One of the most common subjects of conversation in my office revolves around a discussion of what to do with the property of a client who has promised to make mortgage payments to a bank but has fallen behind on these payments. Most often the scenario involves a principal residence or investment home that is “underwater”, i.e., the value of the property is worth less than what was originally promised at the time of the purchase of the home. Additionally, the obligated debtor who bears the responsibility to pay on time has suffered consequences not brought about voluntarily, ex., loss of job, which have precipitated a delinquency that cannot be stopped. Sum up the banks’ lack of cooperation and little efforts to provide reasonable loss mitigation alternatives and you have real foreclosure problems knocking at the door for people who want to keep their home but who cannot readily catch up.
The first question that needs to be answered and provided to your bankruptcy attorney is whether you want to keep your home or not. Most people know that they must pay rent in an apartment if they leave their home. Given the high rent amounts in the tri-county area and the credit problems that most of my clients face, their choices are reduced. Most of my clients, like their neighbors, their children’s schools, and proximity to work, but they can’t comprehend the total amounts they owe compared to how much their house is worth especially when their new neighbors have recently purchased homes next to them for less than half of what they owe. If the case involves an investment home that has fallen behind, there is often little money left to be provided by the owner, especially when tenants have left and the house remains unoccupied.
If you want to keep your property, primary or investment, a Miami bankruptcy lawyer can help you manage your bank payments over a five-year bankruptcy plan. Make an appointment with your attorney, free of charge, discuss your arrears, your monthly payments, your income, and your debts, to make an informed decision whether keeping your property is the best decision you can make!
If you want to keep your principal residence or investment property, and have fallen behind, the bankruptcy process can accommodate a payment plan in chapter 13 to allow you to catch up on the arrears. If you can make your monthly payments today, your arrears can be paid in up to five years. We can file the bankruptcy case together but it is you who promise to pay the amounts due. We are attorneys, counselors, and negotiators, not magicians. That is, unless you can prove to the court that you can pay the monthly amounts plus the arrears, your bankruptcy case will fail because no court or bank is going to approve your bankruptcy plan unless you are employed and make enough to pay your plan payment.
If you make less money than you used to, your home value is less than what it was before, and you have fallen behind, we can also use the new loan mortgage modification program started in South Florida on April 2013, to convince the banks that you can now afford to stay in your home at a reasonable modified monthly payment. The LMM program is not for everyone, and some people do not qualify, but it provides a proven solution for those with reasonable expectations and who also seek to stay in their home. Call for an office consultation to discuss your options.