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I'm a homeowner and have just received a sheriff's 5 day notice to vacate through a writ of execution what are my legal options?

Los Angeles, CA |

I have been fighting the foreclosure process for quite some time. An group of investors purchased our property and have been moving forward in getting us out of our home. Will a BK help or is there some kind of legal action that can be done in order to get more time in our home?

Attorney Answers 5


  1. I've added "Foreclosure" and "Tenant Rights" tags to your post for additional exposure.


  2. Your home has already been sold at the Trustee's Sale and a buyer bought the house rather than the bank taking it back. Now the buyer has a judgment for possession and wants you out so he/they can either move in themselves or put a tenant in. Filing a BK will temporarily stop the eviction process. Assuming that the BK is not a sham, once filed, the Sheriff can take no further action. The owner will have to make a motion to the Bankruptcy Court to set aside the Automatic Stay that becomes effective upon filing the BK. This can take many months depending on the new owner's level of familiarity with such legal issues.

    This might, however, give you the option of discussing whether the owner would be willing to pay you some money in order to simply move out without further legal action. This is called "cash for keys." If the owner is an investor who only wants to rent out the house, he might be willing to pay enough for moving costs or, perhaps, more. Filing the BK buys you time to try to work some arrangement like this out. Also, if the buyer is an investor, and you would like to stay in the house, you might be able to work out a lease which would avoid the need to move immediately.

    Tough situation. Good Luck

    The information given is generic and does not constitute legal advice, which would only be given after a consultation and complete review of the specific facts of your case.


  3. I agree with the very well written post above. Your options are limited but negotiating with the new buyer and finding out what their intentions for the property are remain at the top of the list.


  4. Mr. Laden already gave you good advice. Although, timelines may vary by district; generally, if a creditor is on the ball, they can get the bankruptcy protection lifted in as little as 35 days. Once the stay is lifted, a new 5 day notice goes out, so a BK may only buy you 40 days on the low end. So a bankruptcy is probably not going to buy you that much more time. Also, you should have other reasons to file bankruptcy beside stopping a "lawful" eviction.

    Since the house has already been sold, all I can offer is some objective perspective. I understand you have become quite attached and committed to the fight, but I think it is time you start looking toward the future and not dwelling on the past. The house IS GONE, the war is over; so no point in spending valuable resources trying to have another battle. The best thing you can do for you and your family is focus your time and energy on finding a new place and moving, and moving on with your life in a positive direction.


  5. I agree with Mr. Laden's answer with one caveat: Since your landlord has obtained a judgment of possession and you have received a 5-day notice to vacate a bankruptcy probably will not protect you or give you additional time due to an exception to the automatic stay in such circumstances. IMO, you have in all probability no viable legal options left and you should use your available time and resources to obtain alternative housing.

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