Will filing a chapter 13 stop home foreclosure?

By | May 5, 2010

Q. Dear Moe Bedard, I need to stop foreclosure on my home fast.  Will filing a chapter 13 bankruptcy help me?

A. Many people who go through the foreclosure process are unaware of the legal remedies that may help them.  But the facts are that many of these legal remedies are temporary and not permanent.  There’s no way to stop foreclosure forever.  However, there there are laws that you can use to help stall a process and also help you with your unaffordable debts.

One of these remedies is called a chapter 13 bankruptcy.  When you file bankruptcy, the courts place what is called an automatic stay on all creditors and this includes your mortgage company.  What this means is that they can no longer attempt to collect on a debt without first going through the courts for permission.  However, please be aware that a home mortgage cannot be included in a personal chapter 13 bankruptcy.  Your lender will most likely ask the courts for relief and to have the mortgage taken out of the chapter 13 protection.  The judge will most likely grant this and the foreclosure process will continue.

So, the facts are that a chapter 13 can only stall a foreclosure and not stop it indefinitely.  It may put yours on hold for 60 or 90 days plus. As always, it is best to seek the opinion of three or more attorneys in your state to get educated on your legal rights.