Stop Eviction in Cuyahoga County
Also Serving All of Northeast Ohio Including Lake, Lorain, Geauga, Portage, and Summit Counties
If you are facing eviction, you are likely to feel scared, overwhelmed, and uncertain of where to turn. Our team at Van Ness Law is here. We have stood firmly by the sides of numerous clients as they faced an imminent eviction from their residence. Has your landlord wrongly evicted you? Have you been the victim of an illegal “self-help” eviction? One of the most common methods of stopping an eviction is filing for bankruptcy. Filing for either Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy will invoke the automatic stay and cease the eviction proceedings, but time is of the essence! Your bankruptcy must be filed before the eviction hearing takes place or the automatic stay will not protect you.
On this page, you will find information about when you can fight an eviction, what that process entails, and what happens at eviction hearings. Read on, and should you have questions about your situation, do not hesitate to contact us and schedule a free consultation with our Cuyahoga County bankruptcy eviction lawyer.
When to Fight Eviction
If a landlord decides to evict a tenant, they must first provide a written notice that gives a reason for the eviction and a deadline to vacate the rental unit. Unfortunately, missing rent payments, even if a tenant has been sick or had difficulty finding work, is reason enough for a landlord to evict them. There are, however, many situations in which tenants can fight an eviction.
- When a landlord has demonstrated bias against a tenant because of their race, gender, religion, or status as a parent
- If a tenant lives in a mobile home park or government-subsidized housing
- When a tenant has arranged to pay rent through an escrow account
- Instances when a landlord has elected to evict a tenant because they had an issue with the property that the landlord should have rectified
- When a landlord does not accept rent, even though it was on time
- When a landlord improperly or illegally evicts a tenant
What Is a “Self-Help” Eviction?
A "self-help" eviction occurs when a landlord takes matters into their own hands and attempts to evict a tenant without going through the proper legal channels. This can include changing locks, shutting off utilities, or physically removing the tenant's belongings. Not only is this behavior illegal, but it can also lead to serious consequences for the landlord. In fact, tenants have the right to sue for damages caused by a self-help eviction.
How to Fight Eviction Through Filing Bankruptcy
If a tenant has been served an eviction notice and wants to fight or stop the proceedings, the first thing to do is retain an attorney. Charles Van Ness, our office’s lawyer, has represented numerous individuals and their families across Northeast Ohio. He has the know-how to prepare and file a Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy to stop the eviction, get you time to reinstate delinquent rent payments or find a new place to live, and protect tenant rights throughout the process.
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What Happens at an Eviction Hearing?
An eviction hearing is a legal proceeding that takes place in civil court and is presided over by a judge or magistrate. While the hearing may occur in a courtroom, it can also take place in an office. It is important to note that the landlord must be present for the case to proceed, while the tenant is not required by law to attend. However, attending the hearing allows the tenant to present their case, ask for more time to move, or even argue in their defense.
Both landlords and tenants have the option to bring an attorney and any witnesses to testify. During the hearing, the judge or magistrate will listen to testimony and take evidence from both sides. The landlord will go first, followed by the tenant, who can cross-examine the landlord and their witnesses. The tenant can also present evidence for their case, with the landlord having the right to cross-examine as well.
If the landlord is victorious in the case, they may choose to arrange a court-supervised move-out. The exact amount of time that a tenant has to move following an eviction will vary. If the tenant wins, they have the right to remain in the property.
Your bankruptcy must be filed before the eviction hearing takes place or the automatic stay will not protect you.
"I can enthusiastically recommend Van Ness Law to anyone considering bankruptcy."Charles is very good at explaining the various aspects of the process and answers any questions in a timely manner.- GN
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"I would recommend him to anyone needing legal assistance during a challenging time."He was professional, well spoken, efficient, and affordable.- Kelley B.
"Van Ness Law was very professional and kind during our tough time."Such a sigh of relief to be on the other side of our situation now with all the help they provided.- Keith C.
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"Mr. Van Ness explained everything in full detail and helped me understand the process."I can’t thank Mr. Van Ness and the front desk ladies enough. You’ve taken a massive burden off of my chest that I’ve been dealing with for years.- Sarah R.
At Van Ness Law, we offer free initial consultations. With no cost to you, there is no reason to delay seeking legal representation. Our team is here to guide you through the bankruptcy process to stop an eviction and fight tirelessly for a positive outcome.