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How can bankruptcy help save my home, or even to purchase a new home?

Homeowners or those that aspire to be often use bankruptcy as an effective tool to reorganize their financial lives. Often people who either own their own home, or wish to buy real estate in the near future, express concern about how the filing of a bankruptcy case can help them either keep their home or qualify for a mortgage after the filing.

For those who already own their home and need to file, bankruptcy can be an important method by which a homeowner can modify their mortgage, or save their home if they are behind in payment. If you are behind in your mortgage payments, Chapter 13 is the best way to save your home and quickly stop foreclosure proceedings. In a Chapter 13 case, a repayment plan is established which can allow you to cure any mortgage arrears over as long as 60 months. Once a Chapter 13 is filed, your mortgage company would have to accept regular payments on your mortgage starting with the first payment that comes due after the case is filed with the court. Someone who is behind in their mortgage frequently encounters and “all or nothing” demand from their mortgage company where the bank refuses to accept any payments less than the full amount you are behind, and does not allow you the opportunity to bring your mortgage payment current over time. Chapter 13 is the best way to cure this problem.

Additionally, mortgage modifications are much easier to obtain when someone files a bankruptcy proceeding. When a mortgage company sees that you have filed bankruptcy, and that you have the option of walking away from your home without paying them anything, they are often more likely to offer options to allow you to stay in your home. Many clients who have tried for many frustrating years to get a mortgage modification, only to be repeatedly denied, find that once they file bankruptcy, the mortgage company is suddenly anxious to work with them to achieve a resolution and lower the mortgage payment.

Finally, there are those who wish to purchase real estate, but cannot get qualified for a mortgage. Bankruptcy is a method to eliminate debt. Often outstanding debt is what keeps people from being able to qualify for a new loan. Once that debt is gone, lenders are much more likely to qualify you to purchase, or even refinance, a mortgage. The old wives tale that filing bankruptcy keeps you from being able to buy a home for 10 years is just that-an old wives tale. Bankruptcy may be the single most effective way to achieve your dream of buying your next home, or keeping the one you currently have.


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