Do I have to [still pay rent during bankruptcy?
6 attorney answers
If you want to continue to live at your current residence/apartment you must continue to pay rent during the pendency of your bankruptcy case. When you file your case that is when the automatic stay goes into effect to protect you from creditor collection efforts while in the bankruptcy, and you may bankrupt debts that occurred prior to this date. However, any debt that is incurred after this date is a debt that you will be responsible for and that the bankruptcy will not discharge your obligation for (this includes rent while you are in the bankruptcy from the date you filed until the date you receive your discharge and after).
I agree with my colleagues that there is a lot of misinformation out there. If you don't want to remain in your apartment, don't pay rent and the debt due to your landlord will be discharged. However, if you want to remain in your apartment, the best course is to continue to pay your rent. You will also need to continue to pay utilities and any other secured debt where you intend to keep the collateral (like your car).
Yes you need to pay the rent. If you fail to do so then eviction is the landlord's right. Further, you will need to list your lease in the bankruptcy petition and disclose you intent to assume the lease or not assume it.
Please seek good legal assistance if you plan on filing, not cocktail party advice that may get you into trouble.
The response given is general in nature and based upon limited information. It does not and cannot replace that of a proper consultation with a qualified attorney. You should not act upon this Information alone, but should seek legal counsel prior to taking any action.
My belief is slightly different. Your contract is a debt discharged in bankruptcy and if you move out before any further proceedings it is my view your debt under the contract will be discharged! But if you wait till they obtain relief from stay, file unlawful detainer action and then stay there, they may obtain judgment for use after your contract expired as you are unlawfully detaining.
Watch out. There is a lot of misinformation out there that street lawyers will give you. I have met with clients that transferred their exempt homestead to another party because a lawyer that does not handle bankruptcy gave them the wrong advise. If attorneys that don't handle bankruptcy regular give the wrong advise, just imagine what kind of advice you are getting from street lawyers that never spent one day in a law school.
Mr. Caldwell's answer is correct, you only discharge debt that you owe as of the petition date. There are probably a lot of questions and issues that you have not thought about. The best way to answer this question, any other question you have and questions that you should be asking but have not thought of is to take advantage of a free initial consultation with an experienced bankruptcy attorney that handles chapter 7 and chapter 13 cases even if you think you need to file under chapter 7. Become educated on all the issues involved and related to your current economic situation, find out the advantages and disadvantages for filing under each chapter and use an attorney that can help you make the right decision for you. Most bankruptcy attorneys will meet with you at no charge for the initial appointment. You can use the Avvo "Find a Lawyer" link at the top of this page to search for an attorney.
Answers and comments provided are for general discussion only. My comments are not to be considered legal advice and they do not create an attorney-client relationship.
Yes, you still have to pay rent if you file bankruptcy. Filing bankruptcy does not mean you get a free ride for life or even for a day. It does mean that you may be able to discharge debts that existed prior to the filing of your case but you'd still have to pay for things like car and house payments and rent and utilities. You should consult with a local bankruptcy attorney.
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