There are fewer chances of you losing your home if you file for bankruptcy under chapter 7 if you do not have a lot of equity on your home. Below mentioned are certain factors, based on which it can be decided whether you can keep your home or not-
- You are paying your mortgage payments on time
- Probability of repaying the mortgage amount post-bankruptcy
- The percentage of equity that you can protect using homestead exemptions
- The value of equity in your home that you own.
In case, you have not paid your dues on time, have more percentage of equity that you will be able to protect or your house is undergoing foreclosure, then in this scenario, you will have higher chances of protecting your home if you file for bankruptcy under chapter 13.
Which chapter of bankruptcy should you file under, plays a very important role. Therefore, you must consult an experienced lawyer who can guide you on what course of action should you take. To get in touch with a professional in Dallas, you can visit their website and set up an appointment – call 888-297-6203.
Are you paying your Mortgages on time?
If you have not been making the payments on time, there are high chances that you will lose your home. Applying for an automatic stay will only prevent foreclosure for a few months, but is only a temporary solution.
- Will it solve the problem? – Filing for Bankruptcy under Chapter 7 doesn’t safeguard your house completely. Since you cannot wipe out a lien if you file for bankruptcy under chapter 7. Also because the home mortgage is a secured payment, once the automatic stay lifts, the creditor can still foreclose the property.
- What will happen if you file? – Well, if you file for bankruptcy under chapter 7, either the creditor will appeal to the court to lift the automatic stay so that they can proceed with the foreclosure. Alternatively, they will wait until bankruptcy ends and then foreclose the property which they can further auction and raise their money.
- Filing Under Chapter 13 can Help – Unlike Chapter 7, if you file for bankruptcy under chapter 13, you will get an option to catch up on your payments over a period of 3-5 years under the Repayment plan.
Can you continue to pay your House Dues after Chapter 7 Bankruptcy?
It is important to make your decision depending on your future course of action. Therefore file for bankruptcy under chapter 7, only if you are sure that you will be able to pay off your dues because losing a house after a bankruptcy case may make things even more problematic for you.
This is because, if the creditor is unable to sell your house for the balance you owe, you might end up being in more deficiency balance. Worst-case scenario, the lender will be able to use other collection methods to claim the deficiency balance by either garnishing your salary or levying on your bank account. Since you will be able to refile for Bankruptcy under Chapter 7, only after 8 years.
How much equity do you have on your home?
However, if you have been paying your debts on time and are current on your payments, the next course of action would be to calculate the equity that you own. This can be done by-
- First, you need to value your home
- Next would be to deduct the outstanding mortgage value from your Home value.
- The equity is the balance that you will get, if you decide to sell your house.
Trustees generally sell only that property on which you have equity. So if you do not have equity, you have nothing to worry about.
Is it possible to protect the Equity with Exemptions?
Yes, with the help of the Homestead exemption, you will be able to protect your equity in your home. The laws however vary between states, but it is always possible to protect a part of it also using the Wildcard Exemption.
If you have an equal amount of equity as the exemption, the trustee will not sell your home. However, if your equity value is more than the exemption value, the trustee can sell your home to pay off the mortgage to your creditors. The exempted amount of the equity will be paid to you and the balance amount will be sued to pay off the dues.