Lot Tenant...In Bankruptcy...Non-Payment...Evict...But Can You?...Thanks!

My Husband and I have two Mobile Home Parks.One of the Tenants (Lot Rent Only) in the one Mobile Home Park has filed Bankruptcy and has named the MHP as a Creditor.  We have received Bankruptcy Papers from his Attorney.  Even though this Tenant is in Bankruptcy he continues to pay his Lot Rent and is not behind.  Thus, this is not a problem (so far).However, in the other Mobile Home Park we have a Tenant (Lot Rent Only) who ‘says’ that they have filed for Bankruptcy.  In this instance we have NOT received any written documentation from any Attorney or anyone concerning the Bankruptcy.  Now this Tenant is behind on Lot & Water Rent for this month and we have filed for Eviction.This morning I spoke to the Magistrate’s Constable concerning two of our Evictions in the second MHP (He was ‘trying’ to serve them the first notice).  I mentioned that the one Tenant indicated that they were filing for Bankruptcy.The Constable (in South Carolina) then said that he was not sure but if they filed for Bankruptcy then ‘maybe’ the Constable could not proceed with the Eviction.Is this true?  If you file for Bankruptcy, you get to stay on someone else’s land for free?Thanks in advance for your help!

I doubt it, it’s your property and if they don’t pay they have to go. I have a park in SC also in Darlington County.

Filing for bankruptcy frees the person from being evicted for past rent due. However, the day the filing becomes effective, they still owe rent from that day forward. The tenant either has filed or they haven’t. If they have, then you must stop the eviction. If they have not, then you should proceed until they file or until you get them removed from the property, whichever comes first. Nobody can live on your property without paying rent, but bankruptcy does indeed wipe out the old balance. Research the laws in your state on your obligation to verify they have not filed prior to filing for eviction.They may have screwed you over on the old rent, but they can’t screw you on the current rent from the date of their filing. They can only file bankruptcy every so many years, to they have run out of tricks.

Brian and Frank, thank you so very much for your comments!  We greatly appreciate them!Frank, your comments are very logical and help to clear the confusion :-).  Thanks so very much!

Kristin:Bankruptcy “freezes” everything. The idea is that it gives people or companies time to sort their affairs and come up with a better plan than whatever isn’t working. Frank is right that they’ve either filed or the haven’t. If they claim the protections of bankruptcy, then they have to file and provide you with evidence that they have protection under the bankruptcy statutes.The money the owe you for pre-BK is unsecured, so you’ll only see a portion of that money. I don’t believe that you’d be able to keep any of their deposit but check with counsel on that. As part of the initial plan for reorganization, they are supposed to pay you some portion of the rent during their stay in bankruptcy. That’s why you’re getting paid by the first tenant. For him to exit BK, he’ll have to create a plan to meet his ongoing obligations – if he falls behind after leaving court oversight, you’ll be free to evict.BK is expensive and irritating to creditors, but there’s so much case law that a good attorney should be able to give you a thorough summary of your rights.Will

Will, thanks so very much for all your information!  We greatly appreciate it!