Can I stay in my apartment?

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Can I stay in my apartment?

Practically speaking, so long as you are current in your rent payments, you can continue to occupy an apartment as provided by the lease or by the common law of landlord-tenant relations. This may not be true if the lease has been terminated prior to bankruptcy. For a discussion on the effect of an automatic stay on a residential lease, click here.

Strictly speaking, an unexpired lease is an asset of your bankruptcy estate that usually has no value and that a Chapter 7 trustee would normally “reject.” Rejection is a technical breach of the lease that would allow the landlord to evict you. If you are worried about this happening, ask the trustee to formally “abandon” the lease so that you can formally affirm it.

(Reviewed 11.14.08)

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