If my house is in foreclosureand there is an upcoming auction, can I stop the sale if I file for bankruptcy?

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If my house is in foreclosureand there is an upcoming auction, can I stop the sale if I file for bankruptcy?

Would I have to file Chapter 7 or 13? Also, I am married but currently separated. Would I be able to do this by myself or would we both have to file bankruptcy?

Asked on August 13, 2011 Florida

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

If the house has already been foreclosed, probably not--once the house is foreclosed, it no longer belongs to you and is not your asset (it now belongs to the bank or lender), and so your bankruptcy would probably not affect matters. Prior to foreclosure--even while foreclosure was pending--bankruptcy would definigely delay matters, but very possibly not at this stage. However, it would be worthwhile consulting with a bankruptcy attorney about the specifics of your situation to be certain.

Either ch. 7 or ch. 13 would work, IF it's not too late, but note that they only temporarily "stay" (i.e. delay) collection actions or foreclosure at best. With a secured debt, like a mortgage, you'd still have to make arrangements to keep paying or the bank will be able to take the home (though they can't then also sue you for any remaining balance on the loan). Thus, if you need more than just a temporary reprieve, bankruptcy would not help, unless you're expecting your financial position to improve dramatically soon.

It should be enough for you to file on a home, since you are joint owner, but again, before filing for bankruptcy--which has enormous consequences on your credit rating and history--it would be good to consult with a bankruptcy attorney to make sure it will do what you hope.


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