Does the automatic stay in the bankruptcy law apply to a residential lease?

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Jeffrey Johnson is a legal writer with a focus on personal injury. He has worked on personal injury and sovereign immunity litigation in addition to experience in family, estate, and criminal law. He earned a J.D. from the University of Baltimore and has worked in legal offices and non-profits in Maryland, Texas, and North Carolina. He has also earned an MFA in screenwriting from Chapman Univer...

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UPDATED: Jul 16, 2021

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Under BAPCPA, if a residential landlord already has a judgment for possession by the time the tenant files for bankruptcy, the automatic stay does not prevent the landlord from continuing to evict the tenant 30 days after the petition was filed.  An exception, however, does apply if you have the right to cure and you have actually cured any deficiency in rent.  You cure by depositing with the clerk of the Bankruptcy Court the rent coming due during that 30 days.

The stay no longer prevents a landlord from evicting a tenant based on endangerment of the property or illegal use of controlled substances.  To proceed with an eviction action after the filing of a bankruptcy, the landlord must file a certification with the court outline these factors.  As the debtor/tenant you have 15 days in which to rebut the allegations or to remedy the situation.  The court will schedule a hearing after you object to the eviction.  At this hearing, the court will decide whether the eviction may proceed or not. 

If you owned your home, but a foreclosure was finalized, the rules regarding eviction from a foreclosed home are slightly different depending on the rules in your state and any agreements that you had with your mortgage company.  You may still be eligible for some protection from eviction or you may be able to gather more time to find a new home through the bankruptcy process.  Contact a bankruptcy attorney in your state to see which options are available for an eviction after foreclosure. 

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