So, you want to clear up bad debt in bankruptcy but want to keep your house? There are many options available for homeowners who have some equity in their house or otherwise really do not want to let go of their great mortgage rate, or simply love their neighborhood. Depending on what state the house is located, there are exemption amounts that allow you to keep equity. Depending on how the numbers come out, you might qualify for a Chapter 7 full discharge but could elect to file a Chapter 13 reorganization so you can keep your house and make monthly payments. Loan modifications may also be attractive to a homeowner, before or after a bankruptcy. Regardless of which options we discuss in this article, one thing remains true; every bankruptcy is different and based on individual financial facts and circumstances. What happens to one neighbor may not be the same for the next.
Regardless of the several options for staying in your home, a bankruptcy, whether Chapter 7 or 13, should free up more cash flow to make mortgage payments if you keep your mortgage. Some people have excellent rates they do not want to lose and others don’t love their current deal but might refinance down the road. In either case, being nickel and dimed shouldn’t be a problem after a bankruptcy.
If you file for bankruptcy in Illinois, the homestead exemption allows you to protect up to $30,000 of the equity in your home, this assumes a married couple files a joint bankruptcy case because the individual exemption amount would be $15,000 per individual. Note also that you must be the legal owner of record and your name must be on the deed to the property to exercise your right to the exemption amount. Depending on what your house is worth, its fair market value, and what you owe on your mortgage, you may be able to file for bankruptcy and keep your house if the net proceeds from sale would be under the $30,000 amount after any mortgage would be paid off.
If after your house were to be sold and mortgage paid off, and you had too much equity in your home, a Chapter 7 discharge will not work for you. In this case, a Chapter 13 bankruptcy will allow you to reorganize your debts and repay them, sometimes pennies on the dollar owed, depending on the circumstances. With an affordable monthly payment on your debts you may be able to pay the mortgage on the home and later refinance if that is a good idea. The Chapter 13 bankruptcy will not change the mortgage terms if you decide to keep the mortgage and home.
If you are considering your options with your house and mortgage, some banks are likely to work with you on a loan modification based on the existing values. If the alternative is a bankruptcy and you turn the house over to the bank, the house could end up sitting on the market which is not good for you or the bank, depending on the current real estate market and how much is owed on the home. If a mortgage loan modification helps you keep your home and improve your finances, many bankruptcy attorneys may help you with the application process.
Regardless of which direction you take in bankruptcy, there are several options when you want to keep their home. Some people are tired of homeownership and ongoing expenses and increasing taxes. If that sounds like you, a bankruptcy can also help relieve you from the home and you can rent a house or apartment. Joseph Wrobel has represented all types of people with many different financial circumstances and objectives.
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.