Foreclosure- Is Bankruptcy the Answer?
- November 13, 2013
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Debtors filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy in New Jersey may be surprised to learn that even after they file for bankruptcy their homes can, and in many instances will, still be foreclosed upon by their lending banks. Most people file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy to discharge all or most of their debt, but filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy does not automatically or necessarily allow a debtor to keep his or her home. Beyond this, even if a mortgage is one of the debts that is discharged upon the bankruptcy filing, the lender still retains the right to come in at a later time and re-possess the debtor’s home. Typically, a bank or similar lender will re-possess a debtor’s home using a deed in lieu of foreclosure or by a judicial or non-judicial foreclosure proceeding. A deed in lieu of foreclosure is used when a debtor relinquishes all of his or her interest in the home to the lender. This method reflects slightly better than a foreclosure on the debtor’s credit report. A judicial foreclosure occurs when a bank petitions the court system to be awarded the legal right to take back a debtor’s residence and/or property. In a non-judicial foreclosure, a bank will sell the debtor’s property at a foreclosure auction without the need to petition a court for the right to do so. Although, in a non-judicial foreclosure, the lending bank must still abide by the New Jersey statutory foreclosure process before it can re-possess and sell a debtor’s home at an auction. In some bankruptcy cases, the lending bank will not attempt to re-possess or sell the debtor’s home until the bankruptcy proceedings have concluded. On the other hand, many banks will immediately petition the court to remove a debtor’s home from the stay of bankruptcy protection so that foreclosure proceedings can commence. In New Jersey, bankruptcy laws are very complicated, therefore it is critical that debtors seek out the advice of an experienced bankruptcy attorney to assist them with bankruptcy matters. For more information regarding, Chapter 13 bankruptcy, Chapter 7 bankruptcy, foreclosure or other consumer debt issues in New Jersey visit TheNJBankruptcyAttorney.com. This blog is for informational purposes only and not intended to replace the advice of an attorney.