It’s not unusual for me, as a Colorado Springs Bankruptcy Attorney, to get a call from a person who has received a Notice that their house is being foreclosed.
They want to know what to do. Here’s what I tell them:
- Try to work out a Forbearance or Modification of your loan with your lender;
- Sell the property, even if its current market value is less than the amount that is owed (a “Short Sale”);
- Voluntarily give the property back to the lender (a Deed in Lieu of Foreclosure);
- Make up the back payments and keep the house;
- File a Chapter 13 Bankruptcy, stop the foreclosure, bring your payments up-to-date over 3 to 5 years, eliminate other debts and keep your property;
- File a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy, delay the auction for a short time, and eliminate other debts; or
- Do nothing until you are ultimately evicted by your lender.
When they’re unable to work out an agreement with the lender, they have to make the decision of whether to give up the house or try their best to keep it. That will often determine whether we’ll file a Chapter 7 or a Chapter 13.
If they have decided that it’s just not worth the effort to try to keep the house because they owe way more than it’s worth, then we’ll probably be looking at a Chapter 7. Here’s why:
With a Chapter 7, we can file the case before the last publication date of the foreclosure proceeding. The result is that the foreclosure case will be stayed by the Automatic Stay provided by the bankruptcy case. Then the lender will have to request permission for the Bankruptcy Court in order to proceed with the foreclosure. As long as the Bankruptcy case is filed before the last publication date, after the Bankruptcy Court lifts the Automatic Stay , the lender will have to file a new foreclosure case, with a public trustee sale date about 120 days later. So, by filing the Chapter 7 case, we can give the debtor at least an additional five months living in their home.
If they have decided that they really want to keep the house, and they have steady income, we can file a Chapter 13 case and pay back the outstanding amount owed, the “arrearage”, through the Chapter 13 Plan. That way, at the end of their Chapter 13 case, they’ll be all caught up with their mortgage(s) and ready for their fresh start.
If you are facing foreclosure don’t hesitate to contact a competent Colorado Springs Bankruptcy Attorney to discuss the various options available to you. You may be able to keep your house!
Check out what other, non-Colorado Springs Bankruptcy Attorneys wrote about “F” words: