Bankruptcy can affect the eviction process
HOW DOES EVICTION WORK IN MINNESOTA?
When a tenant is late on the rent or in violation of a lease agreement, the landlord can evict the tenant from the premises. The landlord must serve the tenant with a summons and complaint. The summons will say why the landlord is evicting the tenant, and should have tenant's name and date of birth. The court issues the summons. The summons is an order for both the landlord and the tenant to appear in court. It will have a hearing date between 7 and 14 days after the complaint is filed. The court chooses the hearing date.
The tenant can answer the complaint and explain in writing why they should not be evicted. For example, that the tenant did pay the rent, but the landlord credited it to the wrong account, or that the tenant is withholding the rent for repairs.
At the hearing the judge will hear evidence and decide whether or not the tenant should be evicted. They will look at things like payment receipts and bank statements to determine whether the tenant has paid the rent or not. If the landlord wins at trial, the judge will enter an order for the tenant to vacate the property within 24 hours. Whether or not the judge has entered this order controls how bankruptcy will work with the eviction.
IF THE EVICTION ORDER HAS NOT BEEN ISSUED THEN BANKRUPTCY STOPS THE EVICTION TEMPORARILY
If you file the bankruptcy before the Minnesota State Court judge enters the eviction order, then the bankruptcy will stop your landlord from evicting you. This is because filing bankruptcy creates an injunction called the automatic stay, which
stops creditors from taking certain acts to collect a debt from you. The automatic stay stops them from starting a new eviction action against you.
The landlord, however, can ask the court for permission to evict you. This takes at least a month, however, and can give you time to find a new place to live. This process is called a motion for relief from the automatic stay. If you get a motion for relief from the automatic stay from your landlord, it probably means that they are trying to evict you.
IF THE EVICTION ORDER WAS ISSUED BEFORE THE BANKRUPTCY WAS FILED THEN THE BANKRUPTCY WON'T STOP EVICTION
If the landlord successfully got the eviction order before the tenant filed bankruptcy, then the eviction process continues uninterrupted. If the landlord gets the eviction order before the bankruptcy case is filed, then a bankruptcy is of little help. The bankruptcy filing can get the debtor another 30 days to cure the arrears if there is another law or contract allowing the debtor to cure the arrears on the rent. There are not many laws or rental contracts that allow tenants 30 days to cure rent arrears, so this is not useful very often.
This article only applies to residential real estate rentals. This includes apartments and houses. The rules are different for renting commercial buildings and farms. Walker & Walker Law Offices, PLLC does not practice eviction law. This article is not legal advice on Minnesota eviction law. If you are worried about losing your home, then call 612-824-4357 to set up a free conference to see if we can stop an eviction for you.
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