If one of my renters hasn’t paid her rent and just informed me that she has filed for bankruptcy, can I still proceed with a 5-day notice to pay rent followed by an eviction notice?

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If one of my renters hasn’t paid her rent and just informed me that she has filed for bankruptcy, can I still proceed with a 5-day notice to pay rent followed by an eviction notice?

She said that all future communications should be addressed to her attorney.

Asked on January 16, 2015 under Bankruptcy Law, Illinois

Answers:

M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

Bankruptcy slows down the eviction process but it does not stop it. The way it works is, if a landlord has not won a judgment for eviction before their tenant files for bankruptcy the landlord cannot deliver a termination notice. This is because of what is known the "automatic stay". However, a landlord can go to the bankruptcy court and ask the judge to "lift" (i.e. remove) the automatic stay so that they can proceed with the eviction (in most cases the stay is lifted within a matter of days).

Note: If a landlord sued their tenant for eviction and won a judgment for possession before the tenant filed for bankruptcy then they can proceed with eviction.


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