Secure A Debt-Free Future
Potential clients often contact Tampa bankruptcy attorneys at Debt Relief Legal Group LLC to ask whether we can help them get their cars back after they have been repossessed by lending institutions. In the same breath, they ask worriedly, “Can I keep my house?”
The short answer as to whether we can help clients retrieve a car that has already been repossessed is “No.” Once repossession has occurred, it is generally too late to reverse it, unless a lender somehow violated the law.
On the other hand, when clients contact us regarding car payments in arrears before a car has been repossessed, we may have the opportunity to stop it by promptly filing a Chapter 7 bankruptcy.
Chapter 7 will not eliminate the lien that a creditor has on your car, but as long as you keep current on your car payments, filing Chapter 7 bankruptcy does not have to mean losing your car.
Chapter 13 offers even more possibilities for preventing repossession of a car. In many cases, our Chapter 13 clients are able to reduce the total amount owed on a car to its actual book value and restructure payments accordingly, to be repaid over five years at a very low interest rate. To restructure a car loan through Chapter 13 bankruptcy, you must have owned and made payments on the car for two-and-a-half years.
Imagine being able to keep your home while eliminating that burdensome home equity line of credit. Imagine waking up tomorrow and having no credit card debt. Many debtors have found true debt relief through Chapter 7 bankruptcy, and many homeowners have avoided foreclosure while simultaneously obtaining debt relief through bankruptcy. Depending on your circumstances, both opportunities may be within your grasp.
A Chapter 7 bankruptcy eliminates much or all consumer debt for many debtors. However, your mortgage, which is attached to your home, is not wiped out. If you can continue making mortgage payments, you may keep the house.
In some cases, homeowners who cannot keep up with their mortgages use the foreclosure process to their advantage. As a house goes through the foreclosure process, an individual or couple may choose to stop making payments and ultimately walk away from the home, owing nothing more. Foreclosure generally takes anywhere from one to two years. This strategy buys time to live in the home rent free and mortgage-payment free for a period of time, often very helpful in a bankruptcy situation. Your home may be your lifeline even if you ultimately give it up.
If your mortgage payments are in arrears, you may be able to prevent foreclosure by filing Chapter 13 bankruptcy and restructuring the balance due on the unpaid mortgage payments, stretched out over three to five years. Furthermore, any home equity line of credit (HELOC) accounts or other types of second and third mortgages may be “stripped” from the mortgage. This is often accomplished by demonstrating that a house that is “upside down” with regard to the first mortgage essentially has no equity, so cannot be considered to be collateral for any second mortgage.
Are you wondering whether bankruptcy can help you keep your car or stop a St. Petersburg, New Port Richey or Tampa house foreclosure? Attorney Richard B. Feinberg can inform you of all your options for keeping your car and your home if possible.
For more information on the bankruptcy process or to speak with our Tampa bankruptcy lawyers about your rights, contact the Debt Relief Legal Group to schedule a free initial consultation. We can be reached at (813) 940-5120.