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I want to file for bankruptcy ... and keep my house ... is it possible ?

Saint Petersburg, FL |

I'm in a Catch-22.

I would like to file for bankruptcy ... and get a fresh start.

My foreclosure lawsuit has been dismissed "with" prejudice ... and it has been more than 5 years since my Notice of Default and the Florida statute of limitations has expired.

The Plaintiff cannot foreclose ... and the Plaintiff cannot collect.

I am stil living in my house.

What would happen to my home if I filed for bankruptcy at this point?

My objective is to remain in my house.


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Attorney answers 8


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.

Be sure to designate "best answer." If you live in Oregon, you may call me for more detailed advice, 503-650-9662. Please be aware that each answer on this website is based upon the facts, or lack thereof, provided in the question. To be sure you get complete and comprehensive answers, based upon the totality of your situation, contact a local attorney who specializes in the area of law that involves your legal problem. Diane L. Gruber has been practicing law in Oregon for 26 years, specializing in family law, bankruptcy, estate planning and probate. Note: Diane L. Gruber does not represent you until a written fee agreement has been signed by you and Diane L. Gruber, and the fee listed in the agreement has been paid.


You can file for bankruptcy, claim the house as exempt as your homestead, and keep the home.

I hope you found this response to be of assistance. This response shall not be considered the rendering of legal advise but instead a general response to a general question. While Avvo is a wonderful resource, nothing can be a substitute for an in-depth consultation with an attorney in the jurisdiction in which the law is to be applied. This response shall not be deemed to create an attorney-client relationship, nor shall it create an obligation on the part of the attorney to respond to further inquiry from the questioner.

Diane L Gruber

Diane L Gruber


You are in a very unique position. Don't know what the mortgageholder did for the court to prohibit collection of the debt. Enjoy!


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.

Diane L Gruber

Diane L Gruber


Can't imagine how BK can remove the lien. When house sells, the mortgageholder will be paid off. Your BK attorney needs knowledge of real estate law, too.


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.

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.

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