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Bankruptcy and Arrearages

Can Bankruptcy Impact a Rent or Lease Arrearage in Florida?

Reliable guidance from our Boca Raton legal team

Attorney Angelo Gasparri and the legal team at Shapiro, Blasi, Wasserman & Hermann in Boca Raton known that housing affordability is a major issue in Palm Beach County. Many people are forced to make difficult decisions between paying rent on time or paying car loans, medical bills and other basic living expenses. If you owe money to a landlord or lender and are considering filing for bankruptcy in Florida, Attorney Gasparri will work to find solutions that best serve you and your family.

How bankruptcy filing affects late rental payments

The amount of money overdue for your missed rental payment or loan payment is called your arrearage, or arrears. How does filing for bankruptcy impact a rent or lease arrearage in Florida? When a person files for bankruptcy, an automatic stay goes into place. This stay prevents a landlord from beginning the eviction process, or a mortgage lender from proceeding with a home foreclosure. But a bankruptcy filing does not mean that your late payments are automatically forgiven. What happens next depends on the type of bankruptcy you choose:

  • Chapter 7 — After filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, you have 60 days to decide whether you want to keep your rental lease or reject it. If you decide to reject it and move out of the home or apartment, you can have your rental arrears eliminated through the debt discharge that comes at the end of the Chapter 7 process. However, the drop in your credit score will make it more difficult to be approved for a new lease. If you want to keep your current lease, you have 60 days from filing for bankruptcy to pay the rent you owe. You are also responsible for paying your current rent obligation. Otherwise, you could face eviction.
  • Chapter 13 — Filing for Chapter 13 bankruptcy means you will create a plan to repay creditors over a period of three to five years. Whether you choose to stay in your current rental or leave it, you will have to pay owed rent. If you keep your lease, your landlord may ask the court to make you pay back the rent promptly. If you break the lease, your arrears will be included in your repayment plan. The landlord can also seek damages for unpaid rent on the remainder of the broken lease.

Renters of commercial property who file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy must also make late rent repayments.

Our attorneys carefully explain your options for bankruptcy and possible alternatives, and make sure you are informed of your rights and financial obligations. When we can, we negotiate repayment agreements that make it unnecessary to file for bankruptcy.

Knowledgeable Florida attorneys identify relief options for mortgage arrears

During the coronavirus pandemic, Governor DeSantis set aside $250 million from the CARES Act to provide mortgage and rental assistance funds for people struggling to make payments. Of that funding, $120 million was made available for short-term rental assistance, and could be used to help pay lease arrearages. Another $120 million was divided among Florida’s counties to use for mortgage buydowns, emergency repairs and certain other matters. The CARES Act also prevented mortgage foreclosure of government-backed mortgages until the end of 2020. Any further relief of this type depends on whether the federal or state government authorizes additional funds or chooses to extend the ban on eviction and foreclosure proceedings.

If you owe money on your mortgage and you fear foreclosure, speak with a qualified bankruptcy attorney. Our lawyers understand that keeping a roof over your family’s head is always a top priority. We will work persistently to come up with viable solutions to your financial problems.

Contact established South Florida bankruptcy defense attorneys for a free consultation

Located in Boca Raton, Florida, Attorney Angelo Gasparri and the legal team at Shapiro, Blasi, Wasserman & Hermann advise South Florida renters who are considering bankruptcy. To schedule a free initial consultation with our office, call 561-235-3286 or contact us online.

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    Excellent service. Very responsive, compassionate. Could not ask for a beoutcome. Thank you Gasparri law group.

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    Unforeseen circumstances lead to my recent painful divorce and Attorney Gasparri overcame the challenges we faced to obtain dissolution. He respected my emotions without losing focus on the process and took the time to understand all aspects of my ca...

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    He is very good at what he does.

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