Bankruptcy and Foreclosure: How Filing for Bankruptcy Can Help Save Your Home

The prospect of losing one’s home to foreclosure is a distressing reality for many individuals and families struggling with mortgage payments.

Filing for bankruptcy can provide a temporary reprieve from foreclosure and, in some cases, offer a long-term solution to save your home.

This article will discuss the relationship between bankruptcy and foreclosure, the ways bankruptcy can help protect your home, and the limitations of using bankruptcy to prevent foreclosure.


Understanding Foreclosure

Foreclosure is a legal process through which a lender attempts to recover the balance of a loan from a borrower who has defaulted on their mortgage payments.

The lender does this by selling the property, which serves as collateral for the loan.

Foreclosure laws and procedures vary by state, but the process typically begins after the borrower has missed several mortgage payments.


How Bankruptcy Can Help

Filing for bankruptcy can provide homeowners facing foreclosure with several potential benefits:

  1. Automatic Stay: When you file for bankruptcy, an automatic stay is issued, which immediately halts most collection activities, including foreclosure. The stay remains in effect throughout the bankruptcy process, giving you time to develop a plan to catch up on missed payments or negotiate with your lender.
  2. Chapter 7 Bankruptcy: Although Chapter 7 bankruptcy does not directly address mortgage debt, it can help you eliminate unsecured debts, such as credit card balances and medical bills. By discharging these debts, you may free up income to make your mortgage payments more manageable.

However, it’s essential to understand that if you’re behind on your mortgage payments and file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, the lender can still proceed with foreclosure after the automatic stay is lifted, unless you can catch up on the arrears.

  1. Chapter 13 Bankruptcy: For those looking to save their home from foreclosure, Chapter 13 bankruptcy is often the better option. Chapter 13 allows you to create a repayment plan to catch up on your past-due mortgage payments over a period of three to five years. During this time, you must also stay current on your ongoing mortgage payments. If you successfully complete the repayment plan, you can avoid foreclosure and keep your home.



Limitations of Bankruptcy in Preventing Foreclosure

While bankruptcy can help delay or prevent foreclosure, it’s important to recognize its limitations:

  1. Secured Debt: Bankruptcy is more effective in addressing unsecured debts than secured debts like a mortgage. Lenders still hold a claim on the property, and if you don’t meet the requirements of your repayment plan or catch up on missed payments, foreclosure proceedings may continue.
  2. Second and Third Mortgages: If you have multiple mortgages on your home, Chapter 13 bankruptcy may only help with your primary mortgage. Your ability to address additional mortgages will depend on the value of your property and the amount you owe on your primary mortgage.
  3. Property Lien: Even if you’re able to discharge your mortgage debt in bankruptcy, the lender may still hold a lien on your property. To clarify, this means that if you sell the property, the lender can claim the proceeds from the sale to satisfy the lien.
  4. Long-term Consequences: Bankruptcy can have lasting effects on your credit score, making it difficult to obtain credit, loans, or mortgages in the future. The decision to file for bankruptcy should be carefully weighed against other alternatives, such as loan modification or refinancing.



Bankruptcy can be a useful tool for homeowners facing foreclosure, particularly through the automatic stay provision and Chapter 13 repayment plans.

However, bankruptcy is not a guaranteed solution, and it’s important to understand its limitations and long-term consequences.

To determine if bankruptcy is the right choice for your situation, consult with a knowledgeable bankruptcy attorney and explore other foreclosure prevention options.


Learn More

At Blue Bee Bankruptcy, our lawyers are highly experienced in bankruptcy options. More importantly, we understand that each case we receive is unique and each client has different needs and goals. We will discuss these signs with you and decide the best route to take.

We strive to help our clients rebuild their lives and take steps toward a better financial future through filing. 


Best Bankruptcy Attorneys in Salt Lake City


If you’re dealing with the potential of bankruptcy, give us a call. Our team will work to help you by reviewing all of the options our firm has available. We will ensure you’ll get the best possible outcome for your situation.

Get in touch today so we can start working on either halting bankruptcies or preventing them from taking place altogether!

Contact Us Today For Help! You can schedule your free consultation online or call us at (801) 285-0980.


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