Filing bankruptcy is meant to help filers to eliminate debt and get a fresh financial start. If a bankruptcy filer does not have money to pay their bills, they may wonder: what happens if I cannot pay my rent? Am I protected from eviction?
In order to evict a tenant, a landlord must have definite cause. Before the eviction process begins, a written notice must be sent to the tenant. This notice should list specific reasons why the tenant must leave and a time period in which they must be out.
The notice can be sent if the tenant has broken the lease, failed to pay rent, or failed to move out after the end of the lease term. If, after receiving the notice, the tenant fails to take action or leave the property, the landlord can begin the process of eviction.
The renter is then served with a summons. At that time the renter can file a response and go to the court hearing. If the renter does nothing, the landlord is given default judgment. A Writ of Possession is passed on to a law enforcement official, who assists the landlord in taking possession of the rental property. The renter and their belongings will be removed by the officer. The landlord will change the locks and ensure that the property is secure.
However, all of this can halt if a bankruptcy has been filed prior to a judgment on eviction.
During bankruptcy the renter is given an automatic stay, halting the eviction unless the landlord petitions the bankruptcy courts. A reschedule for an eviction hearing will be made which can take up to four weeks. This allows the bankrupt renter a little time before they have to move.
If you are trying to determine whether bankruptcy is right for you and how to proceed as a renter during the bankruptcy process, contact an Arizona bankruptcy lawyer who will guide you through the process and make it easy to understand.
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