This is the first Express Homebuyers Blog in a series on how you can avoid foreclosure. Some of these options are more drastic than others, and they all come with unique advantages and disadvantages. We buy houses to help people out of foreclosure, so you know where we stand. But honestly, if you are facing a foreclosure situation, we believe you should be as informed as possible on the alternatives available.
It is a tough time. More people today are facing financial decisions they never thought they’d face. An unfortunate, real situation for many of us can be summed up in a single devastating word: Foreclosure. Figuring out how to pay your mortgage much less the rest of your bills can be overwhelming. Whatever the reason, whether you are one or five mortgage payments behind, foreclosure is looming, and you may feel there is no way out.
Don’t underestimate the seriousness of your situation: foreclosure can permanently damage your credit and prevent you from ever being able to buy a home again. You need to exercise one of your options before the bank forecloses on your home and jeopardizes your chances of owning another home in the future!
Option One: Declare Bankruptcy
Declaring bankruptcy is viable option for avoiding foreclosure. But use it only as a last resort. Although you can exclude your home from a bankruptcy filing, you should only pursue it if you know that you will be able to keep up with your future mortgage payments. Otherwise you’re just postponing the inevitable, and the longer you wait, the less money you will walk away with from your property.
Declaring bankruptcy can be costly—legal fees and negotiated settlements can strip you of much needed cash during the process of filing. When declaring bankruptcy you will have the option to declare either Chapter 7, 11 or 13 bankruptcy. These refer to different parts of the bankruptcy law which relate to your degree of debt and your need to renegotiate with lenders. Your bankruptcy attorney will help you determine whether you can truly walk away from all your debts, or only some of them. However, be warned that because you can only declare bankruptcy every so many years, certain future debts might not be eligible even for bankruptcy protection.
So, is it for you? Many homeowners find that declaring bankruptcy is not an “easy way out” and does not eventually save them from foreclosure. A bankruptcy will be reported on your credit report for up to 10 years, depending on how you file. The bankruptcy will also be reported in the financial section of the newspaper—it’s a requirement from the bankruptcy court. By declaring bankruptcy, it will be very difficult to get a loan in the future for a car, home or education, or even getting a credit card.
Before you exercise the bankruptcy option, you might ask, “How can I sell my home fast?” or “How can I sell my house for cash?” Consider selling to one of the many companies that buy houses like us, Express Homebuyers. It’s a viable alternative that can prevent bankruptcy, salvage your credit, and prevent foreclosure.