You're behind on your mortgage, facing overwhelming debt, and can't afford to make ends meet. Now you're in foreclosure proceedings and looking at an uncertain future.
There is a way out. You can stop foreclosure proceedings and stay in your home by filing for bankruptcy. Benjamin R. Matthews & Associates, LLC can help.
As soon as you file for bankruptcy, the court will issue an "automatic stay" that puts an immediate stop to all collection activities, including foreclosure proceedings. Even if your home has already been scheduled for a foreclosure sale, bankruptcy can put that sale on hold while your bankruptcy is pending. Usually, that's three to four months.
The lender can try to lift the automatic stay by filing a motion in bankruptcy court. But even then, bankruptcy will typically postpone the foreclosure sale by at least two months, often longer – buying you time to figure out what's next for your family without ending up on the street.
The key is that you must file for bankruptcy before the property is sold. In South Carolina, once the gavel hits at the foreclosure sale, the property is sold, and you have no right to buy it back – this is called the "hammer rule." So, the sooner you talk to a bankruptcy lawyer, the better.
Ultimately, what happens to your home depends on whether you file Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy and your overall financial situation: how much equity you have in your home, whether you have a second or third mortgage, and what other debts you have. In South Carolina, you can protect up to $63,250 in equity in your home as a single filer or double that if filing jointly with your spouse.
In some situations, bankruptcy can allow you to keep your home. In others, you may not be able to afford to keep your home long-term, but bankruptcy can buy you time to find a new place to live. We have walked with many South Carolinians facing foreclosure and helped them figure out the best path forward. We'd be happy to explain your rights and options in this situation, too.
If you're facing foreclosure proceedings, you need to talk to a bankruptcy lawyer who can intervene and help to protect your home. There's no cost or obligation, just answers about your legal options. Contact us today for a free consultation with Benjamin R. Matthews & Associates.