A New Jersey Lawyer Explains if Bankruptcy Can Prevent an Eviction

Bankruptcy can help you with an eviction in New Jersey, but only under certain circumstances and only if you file the right kind of bankruptcy. This also presumes that eviction is being brought for nonpayment of rent and not for some other reason. If it has been brought for some other reason, like habitual late payment, then bankruptcy can’t help. As a New Jersey bankruptcy lawyer, I can evaluate your case and determine if bankruptcy is an option to prevent eviction.

Filing Bankruptcy Before the Eviction Hearing

You cannot wait until the last minute, and to avoid eviction, you must repay the rent to the landlord. The critical deadline here is the trial date for the eviction proceedings brought by your landlord. If that lawsuit has been brought, and you have already been to court, it is too late to do anything.

Under New Jersey law, a judgment for possession is issued to the landlord if the unpaid rent is not paid by the end of the day of trial.

Why to File a Chapter 13 Bankruptcy

Assuming you file bankruptcy before the trial day, it must be a Chapter 13 with a repayment plan, not a Chapter 7. To do that, you need to have positive cash flow. In other words, you need to have money left over at the end of the month after paying your bills (including things like the current rent, but not things like credit cards). This can then be used to pay your landlord the back rent.

The repayment plan must also offer a “prompt cure” of your breach of the lease. What this is can depend on the judge assigned to your case, but it is usually less than the three-year plan period of most Chapter 13 plans.

What You Can Do

If you live in Burlington, Camden, Gloucester, Salem, or Cumberland County, New Jersey, and are facing eviction from your home and may be considering bankruptcy, I can help. If you can pay creditors over and above the current rent and living expenses, call me at 856-432-4113 or contact me through this site for a free consultation in my Woodbury office to discuss your case.

If you want more information about bankruptcy, download my free book, Top Questions People Ask About Filing Bankruptcy in New Jersey.

Not sure if bankruptcy is right for you? Take the quiz to the right to find out more!

Steven J. Richardson
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Bankruptcy, Collections, Student Loan, DUI and Traffic Court attorney in Woodbury, NJ.