Foreclosure Article


Will bankruptcy save my home from foreclosure?

WILL BANKRUPTCY SAVE MY HOME FROM FORECLOSURE?

What will bankruptcy do?

When bankruptcy is filed it provides an automatic stay in foreclosure proceedings.  This means that a trustee sale cannot be held so long as the bankruptcy is filed before the trustee sale starts.

Do I automatically get to keep my home if I file bankruptcy?

No.  Bankruptcy does not allow the homeowner/borrower to keep their home while also ending their obligation to pay the home loan.  Bankruptcy may be tool to provide temporary or long term assistance to the borrower but it’s a strategy that should be pursued after consulting with an attorney.

How can bankruptcy help?

There are a couple of ways a bankruptcy might help, and may be recommended by your attorney. 

The effect of filing a bankruptcy grants an automatic stay in debt collection efforts including foreclosures.  An automatic stay basically means all collection, repossession, and foreclosure efforts are put on hold until the bankruptcy process is complete.  This period may allow your attorney to work through your foreclosure case more thoroughly or give her or him time to work something out with the lender. 

Another way a bankruptcy might be helpful is that it may allow certain debts to be discharged, meaning your obligation to pay ends, or it may reorganize your debts into a more manageable payment.  This may help by freeing up money so that you can more easily make your monthly payments.

Is there a downside to declaring bankruptcy?

Bankruptcy may negatively impact your credit score however at the point most people are considering bankruptcy, their credit scores have already taken a hit.  There may be other cons to pursuing the path of a bankruptcy but they will depend on other factors that your attorney will discuss with you.  Remember no one case is the exactly the same as another. 

Bankruptcy is often made more difficult when mistakes are made in the process.  Often people will file before meeting with an attorney and overlook important facts or issues in their case.  Other common mistakes occur when individuals, in anticipation of filing bankruptcy, make additional purchases or attempt to pay off certain debts to maintain relationships with whoever lent them the money.   This should be avoided until consulting with an attorney because certain purchase may make the bankruptcy look fraudulent, and payments made can be undone through the bankruptcy process - adversely affecting both the borrower and the person or business that lent the money.  Meeting with an attorney, even if it’s just for a brief consult could prove instrumental in making the process smoother, less stressful, and help avoid these and other pitfalls. 

Where can I get more information about bankruptcy?

The US Bankruptcy Court of Arizona has vast amounts of information online as well as a help center and hotline to answer questions.  The hotline number is 866-553-0893.  However, individuals should also contact legal aid, especially if they are also dealing with foreclosure related issues or at risk of foreclosure.  To apply for legal assistance use the Access To Justice Online Intake System.

Where can I find legal help with a foreclosure?

Individuals faced with loss of a home through foreclosure/trustee sale or dealing with issues related to a foreclosure can apply for free and reduced fee legal services through the Access to Justice Online Intake System, the link is also available on the top right of AZLawHelp under the “LegalLEARN” section. Individuals may also contact legal aid directly, however due to high call volume there may be long wait times on the phone and the phone system may disconnect calls when overwhelmed. To find the legal aid agency serving a particular county in Arizona, select the desired county in the drop-down under the section titled “FIND FREE LEGAL HELP” on the right column of AZLawHelp.


Comments:

QUESTIONS

  • Are the terms of a loan modification completely at the discretion of the lender or are there state or federal guidelines they must follow? Homeowners must become 90 days behind to get my mortgage company to consider modification. By this time, isn't my credit nearly as damaged as it would be with foreclosure?
  • My home foreclosed last April, i was unable to pay the mortgage and the hoa, i tried making arrangements with both parties but was unsuccessful, now over a year later i am getting a letter from a law office saying i need to pay the hoa. Can they take legal action against me?
  • I bought a condo in July 07' using funds from a City of Phoenix bond program. I was unaware of a stipulation stating that the owner must occupy the unit for the life of the loan. I was laid off from my employer and I have had to relocate to Texas for work. Now the mortgage company is stating that they can accelerate the loan pay-off requiring me to pay the loan in full. I pay my mortgage payment each month, how can they do this?
  • We are currently renting a home that is being foreclosed on. A realtor is telling me to allow him to put a safe lock on the door and show the home. What are my rights? He claims to work for the trustee.
  • My condo trustee sale was last week-some realtor c=offered me cash for keys-how long do i have if I don't take this offer?
  • what if i cant make the full payment amount of the reinstatement on time what will happen
  • My home was sold at a foreclosure auction on 11/22/16. I have never been served a 3 day notice by the new owners just a Summons and Complaint. They want me out of the property and want to charge me an outstanding amount of money and I cannot afford to pay it. They are trying to get a default and judgment against me and I am living in the house with my 8 year old granddaughter. I work 4 days a week and need time to secure another place for us to live. These people are very unreasonable and want me out. I have lived there for 23 years and am having alot of anxiety over this. HELP
  • My father passed away in September, 2016. I am the executor of his estate and I have a lawyer representing me and the estate. His house is paid off but he has a 7,000 home equity line of credit. There is no money in the estate to pay any bills except the utilities. It is for sale and hopefully will be sold soon. I received an Act 91 notice. Can a house be foreclosed on that is in probate? There is no money to pay the home equity line of credit bill or the taxes owed till the house is sold
  • I have a 3plex in AZ that is about to go into foreclosure. I was told by an Attorney that if the lender does not come after us with in 90 days of the foreclosure date by law they cannot come after us in other words sue us. Is this true?
  • I have resigned my job due to health issues, relocating to the east coast to live with family, and can not make my house payment, willing to surrender the house to Bank for short sale, or whatever they want to do. How do I start this process. The house will not sell for what I owe the bank, negative equity situation.

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  • State Bar of Arizona
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    www.pimacountybar.org
    Referral number 520-623-4625
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