Can Chapter 13 Help With my Rent Problems in New York City?

If you live in New York City and have fallen behind on your rent because of insurmountable toxic debts, medical bills or job change you could find some permanent relief by filing Chapter 13 bankruptcy.  Chapter 13 is the most powerful form of bankruptcy, and can solve your rent troubles in a number of different ways and giving you a fresh start on your other toxic debts as well.  Depending on your financial situation and your goals after bankruptcy Chapter 13 will allow you to either eliminate your past rental payments entirely, or to catch up on the payments over time.

If you are happy where you live and want to stay in your current rental situation then you will need to catch up on your rental payments.  Chapter 13 allows you to pay rental arrears over a 3-5 year repayment plan.  You will need to pay your rent moving forward in addition to the back payments that have built up, but the other bad debts that have been preventing you from making rent will be wiped away.  With all your general unsecured debt like credit cards, medical bills, personal loans etc. eliminated most of our clients have no problem finding the money needed to catch up on rent during their plan.  Even when they are $10,000 behind on rent when they file, our clients still pay only $167 per month to catch up on the back payments plus another 10% for the trustee in a Chapter 13 plan.

If you don’t mind finding a new place to live, Chapter 13 can simply eliminate the rental arrears you have accrued as part of your general unsecured debt.  If you go this route the debt to your landlord will be wiped away forever.  You will be legally protected from any collections attempts for the unpaid back payments, and with all of your other debts bad debts wiped away; it might just be easier to move into a better place anyway.  Filing for bankruptcy will also put an “automatic stay” into affect for the duration of your case.  You could potentially buy yourself some additional time in your place, rent free, before deciding if you should catch up on your payments, or if you should move on to another place.  Timing is everything when it comes to finding a great place in Manhattan, so having a little extra time to decide can be very helpful.  When it comes to saving an apartment and getting some help on past due rent Chapter 13 is usually the single best option for renters in New York City.

If you live in a rent stabilized apartment in New York City you have another important thing to consider.  Rent stabilized apartment leases are now being considered assets by many Chapter 7 bankruptcy trustees.  This means you could potentially lose your rent stabilized apartment if you file Chapter 7 bankruptcy even if you are current on your rent.  It’s important to file Chapter 13 to protect rent stabilized apartments.  Some clients will file a Chapter 7 thinking their apartment is safe since they are current on their rent only to find themselves with a fresh start on the street.  If you are considering bankruptcy protection and are in any type of rental situation it’s important to seek the advice of a qualified bankruptcy attorney familiar with Chapter 13 cases.

Another thing you should know is that your attorney’s fees can also be paid off through your Chapter 13 plan.  You can get the advice you need today, and then pay for it over the next five years just like your back rent.  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.