if I file for bankruptcy, can I keep my home?

UPDATED: Oct 21, 2011

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if I file for bankruptcy, can I keep my home?

My home in in foreclosure for unpaid taxes. It is in mine and my mother’s name. Do I have any other options?

Asked on October 21, 2011 under Bankruptcy Law, Washington


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

No, while a bankruptcy may delay matters and buy you more time, ultimately, you will not be able to keep the home unless you pay the taxes. The law allow real estate to be foreclosed upon for unpaid taxes or a default on a mortgage. Filing for bankruptcy automatically delays all collection actions, including foreclosure (the "automatic stay"), but will not indefinitely prevent foreclosure. Therefore, the only long-term way to keep the home is to find some way to pay the taxes, which could include working out some payment plan or schedule that the tax authority will accept. Otherwise the home will be foreclosed and sold; some of the proceeds of the sale will be used to pay taxes and administrative costs; if there is additional equity in the home beyond that, the rest should come back to you, though if you have other debts, depending on the type of bankruptcy you file, it may be used in some circumstances to pay other creditors, too.

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