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How Long Will Filing Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Delay My Foreclosure?

chapter 13 bankruptcy

When you’re facing financial difficulties, bankruptcy can seem like a scary option. When bankruptcy is looming, you may be focused on protecting your home. If your goal is to prevent or delay foreclosure on your home, Chapter 13 bankruptcy may be the right filing for you. 

Unlike other types of bankruptcy, Chapter 13 bankruptcy is focused on creating a manageable repayment schedule. Chapter 13 does not force you to forfeit your valuable assets. 

How long will Chapter 13 delay foreclosure? Ultimately, that’s up to you. A Chapter 13 repayment plan will require you to repay your missed mortgage payments. It will also require you to stay on top of your current mortgage payments. 

If you are able to do both, then the foreclosure proceedings on your home will be stopped indefinitely. As long as you do not miss any payments after you file Chapter 13 to stop foreclosure, you may be able to protect yourself for the long term.

Our team at Brenner Spiller & Archer, LLP has helped hundreds of families in New Jersey craft Chapter 13 plans to stop foreclosure. In this post, we will walk you through what Chapter 13 bankruptcy is. We will also discuss how filing Chapter 13 bankruptcy may help you.

What Is a Foreclosure?

After a certain number of missed mortgage payments, your lender may foreclose on your property. Foreclosure is the legal process by which the lender can be made whole. 

During a foreclosure, the lender is allowed to sell the borrower’s home to fulfill the borrower’s debt. Each state’s foreclosure process varies slightly. Be sure to speak with knowledgeable counsel in your area if you believe your property is at risk.

Neither lenders nor borrowers like the foreclosure process. It is time-consuming and expensive, and rarely do lenders recoup enough money to fulfill the borrower’s outstanding debt. If you are worried that you cannot pay your mortgage, reach out to your lender before missing a payment. Before you file Chapter 13 bankruptcy to stop foreclosure, you may be able to work out a repayment plan with your lender.

What Is Chapter 13 Bankruptcy?

Chapter 13 bankruptcy creates a repayment plan that combines all your debts into one payment. Debtors often find this single payment easier to manage. A bankruptcy trustee oversees the “bankruptcy estate” and monitors your repayment progress. 

How Do I File Chapter 13 Bankruptcy to Stop Foreclosure?

When you file for bankruptcy of any kind, an automatic stay is put on all your debts. If your lender is attempting to foreclose on your home, they will be ordered to stop until your case is dismissed or the stay is lifted. 

When you file specifically for Chapter 13 bankruptcy, a trustee will create a repayment plan that slowly pays off all or some of your debts. This should include any missed mortgage payments. An experienced bankruptcy lawyer, like a member of the Brenner Spiller & Archer team, can help you with your filing in New Jersey bankruptcy court.

How Much Does Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Cost?

When considering whether to file Chapter 13 bankruptcy to stop foreclosure, you will need to consider the cost of repaying missed mortgage payments. As mentioned, Chapter 13 bankruptcy plans usually last 3-5 years. You will need to determine if your payments in arrears would be affordable in a bankruptcy plan of this length. 

If it would not be possible for you to repay your debts in this time period, Chapter 13 bankruptcy may not be the best option for you. Speak with a bankruptcy attorney about strategies to protect your home. A bankruptcy attorney can also help you calculate your exact costs if you do file Chapter 13 bankruptcy. 

How Brenner Spiller & Archer, LLP Can Help

At Brenner Spiller & Archer, LLP, our team has over 35 years of experience assisting our clients with bankruptcy matters. This provides us with a big law firm knowledge base and still allows us to provide our clients with the small firm client experience. We have developed the expertise to help you navigate through some of the most challenging times in your financial life. Contact us today for your free consultation.

4 Bankruptcy and Credit Cards FAQs

Bankruptcy and credit cards

According to the Statista Research Department, 522,808 non-business bankruptcy cases were filed in 2020 alone. Even though filing for bankruptcy is fairly common, many people have no idea what the process entails.

Can you keep any credit cards after filing for bankruptcy? What will happen to your credit score?

Our bankruptcy lawyers at Brenner Spiller & Archer, LLP are here to help. Contact us today.

Our attorneys receive dozens of questions like these every day. Unfortunately, the answer typically involves more than a simple yes or a no. We have compiled answers to a few of our most frequently asked questions about bankruptcy and credit cards below. 

1. Can I Keep a Credit Card in Chapter 7 Bankruptcy?

Unfortunately, you typically cannot keep your credit card accounts when you file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. Bankruptcy treats all of your creditors the same, and this includes your credit card company.

Filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy cancels all of your financial contracts, including credit card agreements, leases, and secured car loans. But this doesn’t mean you cannot keep your vehicle(s) and/or lease(s).

Once your credit card company finds out that you filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, they will likely cancel your credit card because they can no longer enforce your obligation to pay your credit card balance.

2. Can I Exclude a Credit Card from Chapter 7 Bankruptcy?

When you file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, you will list all of your debts. That includes all of your credit cards.. Therefore, you cannot exclude a credit card from Chapter 7 bankruptcy to avoid losing it.

3. Can I Keep a Company Credit Card if I File Bankruptcy?

Many individuals use separate credit card accounts for their business. So you may wonder if you will lose that credit card in bankruptcy along with all your others.

Whether or not you can keep this card depends on how the account is set up. If the company credit card is set up in the company’s name and you are just an authorized user, you can likely keep the company credit card. You are likely to be able to keep the card because, in this case, the debt obligations owed are billed to the company directly. 

However, if you are an obligor on the company credit card account, this means that you and your company are jointly responsible for paying the debt. As an obligor, you typically have to pay the bill and then seek reimbursement.

If this is the case, you will likely need to include the company credit card account on your list of debts when you file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. This generally means that the issuer of the card will close the account.

4. Can I Keep a Future Credit Card If I File for Bankruptcy?

Luckily, filing for Chapter 7 does not prohibit you from ever having another credit card. In fact, you might receive numerous credit card offers in the mail after your Chapter 7 bankruptcy is processed. Typically, credit card companies advertise to recent bankruptcy filers because:

  • Former bankruptcy filers are typically more cautious using credit;
  • You cannot file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy again for at least eight years; and
  • Bankruptcy wipes out all of your debt, giving you more money to spend on new credit card bills.

But please understand that securing a credit card right after you finish filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy is not always a good idea. If you struggled with high amounts of credit card debt, you might consider consulting with a debt relief attorney before you open another credit card account.

Once those bills start adding up, you might find yourself in the same situation a year or so into the future—but you won’t have the ability to file for bankruptcy for another seven years. 

Still Have Questions About Bankruptcy and Credit Cards? Contact Our Bankruptcy Attorneys at Brenner Spiller & Archer, LLP

We understand that many of our clients are dealing with a very difficult time in their lives. Filing for bankruptcy is never an easy decision, but we can help you achieve a fresh financial start through the bankruptcy process. 

Our legal team at Brenner Spiller & Archer, LLP, has over 35 years of experience assisting our clients with bankruptcy matters. Our experience in the bankruptcy industry has given us an extensive knowledge base from which to pull when assessing your specific circumstances and needs. We have earned the reputation of providing solid legal expertise and unwavering service to our clients. We have the experience necessary to represent you effectively in your bankruptcy case and secure a desirable resolution. Contact our office today to schedule your free consultation. We look forward to assisting you.

The Automatic Stay: But What If a Creditor Violates This Potent Legal Protection?

Filing bankruptcy provides several protections to debtors, including the automatic stay. This is an automatic injunction that begins the moment the bankruptcy petition is filed, prohibiting creditors to collect debts from someone who has declared bankruptcy. In addition, an automatic stay immediately stops most civil lawsuits filed against you, prevents the disconnection of water, electric, gas, or telephone, and it stops foreclosure proceedings. And if you are being evicted from your home, the automatic stay might provide some temporary help.

With the protections it offers, what should you do when credit companies ignore or try to get around the automatic stay?

First, it is important to determine whether the violation was deliberate or accidental. Even though it is meant to prevent creditors from taking certain forbidden actions, sometimes they still do. There may be many reasons for this, but most often it is just a timing issue or their lack of knowledge of the law. If a creditor violates the stay in a purposeful effort to thwart the bankruptcy code, the creditor can be held accountable for violating the automatic stay. It is essential to find out if creditors received legal notice of automatic stay upon bankruptcy filing.

Inform the creditor of your bankruptcy

This generally gets the creditor to correct its violation. If they don’t, the next step is to notify the bankruptcy court. The court can endorse a violation of the automatic stay under its power of contempt since the creditor violated the court’s order. The court can impose fines, gauge attorney’s fees, and require the creditor to pay damages.

Can a creditor try to lift the stay notice?

Since the automatic stay isn’t definite or unchangeable, creditors can ask the court to remove the stay which then allows collection efforts to resume. If lifting the automatic stay is granted, the creditor is free to continue pursuing its debt. Thankfully it is uncommon for multiple creditors to file motions to lift the stay, and even one or two doesn’t happen that often. In the event a motion is filed, it is the burden of the creditor to convince the court that there is a valid reason to lift the stay.

When should you file a lawsuit?

If a creditor continues to collect in violation of the automatic stay, it is time to file a lawsuit. If at any time you think a debt collector has crossed a line or violated an order, consider talking to an attorney to get advice about your options and whether your case merits a potential lawsuit.

In each of the above scenarios a debtor would benefit greatly with a bankruptcy attorney. That is the best choice to help figure out how to proceed, to ensure you’re protected, and that all your options are explored.

This article should not be taken as legal advice. If you’re considering bankruptcy or another legal debt relief option, you need to consult an attorney for guidance. If you’re in New Jersey and seeking legal assistance, we can help you.

Brenner Spiller & Archer, LLP is a New Jersey law firm that is dedicated to helping families find relief from the burden of debt and other financial woes. For more than 35 years, our bankruptcy lawyers have provided effective guidance on all debt relief matters to clients throughout Central and South Jersey.

Click Here To Request A Free Consultation With Our Trusted Bankruptcy Attorneys.

4 Steps to Complete a Short Sale

Image of a person handing keys to another person.A short sale occurs when a lender or mortgage company agrees to accept less money than the outstanding mortgage to satisfy a debt. Short sales can be beneficial for both parties in a mortgage since it is typically in the interest of the property owner and the lender to avoid foreclosure.

Since a lender will receive less money than the outstanding loan amount in a short sale, many prospective clients wonder why lenders would agree to short sales. The answer is that lenders will usually lose more money in the foreclosure process than they would lose in a short sale.

Lenders do not like managing and owning foreclosed property, which can be costly. Short sales usually save lenders and property owners time and money. In order to complete a short sale, the property owner must take the following steps:

  1. Contact an attorney to gather and draft documents to submit to the mortgage company.
  2. Contact a realtor to find a buyer for the property at the current market price.
  3. The realtor must find a bona fide purchaser for the property at the current market price.
  4. Submit the short sale offer and purchase agreement to the lender.

Short sales are generally more complicated and time-consuming than the average real estate sale. If you are considering a short sale or another option for saving your home from foreclosure, it is in your best interest to hire an experienced bankruptcy lawyer to guide you through the process.

This article should not be taken as legal advice. If you’re considering a short sale, foreclosure, or another legal option, you need to consult an attorney for guidance. If you’re in New Jersey and seeking legal assistance, we can help you.

Brenner Spiller & Archer, LLP is a New Jersey law firm that is dedicated to helping families find relief from the burden of debt and other financial woes. For more than 35 years, our bankruptcy lawyers have provided effective guidance on all debt relief matters to clients throughout Central and South Jersey.

Click here to schedule a free consultation with our trusted bankruptcy attorneys.

New Jersey Sues OxyContin for Fraud

new jersey sues oxycontinA lawsuit against Purdue Pharma has been filed by the State Attorney General’s office, claiming the OxyContin manufacturer practiced deceptive marketing. OxyCodone, sold by Purdue under the brand name OxyContin, is a narcotic used to treat moderate-to-severe pain and known for being highly addictive.

State Attorney General Christopher Porrino is accusing Purdue Pharma of making dishonest claims about its pain-relieving drug. The suit alleges Purdue spread the idea that chronic pain is under-treated and that OxyContin should be the main treatment option for chronic ailments even through the drug lacks any studies over 12 weeks.

Purdue Pharma confirmed October 26th that federal prosecutors in Connecticut are investigating allegations that the company distorted the health risks of opioid painkillers.

The New Jersey lawsuit also implies OxyContin has been a major factor in the state’s rising opioid addiction crisis, charging Purdue with the creation of a “public nuisance.”

“As a company grounded in science, we must balance patient access to FDA-approved medicines, while working collaboratively to solve this public health challenge,” Purdue announced in a statement denying the accusations. “We are deeply troubled by the opioid crisis and we are dedicated to being part of the solution.”

Sales representatives from Purdue Pharma were reportedly required to meet a 7 to 8-visit quota per day to doctors in New Jersey. The company has generated over $35 billion in sales since it’s debut, with current annual revenues mostly from the sale of OxyContin.

In 2015, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that more than 52,000 Americans were killed by drug overdoses. Most of these overdoses involved prescription opioids like OxyContin.

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