When you file for bankruptcy protection, certain federal and state laws determine whether a landlord has the right to evict you. Specific factors requiring your attention include the timing of the bankruptcy filing and any eviction proceedings taking place.
During a bankruptcy proceeding you cannot be evicted as an automatic stay goes into effect. This will prevent a landlord from taking actions such as removing your belongings or changing the locks.
The following are a few scenarios that impact the outcome:
Landlords may evict a tenant under the Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act if the landlord issued a court-ordered judgment before the tenant filed for bankruptcy. Under Georgia law, the automatic stay against creditors does not apply to eviction proceedings if the tenant is able to pay rent to “cure” the eviction. However, this usually will not stop the eviction, as tenants typically only are able to do this within a week of getting the notice of eviction.
Landlords are not allowed to proceed as usual with an eviction if the tenant has already filed for bankruptcy. Instead, they must go through federal bankruptcy courts to lift the automatic stay if they hope to continue with the proceedings. Judges will usually consent, as lease agreements do not have an impact on the overall value of a tenant’s estate.
Under Georgia law, landlords are allowed to refuse late payments to cure evictions if the tenant had already received an eviction notice within the previous year.
If you have followed all of the terms of your lease and have paid your rent on time, your bankruptcy will not affect your tenancy. The process of an eviction in Georgia is very structured requiring your landlord to file with the court. It may take many weeks to get approved after which an officer will show up to ensure you vacate the premises. At this point, there is nothing you can do to stop it. So it is always best to take steps to resolve the issue before it reaches this stage.
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