Q: Took tenant to small claims judge ruled in my favor but says she is filing bankruptcy can she add that to bankruptcy?
If so does that mean she doesn’t have to pay me what the judge ordered her to pay and is there a way to stop her from not paying us and adding it to the bankruptcy when she files? We filed the case in small claims before she ever started to file for bankruptcy but now she’s saying her lawyer is telling her she doesn’t have to pay us anything because it’s now going to be added in with everything else. She is an ex tenant that broke the lease she no longer lives there but destroyed the place before she moved out and we didn’t know she was gone for two weeks after she had left.
A: While she can add the back rent to the Bankruptcy, she cant just live there for free. If she is a Chapter 13, she has to bring current and stay current
If a Chapter 7, she either has to pay or get out
I HIGHLY recommend that you seek out counsel in your jurisdiction that can assist you. DO NOT GO IT ALONE
A: If she has filed bankruptcy you are barred from collection. Dont even think about it. However, the only way to properly check is to call the court clerk. Do not trust her to file. Clients often claim they filed or will file. She is only protected if she actually files the bankruptcy. The automatic stay protects her while the stay is active. The discharge protects her if she completes the bankruptcy. Clients often are dismissed because they filed the case but don't pay the filing fees or Chapter 13 plan payments. If the case is dismissed you can collect. And although you may not be able to collect from her you can certainly evict a tenant if she does not pay. There is a provision of the code where she can immediately at the start of a bankruptcy put the money she is behind into a trust fund and complete her lease. But an evicted tenant has little or no rights.
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