By Cynthia Podis, Bankruptcy Lawyer, Podis and Podis
As state courts open, eviction proceedings have re-started. The General Sessions Courts handle these proceedings where damages are under $25,000. The landlord files a Detainer Warrant with the court. It is served on the tenant and a court date is set. Usually the court date is 5 to 10 days after you get the Warrant. This is a civil matter and they are just looking to recover their rent, get the defendant to move out of the property and present evidence for any damage to the property. If you do not appear, the Judge will enter a judgment for the landlord. If you have not moved out after ten days, the landlord comes back to the Clerk of the Court and files a Writ of Possession. The landlord coordinates the move out of you and your possessions to the curb.
If you are current on your rent the landlord can evict you for violating other terms of the lease, like using the property for a crime such as selling drugs or keeping dangerous animals on the premises.
Once the judgment is final, the landlord can pursue you for the money owed by garnishing your wages or a bank levy (pulling all of the money out of your bank account).
Bankruptcy can stop an eviction for back rent if it is filed before the landlord takes a judgment. You can file a Chapter 13 Bankruptcy and repay the back rent. Some landlords will not renew your lease at the end of its term. Be sure to discuss this with your bankruptcy attorney. You can also wipe out the back rent in a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy. Be sure to list the landlord, their attorney and the General Sessions Court in you bankruptcy petition. You want to list the court to wipe out the court costs.
For more information, please schedule a Free Appointment with us at one of our 6 Middle Tennessee Locations – Nashville, Cookeville, Clarksville, Franklin, Hendersonville, and Murfreesboro by calling 1-888-372-8780. Put our 50 plus years of Bankruptcy experience to work for you!
This blog is for informational purposes and is not a rendering of legal advice. If you would like legal advice, please schedule an appointment. We are a debt relief agency. We help people file for bankruptcy relief under the Bankruptcy Code.