Pittsburgh, PA asked in Foreclosure for Pennsylvania

Q: I have been renting a property for 9 years. And not it is in foreclosure.

In August I received a letter to pay my rent to a trustee. I have been doing that with the intent to purchase my house at the Allegheny Courthouse this February. Now my landlord served me papers saying that he filed Chapter 11 and that if I attempt to buy his house that he would sue me. He also demanded that my rent be paid to him. Who do I pay rent to? The law Firm or him? Can I buy my house? And what are my rights? Please look at Case no. 17-12482-cgm

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1 Lawyer Answer

W. J. Winterstein Jr.

PREMIUM
Answered
  • Foreclosure Defense Lawyer
  • Boyertown, PA
  • Licensed in Pennsylvania

A: To answer your questions, I'd need to see what has been filed by your landlord in his Chapter 11 case, including what orders have been entered authorizing him to utilize his lenders' cash collateral (the rent you pay would most probably be part of that cash collateral). In addition, we'd need to know what kind of "trustee" sent you the August letter, and by what authority that trustee is acting.

I have to assume that your intent to purchase your residence next month at the Courthouse means that the house is being foreclosed and a sheriff's sale has been scheduled for February. If the landlord has filed a Ch. 11 bankruptcy, any foreclosure sale will be stayed by the bankruptcy court's automatic stay.

There are provisions of the bankruptcy code that pertain to your payment of rent to a landlord bankruptcy debtor, and possible rejection of the lease of the property. Without more information, we can't know by what authority some "law firm" claims to be entitled to your rental payments. Is the law firm representing the holder of the Mortgage debt on your residence?

To answer your several questions reliably, we'd need to review the landlord's bankruptcy filings and any orders entered by the bankruptcy court (they can be obtained with Pacer electronic court access, with a bankruptcy case number and the district in which the case was filed, as well as court-filed documents in the foreclosure case.

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