October 07, 2006,
J.J. asks from Plainfield, IL on October 06, 2006
Our Tenant Declared Bankruptcy - Need Advice
We signed a 12 month lease with a couple that wanted to rent out a home we own. They have not moved into the home. They have now declared bankruptcy and do not want to pay any rent owed to us.
We were told by an attorney that we can ask to have our claim removed from the bankruptcy proceedings because they misrepresented themselves on the rental application. Unfortunately, this attorney's fee to assist us is rather large.
Is this something we can do on our own or does anyone know of an attorney who may be reasonably priced?
A.K. answers from Chicago on October 06, 2006
Hi. If they haven't moved in yet or even have the keys you have a right to keep the security deposit I think. Check the Landlord Laws. Was anything like that stated in the 12 month lease? Also, how did you find out that they filed? Did they tell you or did you get a letter stating that? Some people do that to get out of a lease if they find something better.
L.S. answers from Chicago on October 06, 2006
I think I can be of some help but first I need some clarifiacation. If they have not moved into the home, why do they owe you any rent? I understand you have a contract, but I think they are only resposible for three months after they break the lease. Also, did they give you a security deposit? If it was a check, did it clear? Did they receive the keys to the house? Have they given them back? How much money is owed to you? How much was the monthly rent? You need to figure out the cost benefits of hiring a lawyer. There are some that are not as expensive, especially when filing motions, but it will still be an added cost that may not result in a positive result.
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J.K. answers from Chicago on October 07, 2006
Unfortunately, I can't recommend an attorney, but I think you should get one. In the mean time, get that house re-rented as fast as you can. First, its just smart, and second, its called "mitigating your damages." The court will be more likely to grant you some relief if it sees that you tried to lessen the amount of loss. ALso, I hope that you got some sort of a security deposit, and maybe first month's rent, when you had the tennant sign the lease. You can apply those funds toward the total amount owed.
B.P. answers from Chicago on October 07, 2006
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C.B. answers from Chicago on October 07, 2006
I think your better off cutting your losses. If they knew they were going to claim bankruptcy what would have stopped them from moving in & really sticking it to you. Then you would be hiring an attorney for eviction proceedings. I would say count yourself lucky they didn't move in & move on. Good luck to you. Hope you rent the house out soon.
R.F. answers from Chicago on October 07, 2006
Feel free to give me a call. I don't know what sort of fees you are looking to pay but he might be able to help. It's not something I normally do but I have done removals before.
C.M. answers from Chicago on October 06, 2006
I agree with the first mom, also it will be very hard to prove that the couple intended to file bankruptcy prior to moving in to your home. You may want to go on yahoo and look up landlord laws. Did they get the keys from you and have they entered the home. That is going to be your biggest argument.