Eviction Law- Residential Tenant Files for Bankruptcy Protection

Despite Florida’s streamlined statutory framework for residential evictions, tenants maintain several tools to delay the eventual final judgment of eviction. A bankruptcy filing will delay an eviction process by the imposition of the automatic stay under 11 U.S. Code § 362. While inconvenient, the bankruptcy filing should only temporarily impede the eviction process.

The Bankruptcy Code requires the eviction practitioner to obtain “relief from the stay,” for the eviction court to continue with the eviction case.

Bankruptcy Code section 362(d)(2) provides this Court with authority to grant relief from the automatic stay where (a) “the debtor does not have any equity in the property” and (b) “such property is not necessary to an effective reorganization.” 11 U.S.C. § 362(d)(2). 

A simple motion and hearing are generally all that is needed to obtain an order granting relief and permitting the eviction case to continue in the lower court.

All Federal District Courts maintain local rules and procedures for the file filing of a Motion for Relief from Stay, and generally will require that your attorney seeking such relief from the stay be a member of the Federal Court of the district where the relief is sought.

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