It depends! You may be able to stay in your apartment, but you need to know the risks and your options.
Typically, if you are late paying your rent then your landlord can take you to court and have you evicted. On top of that — your landlord may get a judgment against you for past due rent, late fees, court costs, and any other penalty imposed for breaking your lease agreement.
Bankruptcy may help. Any judgment against you, rent owed or other penalties and fees that you may otherwise incur will be discharged in your Chapter 7 Bankruptcy filing. You are free to move — and should.
If you do not yet have a judgment and are hoping to stay in your current apartment — Bankruptcy may buy you some time. The automatic stay can prevent the landlord from proceeding with any type of lawsuit during the course of your bankruptcy case. However, you may have to pay a deposit over to the Court and the landlord can file a motion for relief from the automatic stay.
Assuming that the automatic stay is not lifted then you will have some breathing room to consider your options and perhaps get an idea where your landlord stands regarding this issue. You may still have to move out.
Although the bankruptcy can discharge debts you have incurred prior to the filing, you may still be liable for additional rent owed if you continue to live in the apartment for the months following the bankruptcy case filing.
After your bankruptcy case is closed, it will be up to the landlord to decide if they want to continue to work with you or not. It does not really matter if you had a month to month or a 12 month lease — once a bankruptcy is filed, the lease is essentially dead. This is why it would be a good idea to know what your landlord is thinking now — your money may be better spent finding a new place!
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