Keeping Your Home
While it may take months for the bank to foreclose on your home, there are steps you can take to modify your mortgage or refinance your loan and avoid losing your home. In many cases, foreclosing on a home may result in greater financial loss for the bank, so they may be more willing to work with you. Now, given decreased home values, many banks are willing to extend the life of a mortgage in order to reduce a homeowner’s monthly mortgage payment in order to avoid foreclosing on a home. If your bank is unwilling to modify your current mortgage loan, bankruptcy may be your only option for keeping your home—especially if you file under Chapter 13. At the law office of Chang & Diamond, APC, we can evaluate your current situation and explain the options available to you for keeping your home.
Whether you’re facing bankruptcy or are concerned about foreclosure on your home, contact the law office of Chang & Diamond today and schedule a free appointment to discuss your case with our attorneys.
Steps You Can take to Avoid Losing Your Home
Prioritizing Debts: Many homeowners fall behind on their mortgages because they are attempting to stay current on credit card bills, car loans, medical bills and other financial commitments. While there are financial consequences for failing to pay other bills, the long-term consequences of defaulting on your mortgage can be significant. If you find yourself unable to pay all your bills, you should prioritize them so that you can at least pay your mortgage every month. This way, you can preserve equity in your home and leverage your ability to pay your monthly mortgage if you need to declare bankruptcy.
Avoid Paying Late Penalties and Foreclosure: Unfortunately, sudden disruptions like a job loss, divorce or prolonged illness affect someone’s ability to timely make mortgage payments. Before you fall behind, contact your bank as soon as you lose your job or anticipate increased costs due to illness or unexpected expensive home/car repairs. Most banks will work with you in order to deal with these short-term emergencies. They may allow you to pay a reduced monthly mortgage and might even waive any penalties or late fees. Particularly in today’s volatile economy, banks are aware of the fact that they may fare better in the long run if you keep your home, thus assuring them regular mortgage payments, instead of having to sell the home at a huge loss after foreclosure. You may be required to produce proof of a prolonged illness or job loss, or even sell some of your assets, but this just might be worth it to save your home and possibly avoid a future bankruptcy filing.
Bankruptcy: If your debt is too great and there simply is no way for you to make your current monthly mortgage payment, declaring Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy may allow you to keep your home. There are significant differences between Chapter 7 and Chapter 13. For instance, Chapter 7 may call for you to sell more assets in an exchange for liquidation of your debt. With Chapter 13, you actually make payments on your debt for a set period of time (usually 3-5 years), while your creditors lower interest rates or forgive a portion of the debt in exchange for your promise to pay that set amount. Additionally, in order to file under Chapter 7, you must first meet certain income requirements.
If you have questions regarding bankruptcy, and how to avoid foreclosure, contact bankruptcy attorneys at the law office of Chang & Diamond today.