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Does a charge-off of a HELOC make a secured debt unsecured .

Fort Lauderdale, FL |
Filed under: Real estate

Debt is a HELOC Bank filed lis pendens and foreclosed after 200 days of non-payment. Bank obtained a final judgement, never went through with the sale. After a year of obtaining the judgement bank dismissed the final judgement and the lis pendens, referred the debt to a collection service. Debt has not been paid in over 3 years. The HELOC is the only lien on property, and the property still have $150,000 in equity.

The delinquency is over 3 years now! The bank never did anything for over a year since it dismissed the case and sent it to collection! Is the HELOC now an unsecured debt since by law they had to charge it off after 180 days of delinquency? My main concern at this time after all that has transpired, is that I want to convert that debt to an unsecured debt and to release the mortgage. The bank had closed the equity line, stopped charging any interest on the loan, refered the account to a collection agency, last letter received from collection agency was dated 6/15/11, credit report shows account closed and dismissed. What else the bank need to do that shows that the account was charged off? Once we ascertain that the bank has charged it off , does the debt automatically becomes unsecured or is there a process we must follow to convert it to unsecured and release the mortgage?

Attorney Answers 3


  1. Best answer

    Assuming it is accurate that the final judgment was dismissed and the lis pendens released and that the HELOC was charged off properly by the lender, the debt would be converted to an unsecured debt. However, be careful. Just even when a HELOC has been charged off and becomes an unsecured debt, that does not mean there is no recourse to collect on the debt. It simply means the lender may have relinquished its rights to seize the property in order to collect on the debt. The lender has likely maintained its rights to collect the debt by bringing a lawsuit against you personally, obtaining a judgment against you and then collecting on the judgment by coming after your assets. I highly recommend seeking counseling from an experienced real estate attorney before making any decisions on how best to proceed.


  2. I am not sure I agree. But that only means you need to see an attorney to clear up the facts of exactly what happened.

    Just because the foreclosure complaint may have been dismissed the lis pendens released does not mean the creditor no longer has a lien on the property.

    You need to see an attorney.


  3. Just because the Complaint was dismissed and the lis pendens release does not automatically mean that the HELOC is no longer a secured debt. However, when a lender charges off the debt and goes through these processes the debt can be converted to an unsecured debt. An attorney would need to review all of the documentation regarding your specific case to see what actually happened to make these important determinations. You should get all of your paperwork together and see an attorney.

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