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.
What Kind of Bankruptcy Must I File?
In order to be effective in stopping an eviction and keeping you in your home, you must file a chapter 13 bankruptcy prior to the trial date. This is because the judge, at trial, will issue a judgment for possession if you do not bring the rent current by the end of that day.
You cannot wait until the last minute. If an eviction lawsuit has been brought, and you have already been to court, it is too late to do anything.
In order to file a chapter 13 bankruptcy successfully, 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 plan of repayment 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 is usually less than the three year plan period of most chapter 13s.
So What Do I Do?
If you live in southern New Jersey and are facing eviction from your home, and are considering filing bankruptcy, please feel free to 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 are looking for more information about bankruptcy, then download my free book,Top Questions People Ask About Filing Bankruptcy in New Jersey.