Many people have questions about the connection between bankruptcy and evictions. Will bankruptcy clear prior home evictions? Find out here.
Are you worried about bankruptcy and evictions? You may also be worried about the future, especially your credit profile. In particular, you may wonder if bankruptcy will clear your eviction record.
Sadly, the answer is no. Bankruptcy only allows you to clear previous debts. For Chapter 13 bankruptcies, you can set up payment plans with creditors and landlords, but the stain of eviction will remain on your record, even if you satisfied all previous debts.
However, there are ways to fight back. This article will reveal more about tenant bankruptcy and eviction. Let’s explore!
Credit Report Issues
Even if you discharged debts via Chapter 7 bankruptcy, the landlord can still report payment issues and previous debts to the credit bureaus. As a result, this negative information can remain on your report for at least seven years after the incident. Moreover, eviction lawsuits can go on your record because the legal proceedings are public records.
Additionally, credit bureaus may provide landlords a rental screening report. This report is a blacklist of all people who dealt with housing court proceedings nationwide. However, you can access the report, especially if you’re denied housing due to your credit or screening report.
As a consumer, you have the right to request the name of the organization and a copy of the report. You may even find inaccuracies in the document. If that is the case, the reporting agency must remove all unverifiable information.
Protection From Current Eviction
A bankruptcy won’t erase your past eviction, but it can protect you if your landlord is trying to evict you. A bankruptcy case can halt eviction proceedings temporarily. Even if you received a notice to vacate, you can file for bankruptcy to stop the eviction.
When it comes to Chapter 7 bankruptcy and eviction, you can receive a breathing window between four to six months. After your bankruptcy case closes, the landlord can resume the eviction process. However, the temporary stay will give you enough time to plan accordingly and find a new home.
With Chapter 13 cases, you are allowed to pay back past due rent. You can also satisfy previous debts with a payment plan lasting up to five years. This option may allow you to stay in your home and catch up on your rent in the process.
Lack of Protections
Landlords can still evict you even if you’re catching up on payments. For instance, they may pursue eviction if you damaged the unit. Regardless, a landlord may file a stay relief motion in response to the bankruptcy.
No matter the bankruptcy type, the landlord can restart the eviction process if the court grants a stay relief. The court will grant the landlord a stay relief under limited circumstances, such as unit damage or outstanding rental debt.
Also, landlords could get a stay relief if they believe you’re using illegal drugs in the unit. If the landlord brings up the issue of drugs, the following events can occur:
- The landlord will file a certificate with the court claiming you used drugs on the property within the past 30 days.
- You have 15 days to respond to the request. If you don’t respond, the landlord can proceed with the eviction.
- If you respond to the claim, the court will settle the matter in a separate hearing. From there, you can make your case in court. Since drugs may be involved, you should contact an attorney to help you craft a strong defense in court.
No matter the circumstances, you should have an attorney by your side during the eviction and bankruptcy process. An attorney can fight for your legal rights and provide additional options.
A Path Forward
Even though bankruptcy won’t clear your eviction record, you still have options. Overall, you have the following choices:
- Boost your credit score
- Consider private properties
- Offer a larger deposit
- Provide additional references
- Wait seven years until the eviction on your record is cleared
- Work with your landlord to clear the debt
The most direct way to remove the eviction is to involve your landlord. A landlord can get your record expunged if you pay all outstanding debts. If landlords agree to the arrangement, they’ll sign a statement showing their intent to clear your record. The agreement will become official when you pay off all outstanding debts. Further, you can show this document to future landlords.
Regardless of the situation, it’s important to disclose your eviction history upfront. Explain the circumstances that caused the eviction, as a potential landlord may be willing to work with you. The most accommodating landlords will be individual owners. Conversely, rental companies have strict policies that don’t allow much wiggle room.
Any eviction, regardless of the circumstances, will trigger an automatic denial in many cases. However, landlords who own individual properties are usually more flexible, especially if you meet them in person.
To boost your chances, you can amplify areas of strength. For instance, you may have an eviction, but you have a strong credit score. In other cases, you could persuade a landlord by making a larger deposit. Further, collecting more references than necessary may increase your chances of removing an eviction.
Bankruptcy and Evictions: What’s the Verdict?
Overall, bankruptcy and evictions require the services of an attorney. With the help of legal counsel, you can clear all rental debts and remain protected during the eviction process.
However, bankruptcy won’t clear any history of previous evictions. The eviction will stay on your record for at least seven years. In the meantime, you can work with your landlord to clear your current record.
Additionally, an eviction on your record doesn’t mean you’ll never receive a rental approval. You can explain the situation to landlords and improve other areas of your financial profile.