Will Your Family Home Be Lost To Bankruptcy?
Losing a home is doubtless of primary concern among those considering a bankruptcy filing. Fortunately, that is not likely to happen in most cases. To help allay your fears about property losses, take a look at the factors that go into the seizure of a home with a chapter 7 filing.
Why Are Homes Taken?
Bankruptcy is not just about getting rid of debt. It's also about prioritizing creditors so that some get paid. Chapter 7 bankruptcy may also be known as the liquidation filing because of the potential for a filer to have property seized, and sold.
Dealing the Your Mortgage Lender
If you are like most homeowners, you have a mortgage. That means the debt is classified as secured. When financial problems mount, many consumers fall behind on mortgages and other bills. Unfortunately, you probably should be more worried about losing your home to foreclosure than forfeiting it through bankruptcy. While you are thinking about filing for chapter 7, your mortgage lender may be taking legal action against you to take back the home. If they act before you file, you will have little recourse. That is why even those thinking about filing bankruptcy should do everything they can to stay current on their home loans.
How Exceptions Might Save Your Home
If you are current on your mortgage, the equity of the home is the next consideration. The more equity you have, the greater the chances of losing it. Each state has homestead exemptions. To help you determine how likely you are to lose your home, answer these questions (assuming you are current on your mortgage or have no mortgage).
- How much is your state's homestead exemption?
- Are you filing bankruptcy jointly and does your state allow you to double exemptions?
- How much equity do you have in your home? This is the appraised value of your home with your mortgage balance deducted.
- Deduct the equity from the exemption. If the equity is higher than the exemption, your home could be in danger of loss. If the exemption is higher, your home is probably safe.
- If the equity is higher than the exemption, you may still be able to keep your home if you can pay the difference using other property or cash. There are other options such as selling your home if the value of the home is quite a bit more than your entire bankruptcy debt.
Most homeowners worry unnecessarily about losing their homes when filing. The best thing to do is to speak to a bankruptcy lawyer about this issue as soon as possible.
If you need more information, contact some professionals like those at Martinez Law Firm.