The federal bankruptcy statutes allow individual consumers (such as residential tenants) with significant debt and insufficient income to file individual bankruptcies under Chapters 7 or 13 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code. When the tenant files bankruptcy, federal law prevents the apartment owner or manager from pursuing unpaid rent. This is called an automatic stay of bankruptcy. However, an apartment community is permitted to file a motion for relief from the automatic stay in order to move forward with obtaining possession of the apartment. Until the bankruptcy court issues an order “lifting the stay," the apartment owner or management cannot file or continue pursuit of a dispossessory eviction case or take further steps to collect unpaid rent. All motions for relief from the automatic stay must be filed online. Our firm is familiar with the different rules that apply in Chapters 7 and 13 bankruptcy filings, and can take prompt action to help our clients lawfully regain possession of the apartment.