Foreclosure is a legal process initiated by a bank or other lender when a homeowner is unable to make their monthly mortgage payments on a home. There are many hardships that might cause a homeowner to fall behind on their mortgage payments, some beyond the control of the homeowner. Lenders realize this and are sometimes willing to help, and this post explains a few avenues for working with lenders to potentially keep your home.
If you would like to understand more about mortgages, credit issues, and other housing concerns, a valuable resource is the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) website.
How Can I Keep My Home if I am Facing Foreclosure?
There are two major classifications of bankruptcy; Chapter 7 and Chapter 13. Either filing can stop the foreclosure process and creditors cannot attempt to collect money owed during the bankruptcy process. This period is known as an automatic stay. During that time you have the opportunity to evaluate your finances and determine what is the best resolution for your situation.
A qualified bankruptcy attorney can give you advice and guidance in this process to determine which classification is right for you.
Chapter 13 Bankruptcy
Chapter 13 bankruptcy is a process that is designed for individuals to pay off their debts and stay in their home. If you qualify for this type of bankruptcy protection, a plan is set up that lets you pay off the past money owed on a mortgage over a length of time approved by the court and avoid foreclosure. To take advantage of Chapter 13 bankruptcy you need sufficient income to make the payments on what is owed as well as future payments.
Chapter 7 Bankruptcy
Chapter 7 bankruptcy will eliminate unsecured debts (debts not attached to a property) such as car loans, credit card bills, and medical bills. It is possible to keep your home and avoid foreclosure under Chapter 7 bankruptcy. The equity you have in your home and your history of paying your mortgage payments will be considered by the bankruptcy courts.
What to Do Next?
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Note: This is not meant to serve as legal advice. You must consult a lawyer for proper legal advice.