When the rent is late, the landlord doesn’t typically offer a lot of time to figure out a solution. So it’s not surprising that many Georgia renters behind on their rent wonder if they can discharge back rent when they file bankruptcy.
Many Debts (But Not All Debts) Can be Discharged by Bankruptcy:
There are many debts that can be discharged through bankruptcy, but not all debts are eligible for discharge. Some debts simply are not discharged even if they are causing a significant portion of the financial stress leading to a bankruptcy filing.
Bankruptcy and Back Rent in Georgia:
If you’re wondering if back rent is eligible for discharge in a Georgia bankruptcy, there’s one other factor that must be part of the question. Are you filing Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy? Rental debt is handled differently depending on which type of bankruptcy you file.
Chapter 7 Bankruptcy and Back Rent or Rental Debt:
When filing Chapter 7 bankruptcy, Georgia renters may receive a discharge of rental debt for houses, apartments, cars, etc. However, under Chapter 7 bankruptcy, renters are not offered the opportunity to repay their past-due rent. The renter filing bankruptcy can choose to assume the lease which gives them 30 days after filing to repay their back rent balance. If they are able to cover the back rent, they can stay in their rental. If the Chapter 7 filer cannot come up with the cash to cover the past due amount and bring their lease current, they can choose to reject the lease. In this scenario, the renter is not obligated to continue paying rent, and the past due rental amount would be discharged at the end of the Chapter 7 bankruptcy, but the renter is not protected from eviction. The landlord may, in fact, seek authority from the court to quickly get the eviction proceedings started.
Chapter 13 Bankruptcy and Back Rent or Rental Debt:
If a Georgia renter files Chapter 13 bankruptcy and they have back rent they are worried about, they can either assume the lease and stay or reject the lease and leave the property. If they decide to stay, they will need to pay all their past rent. They will also simultaneously make regular monthly payments moving forward. If they do not, the landlord of the property may reach out to the court to request they lift the automatic stay to allow them to evict the renter.
If you are behind on your rent, in debt, and you need help filing bankruptcy, call Kenneth C. Rannick P.C., Tennessee, and Georgia bankruptcy attorney to ask about getting a fresh financial start. We help good people through bad times.