How Filing for Bankruptcy Can Stop an Eviction

Couple filing for bankruptcy together

Filing bankruptcy may stop an eviction in Georgia for a short period, but it might not prevent the eviction. Several factors affect whether you can prevent eviction by filing bankruptcy. However, the sooner you contact a Georgia bankruptcy attorney to discuss your situation, the more options you might have to do with unpaid rent and eviction.

What is the Bankruptcy Automatic Stay?

When you file for Chapter 13 or Chapter 7, the court immediately issues an automatic stay. The bankruptcy automatic stay prevents creditors and lenders from taking specific actions during a bankruptcy case. Those actions include, but are not limited to:

  • Evict you from your home, with limited exceptions
  • Contacting you to collect a debt
  • File or proceed with a foreclosure or repossession
  • Garnish your wages
  • Place a lien on your property 
  • File or continue with a debt collection lawsuit
  • Seizure of property 
  • Freeze your bank account

The automatic stay remains in effect until the end of your bankruptcy case, or the court modifies the stay. If the judge grants the motion to modify the automatic stay, the landlord may proceed with the eviction.

How Does Chapter 7 Affect an Eviction in Georgia?

A no-asset Chapter 7 bankruptcy case generally takes about months to complete. Therefore, filing Chapter 7 may delay the eviction for a few months. However, the landlord could speed up the process by petitioning the court to modify the stay. 

If so, the landlord could proceed with the eviction before your Chapter 7 case is complete. However, you might still have 2 – 3 months before the bankruptcy court grants the motion to modify the stay and the landlord completes the eviction.

However, if your landlord has an order of eviction before you file Chapter 7, the landlord may proceed with the eviction even though you file Chapter 7. The Chapter 7 bankruptcy case gets rid of the unpaid rent in either case.

How Does Filing Chapter 13 Affect an Eviction in Georgia?

As with a Chapter 7 case, if the landlord already has an eviction order, the court generally allows the landlord to proceed with the eviction. However, if you file the Chapter 13 bankruptcy case before an eviction order is entered, the Chapter 13 bankruptcy filing stops the eviction. It could also prevent eviction.

Chapter 13 is a court-supervised repayment plan. You propose a bankruptcy plan for three to five years. If you include full payment of your unpaid rent through your Chapter 13 plan, your landlord may not be able to proceed with the eviction. You must remain current with your Chapter 13 plan payments and future rent payments.

There could be other factors that impact the eviction proceeding. For example, if your repayment plan spreads out the unpaid rent past the lease agreement, the landlord may object to the plan. Talk to a bankruptcy lawyer as soon as possible to preserve as many options as possible to deal with an eviction proceeding. 

Contact Our Georgia Bankruptcy Attorney for a Free Consultation 

Are you facing eviction or foreclosure? Do you struggle to pay bills and make ends meet? Call our Georgia bankruptcy attorney for a free bankruptcy consultation. Learn how filing bankruptcy can help you get a fresh start by getting rid of debts you cannot afford to pay.

Posted in: Bankruptcy