I'm planning to file chapter 7 bankruptcy, will I be required to pay my rental office the $3500.00 I owe in back rent and fees even if they sue me for it and win the judgment?
1 Answer from Attorneys
The Chapter 7 case will cover all "dischargeable" debts that existed on the date you file. Chapter 7 is a "snapshot" of your situation on the date you file. I see no reason the $3500.00 should not be dischargeable, because it's a debt that existed prior to your filing. Make sure you list it on your paperwork and also "reject" the lease. Your lawyer will know what that means.
Also, your landlord cannot sue you and "win a judgment" after you file, because of the "automatic stay" which comes into place the moment you file and acts as a wall between you and your creditors.
It would be a different story if the landlord asserted that the debt was for "willful or malicious" damage to the property, but I assume that is not the case because you refer to back rent.
Of Counsel to Werb & Sullivan
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