Due to a disastrous real estate investment which resulted a gianormous deficiency judgment ($500K), I am seriously contemplating filing chapter 7.
Other than my primary resident, my only other asset is a modest rental house with minimal equity ($45K). Though the equity would make less than a 5% dent in my unsecured debt/deficiency judgment, I'm assuming there is high probability I will have to sell the property as a part of the bankruptcy settlement.
I thought it only fair that I tell the current occupants about my plan to file bankruptcy as it may impact their dwelling. The tenants are an older couple in their 70's on a fixed income. They have lived in the house for 3 years and a have a year remaining on a lease/purchase agreement.
The timing of my bankruptcy could not be worst for them. Mr. X has back surgery a month ago and can barely walk. Mrs. X gets around with a walker and is awaiting hip replacement surgery which is scheduled next month.
They've outlived their relatives and have no children. But fortunately they've established a small network of neighbors and church members that help them if needed and look out for them.
My disclosure was not well received.
My tenants steadfastly refuse to consider the possibility that they may have to move. They’re insistent that they'll be allowed to petition the bankruptcy court to honor/uphold the lease purchase agreement. In addition, they believe the courts cannot force them to move because they cannot physically able or financially able to move due to their declining health, fixed income and a lack of affordable housing for seniors.
I am growing increasing concerned they may end up homeless or in a nursing home if they aren't more realistic about the outcome of the bankruptcy and more proactive about securing a place to live.
Once I file for bankruptcy , how long will the court allow them to remain in the property?
Do they have a prayer of a judge honoring the lease/purchase agreement?
1 Answer from Attorneys
At this point you have to look out for yourself.
If the lease purchase was well-written and properly recorded, it likely is enforceable and the bankruptcy trustee may well be bound by it. Hopefully a lawyer drew it up.
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