How Filing For Bankruptcy In Chicago Intersects With Foreclosure

Filing for bankruptcy in Chicago does not mean that you lose your home. You can often maintain your home by making current payments under either chapter 7 bankruptcy or chapter 13 bankruptcy. If you do wish to surrender your home and you have filed chapter 7 bankruptcy, you still have time in your home. Under Illinois law, the foreclosure process can be very lengthy. The average time that a person can stay in their home once a foreclosure case has begun is approximately 11 months. If you have an attorney defending your foreclosure case, then you may be able to maintain possession of your home for more than 1 1/2 years.

Please keep in mind that when you file for chapter 7 bankruptcy, the underlying mortgage debt is eliminated. This does not mean that you have to give up possession of your home upon the filing of the chapter 7 bankruptcy. This simply means that your obligation to pay under the note has been eliminated. The mortgage company still needs to foreclose pursuant to the Illinois mortgage foreclosure law to remove you from the property. What I typically see is someone who files for chapter 7 bankruptcy and then defends the foreclosure case to lengthen the amount of time that they remain in the home. The best part about defending the foreclosure case is that the liability has already been eliminated in the chapter 7 filing. Thus, the homeowner realizes that they are not going to be on the hook for any monetary damages going forward. They simply have to realize that at some point they will have to vacate the property.

If you are in a foreclosure case and it has not gone to a Sheriff sale yet, then you may be able to reorganize the mortgage debt in a Chapter 13 bankruptcy. Chapter 13 allows you to repay the arrears on the mortgage over a three to five-year period. At the same time that you are in your repayment status, you will have to make your current mortgage payment on time once again. Chapter 13 is the best way to save a home that is in foreclosure prior to going to a Sheriff sale date. If a Sheriff sale date has already occurred, then it is too late in Illinois to save the property in a Chapter 13. At that point, Chapter 7 fresh start is probably your best bet as well as defending the foreclosure for the rest of the process.

For more information on how to save a home in foreclosure through Chapter 13 or how to eliminate debt in a Chapter 7, please contact the office at 847-520-8100.

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