Foreclosure Defense Attorney Near Me
Coronavirus mortgage payment deferrals and foreclosure moratoriums are now a thing of the past. Since banks begrudgingly offered payment relief during the height of the pandemic, they are hesitant to offer it now. Furthermore, Indiana has one of the highest home foreclosure rates in the country. So, if you are a distressed homeowner in the Hoosier State, you have few protective options, and the bank is most likely anxious to foreclose on your loan.
At times like these, your family needs an experienced foreclosure defense attorney near you from Schmidt, Whitten & Whitten. A civil action might be able to buy you some time, if there is clear evidence of mortgage or other fraud. But only bankruptcy protects your family’s home in both the short and long terms. Chapter 7 gives families a fresh start in as little as six months. Chapter 13 gives families the time they need to repay delinquent secured debt, like past-due mortgage payments, on their own terms. Both forms of bankruptcy also eliminate most unsecured debts, such as medical bills and credit cards.
Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 have identical rules regarding the Automatic Stay, which is in Section 362 of the Bankruptcy Code, and asset protection.
As mentioned, in civil court, homeowners must usually prove fraud or negligence to protect their property. But the automatic stay is, well, automatic. From the moment debtors file their voluntary petitions, lenders must refrain from adverse action, such as:
- Wage garnishment,
- Creditor harassment,
- Eviction, and
- Utility shutoff.
Usually, the Automatic Stay remains in effect until a judge closes the case. That time period could be up to five years.
Section 362 of the Bankruptcy Code is only one protective measure available only in bankruptcy. The trustee (person who manages the bankruptcy for the judge) may not seize and liquidate protected assets to satisfy unpaid bills. The formal exemptions in Indiana include:
- Home equity,
- Personal property,
- Retirement account, and
- Government benefits.
Additionally, Indiana has one of the largest wildcard exemptions in the country. This exemption could apply to a motor vehicle or other nonexempt property.
Informal exemptions are available as well. For example, a foreclosure defense attorney near you can use a little-known loophole to protect all the equity in your home, as opposed to just some of it.
On a similar note, the attorneys at Schmidt, Whitten & Whitten can unlock awesome advanced bankruptcy benefits which could significantly reduce your monthly mortgage payment. The strip-off and cram-down are two good illustrations. These options are only available in bankruptcy.
Lien stripping reclassifies secured debt as dischargeable unsecured debt. Assume Gerald used an 80/20 mortgage to buy a $500,000 home. He has a $400,000 senior loan and a $100,000 junior loan. His home’s value has dropped to $450,000. Since the home’s value is no longer high enough to fully secure both loans, a judge could classify half of the junior loan as an unsecured debt. That change could save Gerald hundreds of dollars a month.
Cram downs basically work in the opposite way. They reduce the loan amount. Assume Francis still owes $200,000 on a home that’s only worth $175,000. If she makes accelerated payments and pays the current fair market value by the time the judge closes the case, the bank might have to tear up the note, and Francis would own the house free and clear.
Contact a Dedicated Attorney
No matter what financial problems you face, bankruptcy could be a way out. For a free consultation with an experienced foreclosure defense attorney near me, contact Schmidt, Whitten & Whitten. Convenient payment plans are available.
Schedule A Free Consultation
At Schmidt Whitten & Whitten, we offer a free consultation during which we will examine the facts of your case and advise you on how best to proceed