Stopping Evictions Through Bankruptcy

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Being served with an Eviction Notice can be one of the most harrowing of events. Since the beginning of the COVID-19 Pandemic, many people have been protected from the prospect of eviction by Federal and State Statutes and Emergency Executive Orders prohibiting evictions. For the most part, those came to an end on July 31, 2021.

As U.S. News and World Report stated recently, the Eviction Moratorium is ending just as the highly contagious COVID Delta Variant is spreading across the nation. Now, millions of American families face eviction with no protection while confronting the prospect of a virus threat.


Filing A Bankruptcy Petition can stop eviction but, depending on the Chapter under which your Bankruptcy Petition is filed, the the protection can be limited and temporary. Moreover, the sooner you file your Bankruptcy Petition, the more protection it may afford.


If you have only received an Eviction Notice and your Landlord hasn't yet obtain a judgment in an Eviction lawsuit, then, once you file a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Petition, the Landlord will have to file a Motion for Relief from Stay, which usually takes at least 24 days before it can be granted by the Court, before they can continue with the Eviction process. The Landlord, however, could speed up the process by filing a Motion for Expedited Disposition. Once Relief from Stay is granted, the Landlord will have to go back to State Court and file the Eviction Complaint and you can file an Answer and any Counterclaims you may have which will slow down the process.

If, on the other hand, the Landlord has already been granted an Eviction Judgment in State Court, your options are much more limited. Once your Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Petition is filed, the Landlord can still file a Motion for Relief from Stay to speed things up but they don't have to because the Automatic Stay will terminate on its own 30 days after your Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Petition is filed. You can prevent the Stay from ending after 30 days if you deposit all the delinquent rent with the Court and file a Motion to Extend the Stay. Of course, most people who are facing eviction don't have the financial resources to pay all of the delinquent rent to the Court. So, this usually isn't a feasible solution.


A Chapter 7 Bankruptcy will discharge past due rent and damages. If you have already vacated the premises before filing your Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Petition, all past due rent will be discharged. Nevertheless, if you remain in the property after filing your Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Petition, you will be responsible for paying the rent which accrues during the time you remain in the premises after the Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Petition is filed.

As stated above, the protection afforded by Chapter 7 Bankruptcy is very limited unless you have the money to pay all of the delinquent rent. If you can't do that, you need to file your Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Petition and vacate the property as soon as possible. This will give you about 3 to 4 weeks to find alternative housing and will limit the amount of rent for which you will be responsible after your Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Petition is filed.


Chapter 13 Bankruptcy offers much more protection to a tenant facing an eviction for delinquent rent. If you have sufficient income, Chapter 13 may allow you to remain in your leased residence and cure the rent delinquency over a 3 to 5 year period. If you have regular income and want to remain in your leased residence, Chapter 13 is often the only feasible option.


If you are facing and Eviction or other financial problems, you need to consider the options available to you in Bankruptcy. Please call (513) 528-0200 or send an email to You can also contact us with through our website.

I look forward to helping you,

Greg Wetherall

Cincinnati Bankruptcy Lawyer

Categories: Bankruptcy Process