Over the last four years you haven’t been able to turn on the TV and not hear something about foreclosure. There are television commercials offering loan mods to keep people out of foreclosure. There are bankruptcy attorneys advertising how bankruptcy will stop foreclosure and so on. Recently it was reported, that there was over 1 million foreclosures in the US nationwide last year alone. Adding to this number was another disturbing fact, that there are over 20 million homes nationwide that are in default or are late on paying. Being in default is the precursor to the creditor pursuing a foreclosure.
In today’s economy there are different stages of foreclosure. Typically, a home ends up in foreclosure via a slow process. First the debtor starts paying their payments late and then it progresses into being a payment behind. Usually, the phone calls from the creditor begin, with the debtor promising to get caught up. In today’s economy, with unemployment over 9% and many people who rely on commission and bonuses to be paid, they are just not making enough money to make ends meet. Back when the credit market had loose standards, many Americans took out seconds and thirds on their home making their house payment double. Now with the continual decline of real estate values Americans are struggling to pay on our home is worth less than they owe. Adding to the problem, some people over indulged in credit card debt making it impossible for them to pay their bills. When the debtor gets behind a few months the foreclosure process will begin.
What’s interesting is some lenders are not foreclosing on homes that are in default. Many experts believe that the lenders don’t want to flood the market dropping values further. It seems, homes in certain areas are more likely to be foreclosed on because the market is still moving in those areas. The only way an individual can stop a foreclosure that send process is to file for bankruptcy. The automatic stay in bankruptcy will stop it immediately and allow the debtor could possibly negotiate something with the lender. In the case of a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, it might only stop it temporarily as the lender will typically file a relief of stay with the bankruptcy court. This will allow the creditor to read file the foreclosure and start proceeding again. A Chapter 13 bankruptcy is a better chapter to file to protect a piece of property. When a debtor files a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, they are required to submit a feasible repayment plan that will last 3 to 5 years. This allows the debtor and their bankruptcy attorney, to negotiate something with the mortgage lender. This gives the power back to the debtor while being protected by the automatic stay.