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Question regarding still keeping my home, that was included in a Bankruptcy.

Santa Rosa, CA |

My husband asked for a divorce and part of the process during the last year and a half was filing Bankruptcy which the first and second where included . It's been over a year and it hasn't foreclosed . I loved that home , and designed the kitchen everything , now that I have a minimal income . Is there any way before foreclosure I can still keep the home , or refinance it in my name even though it's been included in the bankruptcy ? I Donetta want to lose everything in this divorce .

Wow, I misspelled Dont sorry.

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Attorney answers 3


Being able to keep this house will require you to take a hard look at what you can afford. In the best case scenario, a loan modification could provide that the debt for the 1st mortgage get be repaid at 2.5%. Run the calculations on your loan balance using that rate and add your impounds back in before you fall in love with this idea. It is realistic that you could avoid paying anything on the 2nd for many years, but if you ever want to sell or refinance, the second will still be in a lien position and you will have to deal with this issue down the road. Many times the 2nd will be sold to a debt collector & they may accept a highly discounted lump sum to release the lien. But to pull this off, you have to have the cash set aside to make the offer. Hope this perspective helps!


You can file a chapter 13 and strip the second mortgage IF the first is big enough that it exceeds your equity. You can also attempt to modify the first mortgage under a number of programs and settlements.



Is the chp 13 the full bankruptcy? We are upside down and have no equity. The second is with GMAC and I understand they are difficult to deal with. Can you direct me to a link where I can get some help? My income is SSD and Spousal support. Thank you so much

Alan D. Walton

Alan D. Walton


Chapter 13 is a 3 to 5 year payment plan that assumes you have the resources to pay the regular mortgage payment, as well as catch up on the arrears in that time frame.


As the other attorneys suggested, there are SEVERAL issues involved in "keeping your house." In any case, you need to do something ASAP because the clock is ticking on the foreclosure (it sounds like time has already expired) so the foreclosure could happen any day. After the foreclosure, your options are pretty much limited to buying it back from the foreclosure buyer, which is highly unlikely.

The fact that you filed bankruptcy has nothing to do with whehter you can keep the house or not, but it may limit what you can do.

Since the bank has not foreclosed, it is still owned by you or your ex or both. In the divorce, who was given ownership of the home? If it was allocated to hubby, then you need to deal with him to transfer ownership to you. If it is in your name only now, it is entirely up to you. If it was never discussed in the divorce and still has both names on the title, you will need to deal with hubby eventually to get it in your name.

If you have a few million dollars cash lying around, it is almost certain that you can reinstate the loan and keep the house. You say you have "minimal income" but that is not enough information for anyone to figure out if you can pay for the house or not. You need someone who can evaluate your finances and the costs of ownership to determine if it is feasible for you to keep the house. THIS SHOULD BE YOUR FIRST JOB.

As one attorney suggested, a Chapter 13 bankruptcy might allow you to strip off the 2nd mortgage, making the home more affordable. That process might or might not be available to you considering how recently you filed bankruptcy AND there is no information on the value of the home or the amount of the first lien.

As Attorney Bunce suggested, you should apply to modify the first loan to reduce the interest rate. However, loan modifications, in my experience, are 99% false promises and about 1% reality. Loan modifications are like the Lotto - some people win and no one wins unless they play. So, DO the loan modification application, but don't get your hopes too high.

Good luck.

If you need further clarity, please email me at MICHAEL@MIRELAND.US Answers to questions are for general information purposes only and do not establish an attorney-client relationship. This is not legal advice, simply information. You SHOULD NOT act on this information without consulting a competent bankruptcy attorney in your area and providing ALL relevant information.