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Saving Your Home Through Bankruptcy

Posted on Dec 19, 2011 in Bankruptcy Information, Chapter 13, Foreclosure - Saving Your Home, Illinois, Mortgage Foreclosure Defense, Mortgage Modifications, Uncategorized, Wisconsin

While each bankruptcy case is different we attorneys at Lakelaw see a common theme among many bankruptcy filers: the threat of losing a home in foreclosure. This post tries to explain some of the options debtors have when facing foreclosure.

The first question anyone must answer is whether or not to try and save the home. Someone wishing to walk away from their home without a final foreclosure could have two options: Attempting a Deed in Lieu of Foreclosure or agreeing to a Short Sale

In a Deed-in-Lieu, the offer is to give the home back to the bank to stop the foreclosure. However, mortgage defense attorneys have not seen much success with this lately. Due to so many homes already foreclosed (and those that are still going to be foreclosed on any day now), banks are often refusing to accept a Deed in Lieu of Foreclosure.

A second is a short sale. A short sale involves a homeowner, with the help of a realtor, finding a buyer who is willing to buy the home at a reduced value. The bank would then have to agree to waive the difference between what the home sold for and what was owed—the deficiency—or the homeowner would have to bring money to pay the difference at closing. Banks like the idea of having a waiting buyer instead of waiting through months of foreclosure, but they do not like the idea of walking away from the deficiency amount.

What if you want to try and keep your home? If you and your bank are working well with each other, a home modification could be an option. The bank would be willing to work with the borrower and try to find a payment plan that works. It should be noted that the Wisconsin branch of Lakelaw has seen some promise in mortgage modification within the Chapter 13 modification program set up in the Eastern District of Wisconsin bankruptcy court).

Another option is Chapter 13 Bankruptcy. This may be the best option a debtor has to save their home. When the debtor files a Chapter 13 bankruptcy an automatic stay goes into place. This means the bank must stop the foreclosure and the borrower can stay in the house as long as they are making payments to the trustee and a payment to the mortgage company after the bankruptcy filing. The goal is to find a way to cover the regular monthly mortgage payment plus an additional amount to catch up on the arrearage. A Chapter 13 bankruptcy is a difficult process and is different for each person, so it is always best to speak with an attorney about your particular situation.

If you have questions about saving your home, the professionals at Lakelaw are here to help. We serve our clients with Care, Kindness, Courtesy, Respect, Professionalism and Dedication. We can be reached at 1-800-LAKELAW in Illinois and 262.694.7300 in Wisconsin. Give us a call so we can help you with your finances and your home.

This post was drafted by Attorney Nicholas Strom

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