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How to Stall to the Eviction Process in California

California landlords can evict tenants if they fail to pay rent or violate provisions of the lease agreement. If you find yourself in a position where you are facing eviction, know that there are defenses available to challenge it in court. Landlords must provide adequate notice to their tenants informing them that they must pay any back rent, fix a lease violation, or move out. If the tenant fails to complete what the landlord request in the notice, then the landlord can file an eviction lawsuit.

What Is a Pre-Judgement Claim of Right to Possession?

When a landlord files an eviction, they have the option to serve a “pre-judgment claim of right to possession” to all unknown occupants. This informs all unnamed occupants that an eviction action has been filed and their right to be heard in court. If the landlord includes a pre-judgment claim of possession when they serve the eviction notice and the unnamed occupants fail to complete and file the pre-judgment claim form with the court, then the unnamed occupants lose their rights in the property and their right to assert any tenancy rights.

However, if the landlord neglects to use a pre-judgment claim, then a person residing on the premises who isn’t named in the lawsuit can delay the eviction for at least two weeks by filing a “third party claim of right to possession” at the last minute. The court will set a hearing to decide if the claimant should have been named in the eviction action. If the court decides the claimant is legitimate and should be named as an additional defendant, then the landlord can be ordered to start the eviction process again. Filing a pre-judgment claim can delay the eviction process by up to 5 days.

Can an Automatic Stay Stop an Eviction?

Filing for bankruptcy will initiate an “automatic stay” that prevents your landlord from starting or continuing any eviction process that was or could have been commenced before you filed for bankruptcy. Additionally, landlords can’t try to collect the money you owe for rent or bill you for past due rent if you file for bankruptcy.

However, if the landlord gets a judgment of possession before you file for bankruptcy, then it won’t stop the eviction. If your eviction case is coming to an end but you want to remain in the property, then you must deposit the full rent that’s due within 30 days with the bankruptcy court the same day your case is filed. You must also submit a certification that says you can cure the entire arrears and that the law would otherwise allow you to do so. If any of these requirements aren’t met, then the automatic stay won’t protect you from being evicted.

Consult with Our Bankruptcy Team Today If You’re Facing Eviction

The compassionate and dedicated lawyers at Kostopoulos Bankruptcy Law are here to assist if you are currently struggling with burdensome debt and facing eviction. We make it our goal to provide top-notch legal representation and save our clients’ from their debt nightmare. Our attorneys have been selected among America’s Top 50 Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys, and we are prepared to vigorously fight for your rights under the law.

To schedule a free consultation with a Certified Consumer Bankruptcy Specialist, please call (877) 969-7482 or contact us online.