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Dangers for dismissing Chapter 13 case to sell property

South San Francisco, CA |

I want to sell my property to pay off my debts. I filed for chapter 7 in 2013 which wiped my debts, then filed for chapter 13 for my other debts that could not be included in the chapter 7 (i.e. HOA debt). I am currently in chapter 13 and have 2 liens on my property (HOA and minimal child support). If I were to request a motion to dismiss, will I be susceptible to other dangers since I am no longer protected by chapter 13 (i.e. HOA lawyer or chapter 7 trustee selling my home without my consent)? The total debt in my chapter 13 is about $20k
HOA - $11K
Child Support - $2K
Car - $5K
Lawyer fees - $2k

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Attorney answers 6


Chapter 13 is a voluntary process so you can request dismissal of your case. The real danger is your HOA possible filing a Notice of Trustee Sale and moving your property to foreclosure. This, of course, takes time. You may be able to dismiss and sell the property before the HOA spends the time and energy moving your home to foreclosure; but it is a risk. Also, in order to sell your home, the liens on the property will need to be taken care of before escrow can close on the property. If the Chapter 7 trustee was going to try to sell your home he would have done that during your Chapter 7. Now that it is closed, the Chapter 7 Trustee cannot appear and take over selling the home. Hope this helps.



Thank you! This was very informative. Another question, if the HOA does file a Notice of Trustee sale will I be informed so that I am given the option to try to settle (i.e. take money out of 401k to pay debt)?

Lauren Ann Rode

Lauren Ann Rode


Yes. Is there a Notice of Default filed by the HOA on title? If not, the HOA would first have to file a Notice of Default, stating the amount to cure the lien, then they have to wait 90 days before they can file a Notice of Trustee Sale and schedule a sale approximately 21 days from the end of that 90 day period. All of these documents must be sent to you in the mail to notify you of a sale date.


You have the right to dismiss your 13, but, as pointed out by others, there may be adverse consequences. What does your lawyer recommend?

You are not my client and I am not your attorney. This advice is given in the spirit of the AVVO platform and is based on general legal principles. You become a client when you enter into a formal retainer agreement with me.


Attorney Lauren Ann Rode gave you a very good answer. I'm here to say that you should be posing your questions to your own bankruptcy attorney; I presume you have one because a Chapter 13 is quite complex to prepare and file property.

This reply does not constitute legal advice or establish an attorney-client relationship.


You may be able to stay in the ch 13 and sell the home. If you don't have a lawyer to talk to in person about this, see the link below to NACBA for help in finding a bankruptcy lawyer near you.


This is a question you need to address with your bankruptcy attorney. Any advice given here is based solely on the facts you present. About 99% of the time there are additional facts that will change the answer. See your attorney.

This is not legal advice and I am not your attorney until you retain my office. Always consult with an attorney in your area before acting on anything you read on the internet.


I concur with our fellow colleagues, that you do need to confer immediately with your chapter 13 attorney, and see if you have a hazard. Your real estate equity must obviously now be able to cover your listed debts or you wouldn't even be considering it. Your schedules in your chapter 7 and chapter 13 however could potentially give your chapter 7 trustee a grounds for re-opening your case if you had alleged just a year ago negative equity.

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