About one month ago I received a call from a blog reader about the effect of filing bankruptcy on residential evictions. The caller wanted to know if he could stop an eviction from his rental apartment by filing Chapter 7 bankruptcy.The answer depends upon the status of the eviction process is at the time of the bankruptcy filing. If the landlord has not obtained a state court judgment entitling the landlord to possession of the property and the removal of the debtor then the bankruptcy will stay the eviction proceeding. If the state court has issued a judgment of possession the bankruptcy will not stop the eviction, but there are several exceptions. For example, the bankruptcy tenant can stay the eviction for thirty days if he has a right to cure the lease default under state law or he deposits in the court registry the amount of rent which will become due during the thirty day stay.
Even if the law permits the landlord to evict the bankrupt debtor the bankruptcy stay will prevent the landlord from executing remedies other than eviction to collect past due rent.