Can Bankruptcy or the “Automatic Stay” stop Evictions in New York City?

Yes, but you need to speak to an attorney in New York City and get your case filed before your landlord acts against you for the best result. If you are facing eviction the “automatic stay” will temporarily stop the eviction proceedings allowing you to stay in your apartment longer. If it is in your best interest bankruptcy will give you the ability to stay in your apartment permanently by catching up on your rental arrears in a court monitored repayment plan as well. Bankruptcy can buy you some time in the apartment, or fix the problem of unpaid rent, but it pays if you can see the eviction coming and take action before your landlord does.

The “automatic stay” will protect you from eviction for the duration of your bankruptcy but only if your case is filed before your landlord has a judgment against you. The “automatic stay” will instantly cease almost any creditor actions against you including a pending eviction, but if your landlord has already obtained a judgment for possession of the property then the “automatic stay” will be of little help alone in keeping you in your apartment. You will have to take an additional step.

If you file bankruptcy after your landlord has a judgment against you then you will need to file a separate declaration of your right to cure the default under New York State Law. That is to say the “automatic stay” will not be automatic. It is a separate process outside of the bankruptcy petition that not every state allows, but it allows you to stay in your apartment even with a judgment of possession against you. At the bankruptcy court you will have the opportunity to give your next month’s rent directly to the court instead of your landlord. This will halt any eviction, and will then give you another 30 days to pay your landlord for the past due rent amounts. At this point you will be protected by the court and will have a number of different bankruptcy options for repaying the past rent. You will be able to stay in the apartment indefinitely if you file bankruptcy in New York City through the “automatic stay” or through a separate declaration. Remember that bankruptcy will also eliminate almost all of the other toxic debts that have been keeping you from paying your rent, so you can focus on your fresh start and on only paying the debts that really matter.

If you are behind on rent and struggling to pay your bills start thinking about your rights as a renter and consumer in New York City. Most people do not realize the bankruptcy process can stop eviction even if you are desperately behind on your rent. If you live in New York City contact the Law Offices of William Waldner online or at 212.244.2882 to arrange a free consultation today. We only practice bankruptcy law and maintain a 99% Chapter 7 bankruptcy discharge record in New York City as of 8/31/16.

**** DISCLAIMER: This article is intended for educational purposes only. By reading no attorney-client relationship has been created. Prior results do not guarantee a similar result for future clients.