Foreclosure and Bankruptcy in the San Fernando Valley
Protect Your Home Through Bankruptcy
Filing for bankruptcy is drastic action, but if you are experiencing a financial crisis, it may be your best option. This is particularly true if you are in the process of losing your home to foreclosure. Bankruptcy temporarily stops the foreclosure process and buys you some valuable time. Under Chapter 7 bankruptcy, most individuals are allowed to keep their homes, and court proceedings may temporarily delay foreclosure. If you file Chapter 13, you will be allowed to keep your primary residence as long as you can afford to make mortgage payments, even if the bank has already started the foreclosure process.
Chapter 7 Bankruptcy and Automatic Stay
As mentioned above, filing for Chapter 7 will not delay the foreclosure process forever. After unsecured debt is discharged, however, many individuals find themselves with additional funds that can be used for mortgage payments. When an individual filesfor Chapter 7, the court will automatically grant an "automatic stay," which means that all of your creditors must cease their collection efforts, including your mortgage lender. As long as the bankruptcy continues, the mortgage lender will not be able to foreclose on your home.
Unfortunately, there are often ways around an automatic stay. Often, lenders will petition the court lift the Automatic Stay so that they can proceed with the foreclosure. This is why you must have an experienced foreclosure defense lawyer to protect your interest during every step of the process.
Eliminating a Second Mortgage with Chapter 13 Bankruptcy
After detailed analysis of your financial situation, filing for Chapter 13 bankruptcy may be your best option in the fight to keep your home. In some cases, Chapter 13 may be used to stop foreclosure by eliminating your second mortgage. Debt consolidtaion is a powerful, legal method of stopping the foreclosure process in California.
When you file for Chapter 13, you can keep what you want and pay as much as you can afford. After a period of 36-60 months, any unsecured debts included in the plan that you have not been able to pay off will be completely eliminated.
Should You File for Bankruptcy Before or After Foreclosure?
Chapter 7 has the power to cancel your mortgage, as well as any other debt that is secured by your home. Liens will remain in place, but the cancellation of your mortgage can provide you with a variety of tax advantages. Under normal circumstances, when a home is foreclosed on, the sale of the home is not sufficient to cover the remaining amount on the owner's loan. If this occurs, the owner will be forced to pay taxes on this debt, which can add up to an astronomical amount of money. By declaring bankruptcy, however, you will wipe out all debts and remain free from having to pay taxes on the mortgage debt. With these facts in mind, it can be advantageous for many individuals to file for bankruptcy before the foreclosure process begins.
When our clients reach out us too late in the foreclosure process, we may file a Chapter 13 to stop foreclosure. This buys us time to pursue other options, such as a loan modification. Regardless of where you are at in the foreclosure process, it is important to remember that timing is everything during a financial crisis. The sooner you contact us, the more time we have to prepare, and the more options may be available to you.
Is Bankruptcy for You?
Bankruptcy is a radical solution tailored to individuals with serious financial problems. If you have significant debt, working with a credit counselor or negotiating your debt may be a better alternative to bankruptcy. A credit counselor can show you how to reduce your debt and manage your money wisely. Negotiating with your creditors may also be able to provide you with some degree of financial relief. If you are eligible, you may even want to consider applying for a consolidation loan; however, if none of these options are capable of lowering your debt to a manageable level, you should consider filing for bankruptcy. Bankruptcy will be beneficial if you:
- Have delinquent taxes
- Are out of work or do not have a steady source of income
- Own a home that is in the process of foreclosure
- Facing lawsuits related to unpaid bills
- Are having your wages garnished
Get in Touch with an Encino Foreclosure Defense Attorney
If you need an experienced bankruptcy lawyer in the San Fernando Valley, please consider Nader & Berneman. We offer free consultations and have helped thousands of clients over the years discharge their debts through bankruptcy. We are fully committed to helping you understand your options, and we won't stop working until your needs are met. Call us now at (818) 788-5008 to speak with an attorney.
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