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Is my security deposit for a residential lease ($1000.00 ) discharged under my Chapter 7 Bankruptcy case?

Palm Coast, FL |

I paid a 1000.00 security deposit on 9/01/2012 for my rental lease. ( Held by property manager )
I filed Chapter 7 bankruptcy on 8/9/2013 and listed the deposit and landlord in my bankruptcy . I then moved out of the residence on 9/1/2013 owing 975.00 in back rent
My bankruptcy discharge was granted on 11/13/2013 and was never contested at meeting of creditors . Does the property manager have to refund my security deposit ?

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Attorney answers 4

Posted

A security deposit is not advance rent and cannot be used by the landlord as such. It is collateral held in case you damage the property. Florida Statutes have very specific rules regarding the retention of a security deposit by a landlord. If the landlord follows the rules, then the landlord may have the right to keep it. If the landlord failed to provide the written notice making claim to the security deposit pursuant to Florida law, then you should be able to claim it. Also, you should have listed the deposit on Schedule B of the bankruptcy petition.

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.

Posted

As Richard points out, this question is an answered by Florida landlord-tenant law. The bankruptcy, actually, has nothing to do with it. The answer lies in your lease agreement and Florida law as to when, and how much, a landlord can retain a security deposit.

Posted

The landlord does not have to refund your security deposit because of your bankruptcy. A bankruptcy discharges or eliminates your debts. The landlord is holding your asset as security or collateral for possible property damage or for the last month's rent.



Jeffrey Solomon
Law Office of Jeffrey Solomon
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The questions and answers posted on AVVO are for general information and should not be treated as legal advice or establishing an attorney-client relationship.

Kevin Christopher Gleason

Kevin Christopher Gleason

Posted

The attorneys who focus exclusively on the retention of the deposit as security for damages ignore the effect of rejection of the lease by operation of the Bankruptcy Code, which provides that rejection equates to a pre-petition breach of the lease by the tenant, which would give rise to additional rights in the collateral held by the property manager. Pursuing this asset is a waste of time. An exemption does not overcome a possessory lien.

Posted

If you listed it in the right schedule and exempted it correctly, you should be able to keep it.

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