When Behind in Rent Can Bankruptcy Prevent Eviction?
A failure to pay the rent could lead to an eviction. Landlords have the right to initiate such proceedings even if you plead with them and attempt to explain your financial hardships.
When facing such circumstances, you’ll naturally attempt to delay the eviction. The goal can be accomplished in a couple of ways. If your financial situation is dire enough, you may consider a bankruptcy filing. Going through with the process could also offer you some protection against eviction.
Will a Bankruptcy Filing Stop an Arizona Eviction?
In Arizona, you will receive an eviction notice that states a compliance time period. If you fail addressing a specified problem within the respective timeframe, you will be evicted.
For a failure to pay rent, you will get an eviction notice with a five-day warning period. The timeframe is specified in A.R.S. 33-1368. If you have a month-to-month agreement and your landlord wants you to leave the apartment, the eviction notice will be provided 30 days in advance.
The best course of action in such circumstances is to comply with the eviction notice.
If it’s simply impossible to make a payment at the time being, you’ll have to consider alternatives.
A bankruptcy filing may or may not stop an eviction.
A bankruptcy filing puts in effect an automatic stay that protects the debtor from collection efforts on behalf of creditors. The stay becomes effective the moment the filing goes through.
Bankruptcy filings offer protection from eviction whenever they’ve been filed before the eviction notice was issued. The automatic stay makes it possible for the landlord to issue an eviction notice from that point onward.
When you file after you’ve been served with the eviction notice, you will do very little to slow the process down.
Landlord Rights and Additional Considerations
Even if your bankruptcy filing occurred prior to the serving of the eviction notice, your landlord will still get to fight the automatic stay.
Landlords have the right to file a motion with the Arizona bankruptcy court that will give them the permission to move forward with the eviction. Unless you have a very good reason to request a delay in the eviction, the automatic stay may be lifted by the court.
If a landlord is capable of proving extensive property damage or illegal drug use on top of the late payments, the automatic stay will be lifted once again.
Finding proof of the first is relatively easy – before and after pictures or videos will be sufficient to present the condition of the property to the Arizona court and request a lifting of the automatic bankruptcy stay.
A Bankruptcy May Buy You a Bit of Time
The most important thing to understand in such situations is that the bankruptcy will not stop the eviction process.
In the best case scenario, a bankruptcy can buy you a little bit of time. Landlords, however, can also seek their rights in court. If they do, the bankruptcy automatic stay will be lifted after a short period of time and the eviction notice timeframe will become effective.
The best thing to do in such situations is to use the time to negotiate an agreement with your landlord.
It’s in the best interest of both parties involved to seek a mutually-beneficial agreement. Your ability to commit to a certain payment schedule will make it possible to stay in your apartment and overcome financial issues gradually.
Alternatively, you may want to pursue debt settlement or consolidation. If you reduce some of your existing debt, a bit of income will become available. This income can be used to make your apartment payments on time.
Click here for information on the 5 signs of bankruptcy.