Chapter 7 bankruptcy has many clear advantages, but unfortunately not many for home owners. Technically you can eliminate mortgage debt–just don’t expect to keep your home.
So how do you keep your home instead of Chapter 7 bankruptcy? What can you do during the bankruptcy? And what happens after — will you be able to buy again or negotiate with the lender? This post gives answers.
Usually Chapter 13 bankruptcy is best for keeping all your assets. The only negative is you have to pay back your debts; you cannot discharge one dollar in Chapter 13. The advantage is, say you have an expensive home you’ve been paying on for 20 years. Do you really want to lose it to pay back debt? And if you have a job, your chances are higher for keeping it with a new debt repayment plan
That said, if you want to keep your home before bankruptcy, no matter whether it’s Chapter 7 or Chapter 13, you need to 1) hire an experienced attorney and 2) make the loan current.
Why hire an attorney?
An attorney is your very best option for keeping your home. No matter your housing market, no matter how far behind you are in payments, an attorney is invaluable.
Why make the loan current?
Really, this is the most important tip of the entire post. According to law, if you get your loan payment current–meaning you pay all delinquent amounts–the lender cannot take your home. If you’re going to file Chapter 7 bankruptcy, you can keep your home if you negotiate with the lender or if you work with the trustee. For example, if you also wanted to keep your car, you could pay the amount you owe to the trustee so you can avoid losing it.
Is bankruptcy the best option?
Certainly bankruptcy has advantages and disadvantages. For one, if you wait to long to file, you may lose your home in foreclosure before you can act. But since Chapter 13 bankruptcy can save your home, it’s often the best option.
Will your credit be ruined?
If your home is foreclosed upon, to put it simply, that’s pretty much the worst thing which can happen to your credit. You will have a lot of trouble getting financing in the future. However, if you avoid foreclosure, bankruptcy looks far better than foreclosure after you file. While foreclosures are as common as bankruptcies, bankruptcy doesn’t necessarily ruin your credit. If you had to choose between losing everything and ruining your creditor, or keeping much and paying back or discharging debts, what would you do?
What’s the first step?
These tips were meant to show you how to successfully save your home from foreclosure. Before you go into foreclosure, consider bankruptcy. During, stay current on payments. And after, rebuild your credit.
The first step would be to hire an expert who can assess your situation. You may want to file Chapter 7, you may prefer Chapter 13, or perhaps there are alternatives. An experienced bankruptcy attorney can help in numerous ways; just hire the right one.