If out former tenant owes us money but has filed for bankruptcy, can we sue the co-signer?

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If out former tenant owes us money but has filed for bankruptcy, can we sue the co-signer?

Our previous tenant owes us about $10,000 on rent. They told us that they would pay us when they were able, so we waited, however they recently file for Chapter 7. We know we will not see any dime on the rent from them.

Asked on December 23, 2011 under Real Estate Law, Washington

Answers:

FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

If the former tenant has filed for bankruptcy protection, under 11 U.S.C. section 362 any action you want to file against the person is stayed by the above section. However, if some other person co-signed on the lease of the bankrupt tenant and this person has not filed for bankruptcy protection, then there should be nothing preventing you from bringing an action against the co-signer.

Before you do so, it is important that you carefully read the written lease for the rented unit signed by the co-signer. I suggest that you consult with a landlord tenant further.


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