Your home is probably one of your biggest assets, which means that whatever you choose to do with it can affect your life greatly. If you are having problems paying the mortgage, you might automatically think you're in trouble because your home is going to be foreclosed. However, there are ways to avoid this, even if you are having trouble paying the mortgage every month. Here are four ways you can avoid a foreclosure:
- File for Chapter 13 Bankruptcy: Filing for Chapter 13 bankruptcy is one way to help you afford the mortgage payments. However, you don't want to file until you know that you can afford the mortgage payments afterward. Chapter 13 bankruptcy will make an adjustment of your debts. This is a great option if you are far behind on your payments because it will give you time to catch up. The other benefit of this is that you make the decision on how much you can pay and the amount of time you need rather than the mortgage lender making that decision for you. Of course, it needs to be reasonable and be approved in the chapter 13 plan through court, but it still gives you a bit more control.
- File for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy: Another option would be to file for chapter 7 bankruptcy, which is a good option if you are current on your mortgage payments, but know that you can no longer afford them because of a job loss or income decrease. You can cease making payments for a few months, and then you will create a plan to pay the mortgage lender back with scheduled payments that work better given your current financial situation.
- Short Sale: Another option would be to short sale your home. This is an ideal option if you do want to get out of your current mortgage, but don't want to foreclose. A short sale is when the mortgage lender will accept a payment that is less than what was owed to settle your debt. However, the downside to this is that it actually hurts your credit more than filing for bankruptcy would.
- Sell Your Home: Finally, you can sell your home, but it usually helps to do this by also filing for chapter 13 bankruptcy. The reason being that the foreclosure will be avoided for months and you have more time to market your home. This way, you sell your home for the right price rather than rushing to sell it only to settle for a price that isn't ideal.
Talk with a bankruptcy attorney before making any decisions about avoiding a foreclosure if you know it's coming. Your attorney can easily help guide you to making the choice that is best for your current financial situation.