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Is filing a chapter 13 and option to get rid of a second mortgage which I am having difficulty paying?

Owings Mills, MD |

I have a second mortgage and we are behind, but not in foreclosure. The have turned down our request for a modification. Is Chapter 13 a viable solution, so we can keep out home?

Attorney Answers 8


  1. The answer is a 'maybe'. It depends on how much your house is worth and if there is any equity beyond the amount of the first mortgage to support the second. For more information on this complex area, you can go to my blog entry on lien stripping in Chapter 13. The link is below.


  2. Quite possibly. First, it will address your other debt to free up money to pay the mortgage. It will allow you to cure the deficiency, or, if the first mortgage balance exceeds the value of the house, you can strip it off and get rid of it completely. See an experienced bankruptcy lawyer to go over whether this is a good option for you.


  3. It is only an option if the fair market value of your house does not exceed the balance of the first mortgage, in which event you would likely benefit from stripping off the second lien, and having it treated as an unsecured creditor.
    Whether or not chapter 13 would be a benefit to you depends on your financial situation, which should be reviewed by an experienced bankruptcy attorney.
    Good luck.

    General legal advice is offered for educational purposes only. A consultation with a qualified attorney is required to determine specific legal advice as to your situation and applicable law. We are a debt relief agency and we help people file for relief under the bankruptcy laws.


  4. Only if the fair market value of your home at the time you file your bankruptcy is less than what you owe on the primary (1st mortgage). Otherwise, no.


  5. You need to sit down with a knowledgeable bankruptcy attorney. After an initial consultation that needn't take longer than 30 to 40 minutes (and often without charge), an attorney who knows what he or she doing will be able to explain what bankruptcy is and what it is not and how it might fit in your particular situation. A chapter 13 bankruptcy is at the very least a way to take control of your own financial situation. The first gentleman who answered this question is in Walker'ville, just north of Frederick. My office is in Greenbelt and I use a second office in Columbia Maryland. I have no doubt that there are qualified bankruptcy attorneys closer to where you live but I'd be happy to meet with you myself.

    Vail Kaufman
    301-513-0500

    This answer is very general and based only on the incomplete information in the question. You should not rely on this answer as final or authoritative or legal advice. Call me. Arrange a time for a free consultation. I can get the information necessary to give you an answer you can rely on.


  6. Possibly. I agree with the other answers. If the value of your home is less than the balance of your first mortgage, than you have the option of filing chapter 13 to strip off the second mortgage--to get rid of this lien and the payments.
    Its a good option for many people. It will make your home more affordable and allow you more funds to pay the first mortgage.
    Chapter 13 is a more complicated area vs chapter 7, make sure you see an experienced bankruptcy attorney to talk about whether chapter 13 will work for you.
    See the link to my recent newsletter posted on Facebook below for a more detailed discussion of how chapter 13 works. I hope this helps.

    No attorney client relationship is established until both parties sign a retainer agreement. The questioner is advised to hire a lawyer to address this issue and obtain complete legal advice.


  7. To be able to get rid of a second mortgage in a Chapter 13 your home would have to be worth less than what you owe on your first mortgage. To see if this is a possibility you may check with a local realtor and ask them to do a comparative market analysis to see for what price similar or comparable homes are selling. If this is the case you then need to review your other debts and assets to figure out what a Chapter 13 payment plan may look like, and if you can afford it and your first mortgage payment. It is also important to make sure that you plan on staying in the home long enough that it is likely that when you do go to sell it that you will not still be selling for a loss at that time.


  8. You need to sit down with a bankruptcy attorney and discuss your options. There is also the option of making an option of a one time lump sum payment to satisfy the mortgage.

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