Home Foreclosure Help
When an Everett, Washington, homeowner defaults on mortgage payments, the mortgage company can start a process called foreclosure to take the home back. The foreclosure process takes months. Under Washington law, the mortgage company must first give the homeowner a chance to go through a meeting and mediation before sending a notice of default, which formally starts the foreclosure process with most mortgages. The home cannot be sold for at least 120 days after the notice of default is sent.
Filing a bankruptcy can help with a foreclosure in a variety of ways. The filing of a bankruptcy stops all debt collection, including foreclosures, immediately. A bankruptcy stops the foreclosure process up to the point the property is sold.
By eliminating some debt and stopping the foreclosure process, a bankruptcy could help a home owner get caught up on a mortgage by themselves. There are times when the filing of a bankruptcy can help a homeowner qualify for a mortgage modification. By eliminating a lot of general unsecured debt, such as credit card debt, a homeowner can qualify for a mortgage modification after bankruptcy.
Chapter 7 bankruptcy stops a foreclosure temporarily. It could help just by improving cash flow, giving the homeowner some breathing space or helping with the modification process. If the home owner does not get caught up or modify a mortgage after filing a Chapter 7, the mortgage company can eventually start the foreclosure process up again. The mortgage company can get court permission to start the process up again within a month of filing the case but it usually takes much longer than a month.
Chapter 13 offers a longer term solution to stopping foreclosure. The filing of a Chapter 13 stops the foreclosure and the Chapter 13 plan sets out how the homeowner intends to consolidate debt and get caught up on the mortgage payments. The plan can not be any longer than five years. The current mortgage payments must be made and an additional amount must be paid to cure the default within five years. If the homeowner is $30,000 behind on payments, the current mortgage plus another $500 per month ($30,000 divided by 60 months or five years) must be paid through the Chapter 13 plan. Second mortgages can be eliminated in Chapter 13 plans when the balance of the first mortgage is greater than the value of the home.
If you are overwhelmed by debt and think you can save your home by eliminating some debt and improving cash flow, it is a good idea to talk to a bankruptcy attorney. It is easiest to save a home if your income has improved after dropping for a while. In that case, many people get mired in debt and behind on their mortgage.
Whatever your situation, before you give up on your home in Everett, talk to a bankruptcy attorney.