Bankruptcy and Eviction
When you file bankruptcy n Florida, the automatic stay will protect you from eviction unless:
- The landlord received a judgment of possession prior to the filing of the bankruptcy. A judgment of possession is the final court court order in an eviction proceeding. When this order is signed by the judge, the tenant is officially evicted and the landlord may take possession by legal means. The judgment of possession extinguishes any legal right the tenant had in the lease, thus there are no further actions to stay. If the order was not signed before the bankruptcy is filed, the automatic stay will stop the case from proceeding.
- The landlord files a motion with the court stating the tenant has damaged the property or the tenant is using illegal drugs on the property within the past 30 days, the tenant will have to respond or the stay will be lifted. If the tenant responds, the court will decide after a hearing.
- If the tenant does not make lease payments due AFTER filing bankruptcy, the landlord will be able to get the stay lifted.
- If the tenant does not cure the default on the lease (pay past due rent due before the filing) within a reasonable time, the landlord will be able to get the stay lifted.
Eviction and Chapter 7
If you are current on your rent you can continue the lease if you continue to pay rent on time. If you are behind on your rent you must pay post-petition rent on time and catch up on the back rent within 60 days. You also have 60 days after filing to formally assume or reject the lease. If you do not assume the lease, the landlord may proceed with eviction.
Eviction and Chapter 13
If you file Chapter 13 and you are current on your rent, you cannot be evicted as long as you pay ongoing rent payments on time and do not violate other terms of the lease. Ongoing rent may be paid outside the payment plan to avoid fees from the trustee.
If you are behind on your rent you must include past due rent AND ongoing rent in the payment plan.
In either case you do not have to assume or reject your lease until your payment plan is confirmed.
In a Chapter 13 you may be able to continue the lease beyond it's term if you make payments on time.
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