If you own a home and are considering bankruptcy, one of your top concerns may be what will happen to your house in bankruptcy. First, it is important to understand that every case is unique and your options will depend on your specific situation. Second, bankruptcy is a powerful legal tool that offers homeowners a number of options.
We encourage you to discuss your options with an experienced bankruptcy attorney. If you live in the Savannah, GA area, contact us for a free consultation. We’ll help you explore what you need to know about your house and bankruptcy.
Protecting Your Home Through Bankruptcy
Often people get to keep their house through bankruptcy. In fact, for some people bankruptcy is actually the thing that gives them the ability to save their house.
Bankruptcy law provides for you to keep property, assets, and other belongings valued up to a certain dollar amount through exemptions. Property that is protected is known as exempt property. You get to keep exempt property if its value does not exceed a certain dollar amount.
The Georgia homestead exemption allows you to protect up to $21,500 of equity in real estate. If the title to the property is held by one of two spouses, you may exempt up to $43,000 of equity in real estate.
As long as you do not have too much equity in your home, you will be able to protect it through bankruptcy.
Catching Up on Missed Mortgage Payments in Chapter 13 Bankruptcy
Chapter 13 bankruptcy creates an opportunity for a homeowner to catch up on missed mortgage payments. Chapter 13 sets up a three to five year repayment plan to help you repay some or all of your debt. Your mortgage arrears (the amount you are behind on your mortgage) are included in the repayment plan. Each month you make a payment to the Bankruptcy Trustee assigned to your case, then he or she distributes those payments to your mortgage lender and other creditors you owe money. During this time you must also make your regular monthly payment to your lender, on-time each month.
Eliminating a Second Mortgage in Chapter 13 Bankruptcy
In addition to catching up on mortgage arrears, you may also be eligible to eliminate a second mortgage through a “lien strip.” Only certain homes are eligible for a lien strip. The first mortgage attached to the home must be underwater. This means that the house is valued at less than the amount owed on the first mortgage. If the first mortgage is underwater, then the home is eligible for a lien strip.
Homeowners & Bankruptcy
A few other things homeowners should know about bankruptcy:
- Filing for bankruptcy will immediately stop a pending foreclosure
- The differences between Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcy affect your options in regard to your home.
- An experienced bankruptcy attorney can help you understand how bankruptcy will affect you and your home.
We help hundreds of homeowners just like you keep their homes through bankruptcy each year. But our clients are never just a number. You will not be left in the hands of a paralegal. You will have access to your attorney throughout your bankruptcy case. Call us today at (912) 351-9000 or contact us via the web to schedule a free consultation.
We proudly serve the people of Savannah, GA and the surrounding areas, including Richmond Hill, Hinesville, Pooler, Port Wentworth, Tybee Island, Clyo, Ellabel, Midway, Ludowici, Springfield, Pembroke, Brooklet, and Garden City.
We are a debt relief agency. We help people file for bankruptcy relief under the U.S. Bankruptcy Code.