Does Chapter 7 Protect Your Home? - Total Bankruptcy
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Does Chapter 7 Protect Your Home?

In Chapter 7 bankruptcy, people struggling with debt work with a bankruptcy court to eliminate some or all of their unsecured debt, including medical bills, credit card debt, and some personal loans.

During this process, Chapter 7 may help protect a filer's home through features such as the automatic stay or the homestead exemption, which are discussed later in this article.

On the other hand, if you have a steady source of income, Chapter 13 bankruptcy may be a more powerful option in the struggle to protect your home, particularly if you are behind on mortgage payments.

For more information on bankruptcy's ability to protect your home, connect with a local lawyer for a free consultation by completing the form below.

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Methods of Home Protection Offered by Chapter 7

While Chapter 7 is not as well suited to save homes from foreclosure as Chapter 13, some features of Chapter 7 may help protect your home. These include:

  • The automatic stay. This bankruptcy feature may temporarily halt foreclosure proceedings against homes, and it may also prevent lenders from demanding home mortgage payments for a certain period of time.
  • Help with mortgage payments. By potentially eliminating some or all of a filer's unsecured debts, such as credit cards and medical bills, Chapter 7 bankruptcy may free up cash to make mortgage payments easier on the filer's budget.
  • Homestead exemption. The bankruptcy court cannot sell certain exempted items of property to pay a filer's creditors, according to state laws. In some states, filers with a substantial amount of equity in their homes may be able to keep their homes in Chapter 7.

Again, each state's laws determine the amount of equity filers must have in their homes in order to be eligible for the homestead exemption. This, however, is a prominent way in which Chapter 7 may protect your home.

Contact a local bankruptcy attorney today to seek more information about your region’s bankruptcy laws.

Chapter 13 May Also Protect Your Home

While Chapter 7 is designed for people with limited assets, Chapter 13 bankruptcy may be of better service to filers with steady income.

In fact, Chapter 13 may be able to stop home foreclosure altogether. By filing for Chapter 13, a person in debt:

  • Creates a restructured debt payment plan, which may include overdue mortgage payments, with the bankruptcy court.
  • Makes monthly payments on this plan over the course of a few years.
  • Potentially catches up on old mortgage payments during this period while keeping up with current payments as they come due.

By consolidating their mortgage debt into a single payment plan, many Chapter 13 filers have been able to settle their debts with mortgage lenders and save their homes from foreclosure.

Moreover, Chapter 13 also offers the benefits of the automatic stay, which prevents harassing creditor phone calls and letters, in addition to halting foreclosure proceedings.

Learn more about how Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 may protect your home by connecting with a local lawyer today.

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