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RealEstateAnswer, Lawyer
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 27171
Experience:  10+ years in handling Leases, Landlord-Tenant, Foreclosures,Mortgages, and Eviction cases
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My landlord declared bankruptcy in January. We received a

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My landlord declared bankruptcy in January. We received a certified letter from the mortgage company, addressed to "occupant," in April stating that the owner (our landlord) had three months to bring the account current. We have heard nothing since from the court, the landlord, the mortgage company. What may we expect next? I am sure there are a number of choices. Mike
Hi! I will be the professional that will be helping you today. I look forward to providing you with information to help solve your problem.

Mike, good morning. I certainly understand the situation and your concern. Do you have a lease at this time or do you rent month to month?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Our lease expired in May. The last correspondence from the landlord was that we could continue to live there or move out. He indicated that the lease was null and void. We have not paid rent since March since he said he was unable to receive payments anymore.

Thank you for the additional information. If the landlord/owner declared bankruptcy, there would be an automatic stay on the home and if the lender wanted to foreclose, they would need to obtain relief from that stay, to proceed and take the subject property back. Moreover, there is no way of knowing the type of bankruptcy he filed and if the home will be included or what he is going to do with it. If he has advised you to not pay the rent, then that is something which will benefit you. I am not sure why he said the lease was null and void but if it expired in May, then you would be considered a month to month tenant. The letter which you received from the lender is likely a notice of default and is the first step which they take, before foreclosing. In addition, You do have rights and are protected, under the Protecting Tenants at Foreclosure Act. Under this law, the immediate successor in interest of a dwelling or residential real property must provide tenants with a notice to vacate at least 90 days before the effective date of such notice. The date of a "notice of foreclosure" is defined as the date on which complete title to a property is transferred to a successor entity or a person as a result of a court order or pursuant to provisions in a mortgage, deed of trust, or security deed. Tenants also must be permitted to stay in the residence until the end of their leases, with two exceptions: (1) When the property is sold after foreclosure to a purchaser who will occupy the property as a primary residence or (2) When there is no lease or the lease is terminable at will under state . However, even when these exceptions apply, tenants must still receive 90 days notice before they may be evicted. As such, you would receive at least 90 days notice to vacate, when the time comes.

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Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Very well done. Thank you. I just wanted to know if someone would come knocking on the door and give us 24 hours or 3 days or something. Actually, I was pretty sure they couldn't do that, but my wife was VERY concerned. I care very much about her peace of mind and this helped greatly!

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Can I request you to answer another question? I asked the question but was assigned to a different attorney. I prefer you.

I would be happy to answer it as long as I know the answer. What is it that you would like to know?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

This is regarding the "landlord has declared bankruptcy" situation. Over the weekend, our plumbing backed up. I tried opening the vent above the drains which had worked before. This time, however, I think that the problem is truly a blockage, perhaps roots, between our house and the street. I called the plumber with whom we had worked in the past at this residence. They will not do any work without the approval of the owner. Conceptually, I understand this, but what do I do?

The landlord still has an obligation to make repairs. You need to place him on notice, in writing about the issue and he needs to respond within a reasonable time. If you are still paying rent, you may want to see if he will agree to allow you to fix the problem and deduct it from the rent. Typically, if the landlord is going to lose the home in BK or through foreclosure, they sometimes neglect the tenant and their responsibilities. If this is happening, you then need to decide if you want to continue paying the landlord rent. This is risky because you have an obligation to still pay if you reside there but the question is always if the landlord will waste the time, effort and money to sue you when they are losing to home.
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