When you have lots of debt to pay off, you may struggle to stay current on rent. Your paycheck may not cover all the piling bills you have around you. You may have considered filing a Chapter 7 bankruptcy to help you deal with your debt. But what happens to your lease?

Depending on when you file, you may still be able to stay in your home during and after the bankruptcy process. But you must also stay current on your rent to avoid eviction.

The automatic stay pauses any collections or evictions

In a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, a judge orders all creditors to stop collecting on your debt. The automatic stay prevents your landlord from trying to collect any rent. It also temporarily halts evictions. But the stay only lasts for a short while as you go through the bankruptcy process.

Declaring bankruptcy may prevent an eviction

If you file bankruptcy before your landlord starts the eviction, you may have options to stay. During the process, you can reject or assume your lease. If you reject it, you will have to move out. But if you assume the lease, you may be able to stay. However, you will need to pay enough money to become current on your rent and keep paying after the bankruptcy ends.

Once an eviction starts, a Chapter 7 filing won’t stop it

You may be able to prevent an eviction with a Chapter 7 bankruptcy. But you can’t stop an eviction already in process. While the automatic stay is active, your landlord may not be able to take action. But once it lifts, they can continue with the eviction.

Filing a Chapter 7 bankruptcy can help you escape from overwhelming debt. But if you wait too long to declare, you may not be able to avoid an eviction. If you worry that you can’t pay both your bills and your rent, you may want to file before it’s too late.