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Brent Blanchard
Brent Blanchard, Bankruptcy Attorney
Category: Bankruptcy Law
Satisfied Customers: 1975
Experience:  Twelve years experience in all aspects of debtor & creditor BK.
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I rent a house from a landlord, then found out he was being

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I rent a house from a landlord, then found out he was being foreclosed on, so I filed bankruptcy, thinkn it would stop the sale. Now the attorneys are evicting, claiming that I dont have any interest in the house, so the foreclosure sale was valid. The eviction court date is in 6 days. Is there anything I can do to protect myself or by me more time. Especially since I filed bankruptcy. Is there a bankruptcy law that protects me? Please help.
Submitted: 8 years ago.
Category: Bankruptcy Law
Expert:  Brent Blanchard replied 8 years ago.
Sorry to hear about the landlord's betrayal of your agreement,Customer

IF you were the OWNER of the land, then filing for BK could delay the sale either until late payments were caught up and a re-affirmation agreement on the debt was signed, or for the 3-9 weeks it would take for the lender to get a motion granted allowing "relief from the automatic stay"; to resume the foreclosure proceedings.

A renter's interest in the land is of mere possession so long as the rent is paid, not ownership. A renter's possessory interest in the land also automatically ends (usually with the word "terminates") the instant the owner sells it to another--whether a voluntary sale or a foreclosure sale.

If there was not some agreement between the buyer and seller requiring the buyer to honor the pre-existing rental agreement, the tenant has no rights. There is the *option* to try to negotiate an acceptable rental agreement with the new owner, which of course depends on what the new owner is willing to do.

The Bankruptcy Code provides protections to landowners, and in the case of Chapter 13 reorganizations, to renters who want to stay in leases with the actual landowners. Once the lease has terminated by operation of law by reason of sale of the property, there is no lease or rental agreement to be preserved.

The Section 256 you have heard of is the section of the Public Law (not numbered to the US Code) which enacted the 2005 Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act (BAPCPA), which significantly restricted some previous options under the BK Code.

Underlying real estate law, not BK law, is at play in the situation you describe. I am sorry that you were incompletely informed.

Thank you. BAB.
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
In other words, there is nothing I can do. Not even to buy some time?
Expert:  Brent Blanchard replied 8 years ago.
Anything to buy time at this point would most likely be:

1. Frivolous and without legal merit; and

2. A temporary fix of probably only three weeks.

The problem with no. 1 is that it can expose the person who is trying to "preserve the status quo" with something like a temporary restraining order to civil and maybe even monetary sanctions.

Sorry to bring bad news.

Customer: replied 8 years ago.
Thank you for your time. Its really appreciated. I can accept that answer. One final question that comes to mind, though, if you will please. I filed bankruptcy before on the same house for the same issue,and it stopped the foreclosure sale. So, isn't there some law that protects me again this time that the sale should have been stopped when I filed bankruptcy a second time? In other words, if it stopped the sale last time (within 8 months apart), it should have also stopped it again this time. The attorneys claimed I didn't have any rights to the house either time, so if it stopped then it should have stopped now? Right, and if so, isn't there some kind of law like breach that if it was allowed before, it should be allowed again. So they should have to have the sale again, instead of proceeding through with an eviction. Please comment. Thank you, XXXXX XXXXX
Expert:  Brent Blanchard replied 8 years ago.
The difference is that your possessory rights to the house existed between you and the landlord when the landlord owned the house. In this second BK you describe, the landlord no longer owns it.

When the place goes into foreclosure because a landlord is still taking rent but NOT paying the mortgage, that's a fight between the lender and the landowner. Once the landowner's rights to the land end, so does the tenant's.

The tenant's rights to possession flow only from the owner's rights. No longer an owner = can no longer grant permission to possess it, regardless of whether rent was charged or paid.

Thank you.

Expert:  Brent Blanchard replied 8 years ago.
Is there anything else left to answer?

Thank you.

Customer: replied 8 years ago.
I apologize for the delay. I actually thought I had accepted. Thank you for your patience. One question, though. I had a quit claim deed in my name to the house that was notorized, prior to filing bankruptcy. Although it was not filed in the in the courthouse title registry, is it still a legal contract that gives me rights to the house, even though it wasn't filed? The legal owner quit claimed it to me and we notarized it, but it was never filed. Does that give me rights to file bankruptcy, and if so, what is the bankruptcy or OCGA code on that.
Expert:  Brent Blanchard replied 8 years ago.
An unrecorded deed does give possessory rights to the land conveyed. Recording just lets the rest of the world know about it. If the prior owner sells it a second time to someone else, who has no reason to know about the other unrecorded deed, and that second person gets that deed recorded FIRST, then problems can arise and the first buyer might be left with nothing more than a monetary claim for a refund from the seller.

Owning or not owning a house does not affect a debtor's right to file for bankruptcy protection. However, it DOES obligate the debtor to fully disclose the ownership in the assets portions of the bankruptcy schedules. Failure to do so can be considered abuse of the BK code and lead to dismissal of the case.

Notarizing serves the purpose of proving under state law that the person whose signature is on the document is REALLY that person and REALLY signed it on the date indicated.

Thank you.

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