Let’s Talk Bankruptcy and Foreclosures

Something so significant happened this week that I had to blog about it. It has to deal with Bankruptcies and how they relate to foreclosures. Specifically, a Chapter 7 (complete wipe out of debt).

Keep in mind, I’m not an attorney as I go through this.

I started working with two homeowners this week, each who thought their bankruptcies would prevent a foreclosure on their credit. Let’s start with the basics.

A Chapter 7 gives you the option of putting the house into the bankruptcy or not. Keeping it out means you’ll keep paying on the house and be able to keep the house. Both of these families decided to not keep the house (they were behind on payments and owed more than the house was worth – a typical scenario).

The job of the bankruptcy court is to sell all of your assets, take (most of) the proceeds and split it up between the people you owe money too – yes, this is simplified, but that’s the general idea behind it.

When you owe more than the house is worth, after filing the bankruptcy, one of two things are going to happen:

1) The bankruptcy court will look at what you owe on the house and what it’s worth. They’ll then conclude they won’t make any “proceeds” from the sale, and release the house from the bankruptcy.
2) The lender will petition the court to release the house from the bankruptcy. They’ll claim it’s worth less than what you owe, and they want it released so they can foreclose and cut their losses.

Either way, the house comes out of the bankruptcy and the lender completes the foreclosure process.

Here’s the problem: Most bankruptcy attorneys don’t tell their clients that at the end of all of this, they’ll have a bankruptcy and a foreclosure on their credit. Why is this important? Most people can get a home loan after a year or two out of bankruptcy (some lenders can do it immediately after – at a higher interest rate). The point is, though, with just a bankruptcy, you can be a homeowner again fairly quickly. But, with the foreclosure on their credit (which stays for 7+ years), buying a new home in the next 5 years is almost impossible.

Why don’t attorneys tell their clients this? Well, you can make your own opinion. Just ask yourself this, if you knew what I told you above about your credit and the foreclosure, would your bankruptcy attorney get any money from you? ‘Nuf said.

So, what do you do? If you’re considering bankruptcy, get our team involved before you file. We’’ll work with your bankruptcy attorney and we’ll develop a plan to stop the foreclosure from being placed on your credit. If you wait until 3 weeks before the foreclosure (like the two families I started working with this week), I can still try, but the chances of success are much less.  Don’t delay, call us today (hey, the rhymes!)

Joel

Share This Post

Leave a reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.