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Had signed a personal guarantee for a commercial lease

Los Angeles, CA |

I signed a 5 yr lease w/ personal guarantee on it on 2000, business went down on year 2003, by Nov. of 2003, we ran out of money to pay rent, I closed up my business and look for job. 1 mo. later my landlord sued me for remaining 2 yr rent. At the same time, I got a job offer from a foreign company, we moved out of the country before the trial date. Later, we found out my place was rent out within 2 months. We are planning to move back to the USA now. In this kind of situation, will that Court still can come after me? My wife didn't signed personal guarantee, can they frozen my wife bank account? How do I find out if my landlord continue to sue me after he rent out the place in 2 months?

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Attorney answers 1


As you know, your landlord can sue you for the unpaid rents due for for the remainder of the lease.

Your landlord can recover damages but must also "mitigate his damges" by attempting to re-lease the property to another renter. Here, you report the property was rented out two months after you moved out. The landlord's damages are the difference between what you owed on the remainder of the lease and what the landlord was able to recover by renting. If the landlord rented for a lower amount than was due under your lease, you would owe the difference between that amount and the amount you agreed to pay. If the landlord was able to increase the rent, then he may not have incurred any damages and you might owe nothing.

If there is a judgment against you, then the landlord can enforce the judgment when you return. Under some circumstances, the landlord can enforce the judgment by levying on your wife' bank account. There is not enough information to answer that question. You can find out the status of the lawsuit by checking with the clerk of court wher the case was filed. Some courts have these records online.

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