Stop Foreclosure in Massachusetts
YES, you can stop a foreclosure with a timely Chapter 13 Bankruptcy filing. The “automatic stay” provision will stop your mortgage holder from moving forward and may give you up to 60 months to pay arrears on the mortgage.
Filing a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy can also stop a foreclosure, but the lender will be able to reinstitute the sale of foreclosure at a later date if you cannot catch up on the delinquent payments prior to any new foreclosure sale. Often clients will seek assistance from their lenders with a “mortgage modification” which may also avoid the loss of the home.
Bankruptcy Property Exemptions
Filing bankruptcy offers you a clean slate from being overwhelmed by financial burdens. Once a bankruptcy case is completed, however, you will still need basic possessions and assets to move forward with your life. Fortunately, the Bankruptcy Code recognizes these basic needs and provides a variety of property exemptions for your home and other items. If property is exempt, it will not be subject to the seizure of creditors.
Every bankruptcy case is evaluated separately but in most cases you do not have to give up your property or necessary possessions. During and after the closing of the case, the exempted property is protected by law. In fact, not only are you allowed to keep the exempted property but you can also retain the equity, if any, that one may have on the property. (Equity is the difference between the value of the exempted property and the remaining debt.)
The Massachusetts Homestead Act allows a homeowner up to $500,000 of equity in homeowner’s primary residence. This means that the owner is allowed to protect up to $500,000 of equity in their home above the mortgages that the owner has placed on the property. However, Homestead Declarations are for primary residences only and do not apply to vacation homes or investment property.
The following are exempt from the Homestead Law:
- Federal, state and local taxes, assessments, claims, and liens
- Mortgages against the residence
- An execution issued from a probate court to enforce its judgment that a spouse pay for the support of a spouse or minor children.
- An execution issued from a court of competent jurisdiction to enforce its judgment based upon fraud, mistake, duress, undue influence or lack of capacity.
Although every case is different, losing your home just because you file for bankruptcy is not common. Please consult one of the Foreclosure attorneys at the Law Office of Brian R. Lewis right away if you are in jeopardy of losing your home or you want to know how to stop a foreclosure.
Bankruptcy can be a very difficult decision to make. By learning about your different options and what the benefits of filing bankruptcy are – it will make this decision a lot easier. You should not have to face this alone. By contacting our foreclosure attorney for help, we will provide you with a free initial consultation where you can inform us of your unique situation. Upon learning about your circumstances we can recommend a course of action to stop a foreclosure. If you are considering bankruptcy, call the Law Office of Brian R Lewis today!