Bankruptcy is the Best Way to Save Your Home

29 Nov Bankruptcy is the Best Way to Save Your Home

You want to save your home. Which is the best way to stop a foreclosure, get caught up on your monthly payments, and save your home? Is it loan modification? A workout? Or a bankruptcy?

A recent article, “The Home Ownership Experience of Households in Bankruptcy” by Professor Sarah W. Carroll, of the University of Pennsylvania Law School andWenli Li, of the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia, provided the first in-depth analysis of the home ownership experience of home owners in Chapter 13. Its conclusions mirror what most bankruptcy attorneys’ personal experience has been: Chapter 13 is one of the most effective ways to let you save your home.

The study followed homeowners who filed for Chapter 13 between 2001 and 2002 in New Castle County, Delaware, from the time of their filing to October 2007. (Since most Chapter 13 plans last five years, this was a fair trial period.) After analyzing the data, it found two important results:

First, the Chapter 13 filing was not always the solution: 27.9 percent of filers lost their houses in foreclosure despite filing for bankruptcy. This is typically a result of poor cashflow. If job loss, or illness continues and there is not enough money coming into the household, the house will be lost regardless of filing bankruptcy or not. Many of the homeowners in this group will end up converting their cases to one under Chapter 7, so that they can wipe out any personal liability for the mortgage(s), as well as most of their other debts.

However, when compared with homeowners who did not file, debtors who filed for bankruptcy were able to stay in their homes for, on average, 27.7 additional months, over two years. This figure includes those who ended up losing their homes.

So, if you’re behind on mortgage payments, consider a Chapter 13–it may let you stay in your home a lot longer than other options.

The full article can be found here.

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Brett Weiss, a senior partner at Chung & Press, LLC, represents people and businesses in all phases of bankruptcy. He has experience in complex individual Chapter 7, Chapter 11 and Chapter 13 bankruptcy cases, and in Chapter 11 small business restructuring and reorganization. Mr. Weiss lectures nationally on bankruptcy issues. He has testified before the Federal Bankruptcy Rules Committee, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, and has twice testified before Congress on bankruptcy and credit issues. Brett Weiss is the co-author of Chapter 11 for Individual Debtors, and has written Not Dead Yet: Bankruptcy After BAPCPA, for the Maryland Bar Journal, as well as hundreds of blogs for the Bankruptcy Law Network. With his law partner, he recorded a 13-hour basic bankruptcy training series, and leads intensive three-day Chapter 11 training boot camps. Mr. Weiss has received international media attention in connection with his work. He was interviewed by Barbara Walters on The View, has appeared on the Today Show, Good Morning America, ABC News with Peter Jennings, the Montel Williams Show, National Public Radio, AARP-TV, the BBC World Service, German state television, and numerous local radio and television programs, and been quoted in Money magazine, The Washington Post and The Baltimore Sun, among others. Brett Weiss is the Maryland State Chair for the National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys, a founding member of the Bankruptcy Law Network, on the board of the Maryland State Bar Consumer Bankruptcy Council, and a member of the American Bankruptcy Institute, the Bankruptcy Bar Association of Maryland, and the Civil Justice Network. He has been recognized as a “Super Lawyer” every year since 2007 for Maryland and the District of Columbia, and in 2011 received the Distinguished Service Award from the National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys for his work on behalf of consumers across the country. Mr. Weiss is admitted to practice before Maryland and District of Columbia federal and state courts, the United States Courts of Appeals for the DC, Fourth and Eighth Circuits, The United States Tax Court, and the Supreme Court of the United States, and has been practicing law since 1983.
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