Watch Those Changing Laws

As the date of my Unlawful Detainer (eviction) trial drew closer, my attorney was getting increasingly puzzled. The Plaintiffs (opposing side) were making no effort to overturn the Automatic Stay on the bankruptcy. When a Bankruptcy is filed, the most significant immediate consequence is they Automatic Stay, which freezes action on the unlawful detainer (eviction) until the stay is lifted. The stay can be lifted by the Motion for Release of the Automatic Stay.

Why had the opposing side not filed a Motion for Release? My attorney spoke with the opposing attorney and found that the laws had recently changed whereby having more than one bankruptcy in the past year means that the Automatic Stay only lasts 30 days.  The opposing side was so confident in their understanding of this new law that they didn’t file a Motion for Relief from Stay at all.  This led my attorney and me into a false sense of confidence that we were OK.

Ultimately, we rescued the situation by filing a bankruptcy for my wife, which then created a new and separate Automatic Stay, which stopped the Unlawful Detainer action.  The whole thing is very nerve-racking, and requires an ongoing understanding of the evolving legal situation.

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