlords move forward with the eviction process.

It used to be that when you filed for bankruptcy while you were being evicted, the automatic stay of bankruptcy would stop the eviction process and buy you time, sometimes months. Not any more. This is especially true if the landlord has already obtained a judgment for possession against you before you filed bankruptcy. When you file bankruptcy after a judgment for possession has been entered, the automatic stay of bankruptcy will generally not have any affect on the eviction. In fact, the landlord can usually continue on just as if you had never filed for bankruptcy.

Filing for bankruptcy has no affect in situations where a tenant has not prevailed in a Texas State court eviction proceeding. Filing for bankruptcy also has no affect when the tenant and who is facing a judgment for possession pursuant to which the tenant is reinstated on the lease provided that the judgment amount is satisfied. In other words it has to be paid in full before the automatic stay could remain in effect. Should the judgment for possession not provide for reinstatement upon satisfaction of the past due rent or amount due, then it is presumed that the tenant will receive no relief at all from their filing for bankruptcy.

So in order for the bankruptcy filing to have any effect on a pending eviction proceeding where the landlord has a Texas State court judgment that may be satisfied as aforementioned, the tenant is required to deposit with the bankruptcy clerk one month of rent immediately upon filing the bankruptcy petition. And, in addition to paying the rent to the clerk, the tenant is required to file a certification under penalty of perjury stating (1) the judgment permits the tenant to stay in the premises upon satisfaction of the entire judgment amount and (2) the tenant has deposited with the bankruptcy clerk “any rent which would become due during the thirty (30) day period after the filing of the bankruptcy petition”.

When a tenant complies with the aforementioned requirements by tendering the rent to the Bankruptcy Court Clerk, and files the certification on the day that the bankruptcy petition is filed, the tenant receives thirty days under the protection of the automatic stay.

Should the tenant be interested in staying beyond the initial thirty day period, the tenant has to satisfy the amount stated in the judgment for possession within thirty days following the filing of their bankruptcy petition and must file within those same thirty days a certification with the Court that the tenant has in fact paid this amount. If the tenant complies with this requirement, then it is presumed that the automatic stay remains in full force and effect until modified by order of court.

So in many situations, the best case scenario a tenant can expect is 30 days.

In situations where the landlord did not obtain a judgment for possession, the automatic stay might buy a couple of days or even a few weeks depending on how aggressively the landlord pursues you. The landlord will usually file a motion to lift the stay requesting the Bankruptcy Court to allow the eviction process to proceed.

If you would like more information on what bankruptcy can do for your financial situation, contact the Houston Bankruptcy Lawyers at The Law Offices Of R.J.Atkinson to see if filing bankruptcy can help you to relieve your debt problems. Our Houston Bankruptcy Attorneys can provide you a free bankruptcy evaluation and a free bankruptcy means test to determine your bankruptcy relief options.

The Houston Bankruptcy Attorneys at The Law Offices Of R.J.Atkinson have helped thousands to get a fresh start in Bankruptcy and we might be able to help you.

If you live in Houston, Austin, San Antonio, Dallas, Waco, Plano, San Marcos, New Braunfels, or most anywhere in the State of Texas contact the Houston Bankruptcy Lawyers at The Law Offices Of R.J.Atkinson. An experienced Houston Bankruptcy Lawyer can help you decide if filing bankruptcy is the best option for you to get rid of your debt, significantly reduce your debt, or reorganize your debt.

Eviction & Bankruptcy Houston — Contact Houston Bankruptcy Lawyer R.J.Atkinson

Talk to a Houston Bankruptcy Attorney about Bankruptcy & Eviction: 713-862-1700

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