Owning a home with a mortgage is a major expense, and often, mortgage debts and foreclosure play a large part in filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. If you own a home and are having difficulty meeting mortgage payments, choosing to file might be the best course of action to recover from financial harm. Behm Law Group, Ltd. provides legal assistance to homeowners filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Pipestone, MN.
If you’re facing foreclosure on your home, Chapter 7 bankruptcy can actually turn your troubles concerning mortgage debt around. However, that result all depends on a few things.
- Your home equity and Homestead Exemption: The method of Chapter 7 bankruptcy is to liquidate assets to repay your creditors and discharge debts. This process is much more complex in practice. In fact there are several steps in determining which properties can be liquidated and which debts can be discharged. Your home equity and the home exemption amount you can claim decide how your mortgage and home will be treated in Chapter 7.
- Your bankruptcy trustee’s commission: In cases where your home qualifies for liquidation in a Chapter 7 case, your trustee is incentivized with a commission from the sale. Starting with the difference of the sale against the debt owed, your trustee will take 25% on the first $5,000 made, 10% on the next $50,000, and 5% on the remainder below $1 million.
- How long Automatic Stay lasts: When you enter into the bankruptcy process, the court issues an automatic stay, which immediately prevents your creditors from collecting. If your home is in foreclosure, your debts will still be placed under the automatic stay for some or all of the time it takes to process your case. If your creditors press the court to lift automatic stay, you may be faced with continuing to make payments to them even while you’re in the process of filing for bankruptcy. However, if the automatic stay lasts for a month or two, you can still save a significant amount from keeping those monthly mortgage payments.
- If you will keep your home: Whether or not you will keep your home depends on the exemption you can claim and your unprotected equity. If your home is not in the situation to provoke liquidation, you can keep your home after bankruptcy, and if you negotiate terms with your lender before filing, you can change payments on your mortgage. If your equity and exemption amount trigger a sale, selling in foreclosure can also be beneficial because your mortgage debt will be discharged and you may gain tax advantages.
*Determining your unprotected equity can be done with the following equation:
(Market Value of Home) – (Homestead Exemption) – (Trustee Commission) – (Cost of Selling the Home) – (Mortgage Debt) – (All Non-Mortgage Liens on the Home) = (Your Unprotected Equity)
For more information about how foreclosure affects your mortgage and home status during Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Pipestone, MN, contact Behm Law Group, Ltd. at (507) 387-7200 today.