Filed chapter 7 bankruptcy

13 Replies

BP family, 

The tenants live in my first and only rental property paid a half of October's rent and told my PM that they are having a family emergency, but they will pay the rest of the rent they owe on 10/27, and there will be no problem going forward. Yesterday, one of the tenants (the wife) sent a short email to PM said her employer closed VA office and she is going to take a new job in Indiana, they will clear out the property in the middle of November, because the moving cost a lot they hope the PM would take the remaining October rent and the 1/2 of November from their deposit. My PM then arranged a on-site meeting with the tenants today. The tenants told PM the wife is taking a better pay job in Indiana and she is already rented a place there and is moving out on November 10th, but the husband needs to stay in local for his business, if the owner (me) agrees, he would stay on the lease for a full term. They will get some money from the employer, but they don't have money to pay the rent they owed now, they may come up with $200 next week (the tenants still owe more than $1000), my pm then mentioned the Notice to Pay or Quit, that's when the wife told my PM they filed bankruptcy (chapter 7) and the rental property is listed as creditor (both husband and wife on the lease and both filed bankruptcy)......my pm has no clue about what to do now. I would be very grateful if any of you could provide me any suggestions or share your thoughts.

V/r

Ling

File all your paperwork and start marching towards the eviction process ... 

My experience has been once tenants get more than a month behind, they seldom recover, so you need to be ready to get them out.

^ bingo. Get the paper filed yesterday. Your PM should know better than to accept partial payment. That’s a big no no

What does chapter 7 have to do with anything? Evict them, they can’t stop that with a bankruptcy, that’s  irrelevant. Once they are evicted fire your PM, because they clearly don’t know what they are doing, and your paying for them to know this most basic process of PM’ing...

Actually if the tenant really did file Chapter 7 it can have quite an important impact on your options.  When a tenant files for bankruptcy prior to the landlord starting the eviction process, all collection actions against the tenant should stop. This includes unlawful detainers (evictions) and other efforts to collect money. Filing bankruptcy creates an "automatic stay," which means that creditors (including a landlord) cannot take any action against the debtor (tenant) without court permission.  A landlord can proceed with an eviction by asking the federal bankruptcy court to lift the stay though.

I'd consult with a local attorney in this case since it sounds like your PM isn't going to be much help. 

Good luck.

The correct answer your PM should tell you instead of I don’t know, is I will get back to you after consulting legal counsel.
Consult a lawyer and once your contract ends with your PM I suggest terminating..
A proper PM should be guiding you with Eviction Process.

Originally posted by @Kyle J. :

Actually if the tenant really did file Chapter 7 it can have quite an important impact on your options.  When a tenant files for bankruptcy prior to the landlord starting the eviction process, all collection actions against the tenant should stop. This includes unlawful detainers (evictions) and other efforts to collect money. Filing bankruptcy creates an "automatic stay," which means that creditors (including a landlord) cannot take any action against the debtor (tenant) without court permission.  A landlord can proceed with an eviction by asking the federal bankruptcy court to lift the stay though.

I'd consult with a local attorney in this case since it sounds like your PM isn't going to be much help. 

Good luck.

Good answer, I stand corrected. So the question comes down to if they did file, or are they just bluffing.

If it where me, I could gamble and file a UD. Judge would dismiss it maybe, then we would have to amend and request the federal courts to lift it. 

I’d also scan my lease and see if I could find another way to evict them for breach of lease that does not include money, and file that case along side my other case.

All else fails, grab an attorney or workout something with the tenants.

I’m not an attorney, not legal advice.

Kyle J. Thank you and you are so right -  I consulted an attorney online: once the tenant filed for bankruptcy, they got an auto - stay and that prevents the landlord from giving the tenant a termination notice. My only option now is to hire a lawyer to ask the court to lift the stay.

Roy N.  I do need to get them out asap. 

Justen, one of the most expensive lessons I have learned: do not hire a PM just because she is a kind person.

Levi T. The tenants listed the landlord as one of their creditors. 

Raul R. Thanks for the suggestion. I need to get my property back first, the very next thing is to let the PM go.

I would like to share more about the process as a lesson learned when it's done.

Ling

Levi. They filed. PM photoed the federal court's notice. The tenants know their "rights" and play the system very well.  

Ling

The one good thing about Chapter 7 is that the tenant MUST pay bills or jeopardize the agreement. This includes all rent going forward.

Update 1: hired an attorney and found out the tenants' bankruptcy case was closed a month ago. You can find the info about any bankruptcy by yourself if you know the case #, but you have to register on this side first (it requires Tax ID):

https://pacer.psc.uscourts.gov/pscof/registration.jsf

Update 2: tenants continue to owe October rent (Nobember rent was due on 11/1 too) and refuse to provide a moving-out date. I accidentally became a landlord, wasn't ready to give anyone "a hard time", but no choice now -- Just gave the attorney a go-head and issued 5-day notice. 

Thank you all again for your support.

Ling

Originally posted by @Scott Weaner :

The one good thing about Chapter 7 is that the tenant MUST pay bills or jeopardize the agreement. This includes all rent going forward.

 I'm pretty sure you are thinking about a Chapter 13. There is no agreement with a chapter 7, but they do owe anything after the bankruptcy.

Yes, you are correct. It is Chapter 13 that you want the tenant to file.

Update 3: The next door neighbor of my property called one of my friends last night (while we were friendly to each other, I didn't bother to give the neighbor my contact info -- my bad and learned) to let him know my rental property's garage door was wild open, some food and furniture inside and a "free to take" sign outside. It appeared that the tenants left with their 3 dogs (they made the PM believe they hate dogs ~).

Chapter 7 is total liquidation, so landlord won't be able to get any past rent owed. With 0 debts, PM said the tenants bought a new car, got promoted to a higher pay job, rented a new place -- can't blame those people who know how to play the system, for me, this might be a price I have to pay to learn. Now it's time to assess the damage and move forward.

Thank you all for sharing your thoughts. 

Ling 

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