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Can filing for bankruptcy stop an eviction?

Can filing for bankruptcy stop an eviction?

Families across Virginia are struggling to get by. Many don’t qualify for unemployment, and the stimulus checks do not go far enough to cover everyday expenses or rent payments. After falling behind on rent, families may be concerned about what will happen next.

Tenants unable to pay rent due to COVID-19 could stay in their homes while all non-essential court proceedings were suspended. But what will happen when the suspension ends?

Taking a look at the next steps

If you have recently received an eviction notice from your landlord, you may be fearful of what will happen when Virginia courts begin to address civil filings again. Depending on the situation, it is possible that your landlord will win the case and you will be subject to eviction.

Is bankruptcy an option?

Filing for bankruptcy can help families temporarily stay in their home. When a person files for bankruptcy, an automatic stay is put into action. The automatic stay halts most debt-collection efforts against you, including an eviction.  Filing a bankruptcy can provide you with extra time to find a new home by delaying an eviction.    However, if you want to continue living in your home you will need to catch up the back rent that you owe or face an eviction once your Chapter 7 is over.

An automatic stay prevents:

  • Wage garnishments
  • Repossessions
  • Asset seizure
  • Creditor calls
  • Foreclosures

Both Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcy offer the protection of an automatic stay. Those who qualify for Chapter 7 bankruptcy may be able to discharge most unsecured debts.

On the other hand, Chapter 13 works as a repayment plan that lasts three to five years. You can include the back rent that you owe so long as you can start making your regular rent payments after you file a Chapter 13 bankruptcy.  After making the necessary payments, all remaining debt may be discharged. No matter which option you choose, bankruptcy may be able to help you and your family stay in your home.