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An option to consider if rental assistance does not help

On Behalf of | Mar 1, 2021 | Chapter 13, Chapter 7

Individuals experiencing serious financial hardship from a job loss may qualify for temporary rental relief. According to the Nashville Tennessean, a household may receive up to one year’s worth of financial aid to pay past due rent.

If an individual still finds it difficult to catch up on the bills, he or she may also consider bankruptcy as an option to resolve an unmanageable debt load. By filing a petition, a debtor may maintain the right to remain in his or her current home without fear of eviction during the bankruptcy procedure.

How a petition may protect an individual from eviction

The U.S. Bankruptcy Code provides an automatic stay, which means that most creditors may no longer collect from a debtor who has filed a petition. Generally, the stay lasts for about 30 days to give the bankruptcy trustee time to look over a petitioner’s assets and liabilities. A Tennessee landlord may not have the ability to pursue a legal action for eviction once a stay goes into effect.

While the Tennessee Supreme Court has suspended in-person eviction proceedings, the Shelby County sheriff’s office may, however, issue a writ, as reported by ABC News affiliate WATN-TV. With a writ, a property owner may attempt to garnish a tenant’s wages or enact other enforcements.

What a tenant may do to counter a landlord’s writ

Tenants may renegotiate a rental agreement with their landlords during the bankruptcy process. A petitioner may work out an arrangement to make payments for rent in arrears and avoid or postpone an eviction process initiated by a landlord’s writ.

The discharge of consumer and medical debt accomplished by a bankruptcy may provide enough financial breathing space to adjust, at least temporarily, to a job loss. It may also provide the means to enter into a successful back-rent negotiation with a landlord.