A lot of people worry about that they will lose their home if they file for bankruptcy. But in the vast majority of cases, that is not the case. Bankruptcy attorney Benjamin Ginter, who runs the Law Offices of Benjamin J. Ginter in Cranford, New Jersey, explains here why you will still be able to keep your house after filing for bankruptcy.
In most cases, you can keep your home when you file for bankruptcy. It all depends on factors such as where you live, how much equity you have in the property, or how far you are behind in the mortgage payments. If you have a home or own any kind of real estate, it’s more important than ever that you hire a bankruptcy attorney. Filing the wrong bankruptcy could jeopardize your home.
Federal and State Exemptions
Knowing what exemptions are available is important for people who are going to file for bankruptcy. Keep in mind, however, that along with federal exemptions, there are also state ones, which vary from state to state. You may choose to use either the federal or state exemptions when you file for bankruptcy.
The amount of bankruptcy exemptions is determined by either federal or state law. Exemptions allow an individual to exempt or keep certain kinds of property. You should check with your bankruptcy lawyer for a full federal and state exemption list.
Having Equity in Home
If you have quite a lot of equity and you are unable to use the applicable exemptions, you can file a Chapter 13. In this case, your payments are basically based on how much the trustee would have been able to take had you filed a Chapter 7.
Let’s take an example. A person has $30,000 of equity in his house in addition to the exemptions to the house, that’s how much he would have to pay back in a Chapter 13 plan. A payment plan usually lasts from 3 to 5 years, so the person would then pay that $30,000 off over 36 months.
Not Having Equity in Home
People who don’t have equity in their home find things a bit different. If you have limited equity in your house or no equity whatsoever, you can file Chapter 7 without the bankruptcy trustee taking an interest in selling your house.
Given the current real estate meltdown in America, most people are finding that either their house is barely worth what the overall mortgage payoff is, or their house is worth less than what they have to pay back on their mortgage.