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As you know, foreclosure is what mortgage lenders start when you get too far behind on the mortgage you have on your home or other real property.
It may be able to save your home. The big question is this: If you were up-to-date on your mortgage now, could you keep up-to-date? If so, filing bankruptcy...and specifically filing bankruptcy under Chapter 13....could well save your home or that other piece of real property.
You see.... immediately....when you file a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, your mortgage lender must stop any pending foreclosure.
However...and this is important... this assumes you file bankruptcy before the final foreclosure deadline.
What do we mean by final foreclosure deadline?
You don't have forever. You have to file bankruptcy while there is still a foreclosure to stop. For instance, in North Carolina, the final foreclosure deadline is the 10th day after the foreclosure sale. In North Carolina, for instance, the 11th day after the foreclosure sale is too late.
I don't live in North Carolina? Does that make a difference?
Absolutely. How long you have to file bankruptcy and still stop a foreclosure proceeding is a matter of State law. That is, it all depends on the foreclosure laws of your State.
How do I find out for my State?
If your home or real property is in foreclosure...even if there is a threat of foreclosure...contact an experienced bankruptcy attorney...and do it now. You have nothing to lose. Most experienced bankruptcy attorneys offer a free initial consultation. Don't wait. Call and set up an appointment with a bankruptcy attorney. Whatever you do...don't get advice from your mortgage lender.
What happens after I file a Chapter 13 bankruptcy?
Assuming the plan is to save your home or other real property, once the case is filed, you start making your regular mortgage payments again...as they come due. Sometimes, the future payments are included in your Chapter 13 plan. Sometimes, you have to make them directly to the mortgage lender.
What happens to the mortgage payments I am behind on?
Tell me more about foreclosure. What exactly is foreclosure?
So, how does foreclosure work?
After my house is foreclosed, how long is it before I have to move out?
Assuming the foreclosure does not bring in enough money to pay off my debt with the mortgage lender, what happens to unpaid part?
How much can I expect the unpaid part to be?
When should I come to see an attorney about filing bankruptcy?
I'm still living in my house, but what if I can't afford to keep up the payments? What can filing bankruptcy do for me?
In addition, by filing bankruptcy before the final foreclosure deadline, you can stop the foreclosure, and if there is enough value in your house to justify selling it, you can buy some time to try to get it sold through a real estate broker. Remember, selling your house through a real estate broker almost always brings more money that having it sold at a foreclosure auction. Filing Chapter 7 will buy you 3 or more months. Filing Chapter 13, especially where you agree to pay some "adequate protection" payments to the mortgage lender, can buy you 6 months to a year, depending upon the facts of your situation and the State that you live in.
How else can filing bankruptcy help me with respect to may house?
I am behind in my mortgage payments and the foreclosure has already been started. Is it too late to hire a mortgage broker to try to refinance my house?