Falling behind on mortgage payments can lead to foreclosure. When a homeowner is unable to delay the foreclosure through attempts at refinancing or otherwise negotiating additional time to get caught up, such as a forbearance, short sale, or deed in lieu of foreclosure, the mortgage lender will likely begin the legal process to foreclose and sell the home at auction to receive payment towards the loan. If a foreclosed home sells at auction for less than the amount owed, the lender will likely obtain a deficiency judgment and attempt to collect amount from the homeowner as well. Homeowners fall behind on mortgage payments for many reasons, and the bankruptcy laws help the homeowner save their home from foreclosure sale.
Filing a bankruptcy triggers the automatic stay provision, stopping a foreclosure and sale of the home.
Depending on the homeowner’s income and complete financial situation, they may qualify for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, a full discharge, or a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, to reorganize and catch up on payments, sometimes a partial amount of the debt amount. When the homeowner files a petition for bankruptcy, the “automatic stay” provision of the bankruptcy code stops the foreclosure proceedings. The court automatically issues an order for relief including the automatic stay. If there is a scheduled foreclosure sale, the bankruptcy postpones the date of sale during the bankruptcy.
Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcy both offer options for homeowners who want to keep their home.
If homeowners qualify for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, based on their income and financial status, the bankruptcy and automatic stay will stop the collection of other debt collectors, which can free up more money to catch up on bankruptcy payments. The state exemptions for equity in the home may allow a homeowner to keep the home and the mortgage if there is not too much equity in the home and the payments are brought current. If however, the payments are not brought current, as soon as the bankruptcy terminates, so does the automatic stay, and a lender may proceed with foreclosure on a delinquent mortgage. If however, either the homeowner does not qualify for Chapter 7 or they need more time to catch up on mortgage payments, a Chapter 13 bankruptcy can be a better choice.
A Chapter 13 notice also stops a foreclosure sale and the lender’s collection actions. Chapter 13 allows a homeowner to “cure” a mortgage default by making up the past due payments, spread over several months of the Chapter 13 repayment plan. Many bankruptcy payment plans last between three and up to five years, which allows the homeowner a long period to cure the mortgage default and catch up on the late payments. It is assumed that the homeowner is making the regular monthly mortgage payment during the repayment plan. When other debt collection is stopped by the automatic stay, the homeowner should have more money available to pay the current mortgage and a portion of the past due amount over the period of the repayment plan.
Bankruptcy can eliminate a homeowner’s liability to pay mortgage deficiencies.
If the lender forecloses on a home when the mortgage is default, the court can order the sale of the home. If the homeowner owes more than the proceeds of the sale of the home at auction, the homeowner is responsible for paying the shortfall; however, the bankruptcy laws allow homeowners to eliminate the mortgage deficiency. Both Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcies can eliminate liability for a deficiency judgment. The bankruptcy laws are certainly beneficial to homeowners who fall behind on their mortgage and depending on the individual homeowner’s financial situation, a home can be saved. The attorneys at Joseph Wrobel, Ltd. are experienced in all the complex provisions of the bankruptcy code and they can help homeowners get a fresh start, in their home, and with more money to keep current with monthly bills.
Joseph Wrobel, Ltd. helps people get control of their finances and a fresh start at financial freedom. The firm’s website contains informative videos about financial issues as well as bankruptcy protection for families who want a fresh start. To keep in touch and read about consumer finance news and stories you can “Like” the firm’s Facebook page and “Follow” Joseph Wrobel. Ltd. on Twitter. If you need immediate legal assistance, please call Joseph Wrobel, Ltd. by calling (312) 781-0996 to talk to an attorney today.