BUT the mortgageholder STILL has a lien on your house, right? Moreover, the homestead exemption is unlimited in FL. I believe you can file BK and still keep your house. Invest in an experienced BK attorney to be sure it is done right. Good luck.
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You can file for bankruptcy, claim the house as exempt as your homestead, and keep the home.
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I would bring this up to a bankruptcy attorney in your area but will say that it sounds like you're in a sweet spot but in mortgage purgatory. Filing bankruptcy may be a smart move - talk to an attorney in your area that is EXPERIENCED in bankrutpcy. This is not the time to go to a newbie.
Your situation sounds better than a lot of folks. In order to take your house, the creditor would have to obtain relief from the automatic stay, then foreclose, which you have already said they cannot do. Obviously, your question does not provide a lot of details, so you should discuss the matter at length with a bankruptcy attorney.
There are a number of ways to keep your home through bankruptcy. There are ways to exempt equity in your home up to a certain amount in both Chapter 7 and Chapter 13. Florida is a state in which you can exempt a very large percentage, if not all, of your equity as well as ownership in your house. There may be other things to consider. You should seek out an experienced bankruptcy attorney to find out all of your options but there are definitely good possibilities for keeping your house.
The above is for informational purposes only. The offering of this information in no way presumes to create an attorney/client relationship and should in no way be construed as actual legal advice.
I am a BK attorney right here in St. Pete. I don't see a problem with filing for Bankruptcy while keeping the home if the facts are as you state. It would affect how I helped you fill in your petition and you do need an attorney to help you do that, but if the consultation and filing out of the Bankruptcy petition go well, there should not be a large issue. Feel free to call my office (727) 321-3433
Based on the information in your question, you will be able to file bankruptcy and claim your home as exempt. By claiming the home as exempt, you will be allowed to keep it and continue to live there. The bankruptcy trustee will not be able to liquidate your home in order to pay your creditors. However, as of now there is still a lien on your home due to the mortgage. If the foreclosure action was dismissed with prejudice then you are protected from a future foreclosure action. However, you will not be able to sell or refinance your home until you do something about the mortgage. I think you should hire an attorney to do both a bankruptcy and a quite title action. A quite title action is an action in Circuit Court to declare that the mortgage is no longer valid and could free up the title to your home so that you will be able to sell it in the future.
As previously mentioned you have a lien problem. Liens survive bankruptcy and remain legally enforceable. Just because the mortgage holder cannot foreclose on the home does not mean they do not have the legal right to have their lien satisfied. Speak to a real estate lawyer in your jurisdiction for more information before you seek the counsel of a bankruptcy attorney.
Ryan C. Wood is Bay Area bankruptcy lawyer and has been practicing exclusively bankruptcy law in California since 2007. Mr. Wood formerly worked for David Burchard, Chapter 13 Trustee for the Santa Rosa and San Francisco Divisions of the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of California. West Coast Bankruptcy Attorneys has filed hundreds of bankruptcy cases and has an “A” rating by the Better Business Bureau.
Legal Disclaimer: Ryan C. Wood practices law in California only. Any answers to questions re not intended to be legal advice or create an attorney-client relationship. Always consult an attorney in your jurisdiction about your particular circumstances.