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Four More Reasons for Bankruptcy Advice Before Selling Your Home

Filing a Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy in Colorado Springs can give you a lot of options when deciding whether to keep your house or put it on the market.  They can be a great help to you and, even if you have no interest in filing for bankruptcy, it can never hurt you to know all of your options.

This is the last post of a series covering ten reasons why you should get advice from a competent attorney before putting your house on the market.  This is especially important in today’s real estate market here in Colorado Springs, where the average sale price has been going down over the last several years.  As an experienced Colorado Springs bankruptcy attorney, I am well aware of the difficulties facing homeowners here in Colorado Springs, as well as in Woodland Park and throughout El Paso and Teller Counties.

Here are the final four reasons:

1.  Pay off your Ex:  Oftentimes a divorce agreement will require that one spouse cover some the couples’ debt.  So it might seem like a good idea to sell the house in order to cover those debts.

Your divorce lawyer may even have given you some advice regarding the effect of filing for bankruptcy after the divorce was final.  But that may have been some time ago and your memory may be a little fuzzy.  So now, before you sell the house to pay off those debts, it would be a good idea to get some advice from a competent bankruptcy attorney.

Keep in mind, however, that domestic support obligations, (e.g., maintenance and child support) cannot be discharged by filing for bankruptcy.  But they will certainly be much be easier to pay if you can get other, dischargeable, debt discharged.

2.  Pay off Taxes or HOA Dues:  The County where you live and your local Home Owners Association have some of the strongest legal rights against your property.  So you might think that you’re essentially powerless to deal with them if you are behind in your payments, especially if they’re now threatening to foreclose on your home.

Filing a Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 can give you a significant advantage in dealing with them, so find out about this before you decide to sell your house to pay them.

3.  Avoid Foreclosure:  You probably know that filing for bankruptcy will immediately stop the El Paso County Public Trustee, (or the local public trustee if your house isn’t in El Paso County), from proceeding with the foreclosure process.  You may also know that Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 each deal with foreclosures in their own way.  One stops it for a short time and the other can cure the debt so that the foreclosure is stopped permanently.

If you’re facing foreclosure, you should also know that no two cases are exactly alike.  Your circumstances are unique to you:  Your income, the amount owed, and whether you want to stay or go are all uniquely yours.  You really should get advice from an experienced attorney who will take into consideration your unique situation in analyzing whether bankruptcy is the right path for you.

The Bankruptcy Code provides a lot of options for dealing with the circumstances you’re facing.  Only after you fully understand those options can you make the right choice about selling your house.

4.  Save Legal Fees:  If you’re selling your house because you think it might be the best way to deal with your debts and you can’t afford to pay an attorney to get legal advice about that decision, you should also consider that a decision about your home is a decision about your most expensive asset and your largest debt.  If you could get solid, practical legal advice about that, without breaking the bank, you probably would.

Since I don’t charge for an initial consultation, I’ll be happy to go over your situation and tell you what I think.  Give me a call to set up a time when we can go over your unique circumstances and put together a plan for dealing with your debts, whether it includes filing for bankruptcy and/or getting rid of your house, or not.

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Bob Doig
Robert J. Doig, Attorney at Law
2985 Broadmoor Valley Road
Colorado Springs, CO 80906
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