Everett Foreclosure Attorney
Save Your Home in the Greater Seattle Area
Losing your home to foreclosure may seem unthinkable, but it can become a frightening reality if you fall behind on your mortgage payments. If you receive formal notice that your lender is pursuing a foreclosure, you will need to take proactive steps to protect your home.
Bankruptcy may be able to provide relief to homeowners facing foreclosure. Our Everett foreclosure lawyer at The Law Office of Ken Schneider, P.S. can help you leverage the bankruptcy process to save your home. We understand what is at stake in these difficult situations and are prepared to put our over 25 years of legal experience to work for you.
If you wish to keep your home, Chapter 13 bankruptcy can be used to cure the default through regular payment stretched out over the life of the multi-year reorganization plan. If you have a second mortgage, a Chapter 7 bankruptcy can be used to discharge the debt owed on the second mortgage after the first mortgage forecloses. In many situations, bankruptcy can be used to protect the equity in your home even if the house is going to be sold.
Filing for Bankruptcy Will Temporarily Stop a Foreclosure Sale
A foreclosure cannot happen instantaneously. You will almost certainly be aware that you are seriously behind on your payments, and you will receive multiple formal notices that you are in default on your mortgage. In most cases, your lender cannot even initiate foreclosure proceedings until you are at least 120 days past due on making payments.
The good news is this timeline will give you ample time to anticipate and prepare for the possibility of foreclosure. Depending on your financial situation, you may wish to consider one of various foreclosure avoidance strategies, including a loan modification or forbearance.
If foreclosure seems unavoidable, you should contact qualified legal representation as soon as possible. We can help you explore all available bankruptcy relief options. More options may be available to you if you come to us sooner rather than later.
When you file for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy, you will benefit from the automatic stay. This court order halts all collection actions, including foreclosure. So long as you file for bankruptcy before the foreclosure auction, the foreclosure will be temporarily stopped.
How Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Stops Foreclosure
Filing for Chapter 13 bankruptcy prior to the trustee’s sale of your property will stop the foreclosure process. Completing a Chapter 13 bankruptcy involves committing to a repayment plan that reorganizes and consolidates your outstanding debts. You will need to pay a lump monthly installment that works to address all of your debts. The amount of this monthly payment is determined by your current ability to pay, not the size of your debt.
Mortgage arrears must be paid in full through your Chapter 13 reorganization plan. In other words, Chapter 13 bankruptcy will only be able to save your home if you can afford to cure the default on your mortgage over the course of the repayment plan. Fortunately, mortgage arrears receive preference over other types of debt and can be prioritized in your plan. Most Chapter 13 plans will also last between three and five years. Our Everett foreclosure attorney can help you create and confirm a Chapter 13 repayment plan that protects your home and works to cure mortgage arrears.
So long as you continue to make your contracted monthly payments, your home will be protected from foreclosure. Because your mortgage will be cured once your plan has been completed, your home will not be in danger of foreclosure once your bankruptcy case has concluded. The Chapter 13 process also allows you to discharge many types of unsecured debt, including credit card debt and medical debt. By eliminating these debts, you may have more financial flexibility to keep up with your mortgage going forward.
While it is possible to save your home from foreclosure through Chapter 7 bankruptcy, you will likely face additional challenges and not have as much time. Chapter 7 bankruptcy is most useful in these cases when you have substantial equity in your home.
Like with Chapter 13 bankruptcy, filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy provides immediate temporary relief through the automatic stay. Completing a Chapter 7 bankruptcy involves going through a liquidation process. Nonexempt assets will be liquidated to partially repay creditors.
The Washington State exemption schedule allows Chapter 7 filers to exempt a certain amount of equity in their homes. The homestead exemption amount is the county median sale price of a single-family home in the preceding year or $125,000, whichever is greater. Consequently, if you have considerable equity in your home, you may be able to protect the property from liquidation.
In a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, it may be advantageous to allow the bankruptcy trustee to sell your home if you have significant equity in the property. The sale proceeds will pay off liens and compensate you with the homestead exemption available to you. Generally, you will receive more money for your home in bankruptcy than you will through foreclosure.
Whether you wish to save or sell your home, our Everett foreclosure lawyer at The Law Office of Ken Schneider, P.S. can help you explore and understand all of your options. We can tailor our strategy to suit your unique objectives and are committed to securing the relief you need.
“Ken Schneider is a great attorney. He helped me and my family get through one of the toughest times in our lives. He was able to guide us and help pick the best plan that fit my family. I have recommended him to others and will continue.”- Reese
“I not only have come away with the best scenario in a difficult situation, but I also have come away with peace of mind and hope. He came highly recommended and I can highly recommend him to others.”- Melanie
“Ken was right on the case, knew the complex facts quickly and accurately, and was successful at holding the trustee accountable to bankruptcy law.”- Mike
“Ken has a vast knowledge of Chapters 7 and 13 and will counsel you and make sure that he guides you to help you make the right decision. We know of at least 2 other friends that have hired Ken and they are very happy with Ken’s results and knowledge.”- Shaun
“I cannot say enough good things about Mr. Schneider. He is so kind, upfront, and intelligent.”- Stacy