Although he was posting under a fake name because he was trying to evade a ban and is thus a complete asshole, Hedge (posting as “TheMan”) raised an interesting point, one that I am sure he didn’t seriously intend.
When you file bankruptcy in Florida, the automatic stay will protect you from eviction unless:
- The landlord received a judgment of possession prior to the filing of the bankruptcy. A judgment of possession is the final court court order in an eviction proceeding. When this order is signed by the judge, the tenant is officially evicted and the landlord may take possession by legal means. The judgment of possession extinguishes any legal right the tenant had in the lease, thus there are no further actions to stay. If the order was not signed before the bankruptcy is filed, the automatic stay will stop the case from proceeding.
- The landlord files a motion with the court stating the tenant has damaged the property or the tenant has used illegal drugs on the property within the past 30 days, the tenant will have to respond or the stay will be lifted, and the debtor will be fully subject to ALL of their creditors’ actions to collect debt. If the tenant responds, the court will decide after a hearing. Since Bankruptcy Court is a FEDERAL court, and marijuana remains illegal (for now) at a Federal level, weed is enough to meet this standard. If your tenant has a weed card, you can get their stay lifted.
- If the tenant does not make lease payments due AFTER filing bankruptcy, the landlord will be able to get the stay lifted.
- If the tenant does not cure the default on the lease (pay past due rent due before the filing) within a reasonable time, the landlord will be able to get the stay lifted.
A tenant filing Bankruptcy is actually good news, because you know that you are going to get paid from that point forward, with the power of a Federal Bankruptcy court behind you.