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I am Behind on My Mortgage Payments: How Can I Keep My House?

If you have been notified by your mortgage lender that you are behind on your payments or that it has begun the foreclosure process, you are probably worried that you could lose your home. Losing your home could mean losing a significant investment as well as putting yourself and your family at risk of becoming homeless. When you are facing this type of situation, it is important that you know your options. Know your legal rights and how you can work with an experienced bankruptcy attorney to stay in your home, whether through filing for bankruptcy or through another way of satisfying your lender’s collection attempts.

How Can Bankruptcy Help Me?

When you file for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy, you are granted an automatic stay. This is an order that requires your creditors to suspend their collection attempts. During the bankruptcy process, you work with a court trustee to pay back your debt through a repayment plan or through the liquidation and sale of your nonexempt property. How you repay your debt depends on whether you file for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy.

In either of these cases, you may keep your home while working through your other debts with help from your attorney and the court.

To file for bankruptcy to keep your home, you must have a significant level of personal debt and have your bankruptcy petition approved by the court. If you are not in a position to file for bankruptcy, bankruptcy cannot help you. Even if you could potentially be in a position to benefit from bankruptcy, choosing this route to eliminate your debt still might not be the best choice. Bankruptcy has long-term effects on a filer’s credit score and is not a choice to make without careful consideration and input from an experienced bankruptcy attorney.

What are Other Ways I Can Keep My Home?

If you are struggling to meet your mortgage payments right now but know that your financial problems will not last forever, see if your lender will be willing to work with you. You could potentially work out a payment plan with your lender or see if you can refinance your mortgage. Talk to your attorney about this option and do not agree to a new set of loan terms without first discussing them with him or her. You can potentially get yourself into deeper financial problems if you do not completely understand every document you sign.

Work With an Experienced La Crosse Bankruptcy Attorney

The team of bankruptcy attorneys at Moen Sheehan Meyer, Ltd. can help you make productive decisions about your debt. Sometimes, bankruptcy is the best choice for homeowners in need. In other cases, another method of working through debt may be preferable to filing for bankruptcy. What is important is that you understand your rights and seek help from an attorney who is equipped to protect and advocate for you.

Published February 18, 2016
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