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My house is upside down. Should I surrender my house or sell it?

Posted by John Goetz Law, PLC on August 1, 2013 at 10:40 AM Comments comments (0)


Today, there are fewer foreclosures than there were a year or two ago. I recently read that foreclosures were down about 20% from last year. But, many people own homes that are worth much less than what are owed on them, and many people cannot afford to pay the hefty mortgage(s) necessary to keep those homes. Due to the unforeseen (job loss, health issues, divorce, etc.), hard decisions often need to be made concerning home ownership. If a person is struggling financially, step number one for financial recovery may be to simply walk away from the home and start over. But how is this done?


There are many options to getting rid of a home. You can simply walk away and let the mortgage company foreclose. You can sign a deed-in-lieu of foreclosure and give the home to the bank. You can sell the house at a loss (which is a call a "short sale"). Which way is right for you? It depends.


If you don't care if you every buy a house again, or if you can wait to buy another house, let it go. Surrender it to the bank or let them foreclose. If you want to buy a house again, sooner rather than later, you may want to consider selling it. The lending guidelines are more favorable to those who sell rather than surrender.


Beyond selling or surrendering a home, there is the issue of deficiency balances. The mortgage company may want you to pay the portion of the mortgage that was not taken care of through foreclosure or sale of your home. Each case is specific. There are options for you and ways to relieve you of your obligation to pay for a home you no longer possess.


Do you want to keep your house but you don't see a way to catch up on your mortgage or lower your monthly payments?  There may be options for you.


Home ownership can be a rather complicated issue. If you would like to discuss your options in detail, please feel free to contact me to arrange a free consultation.


Can I file bankuptcy without an attorney?

Posted by John Goetz Law, PLC on July 27, 2013 at 1:05 PM Comments comments (0)

Part of the bankruptcy process is attending a mandatory meeting called a Meeting of Creditors.  The purpose of the meeting, in a chapter 7 liquidation bankruptcy, is simple:  to verify, under oath, that the information you put in 50 - 60 pages of paperwork is correct and to see if any of your assets will be taken and sold to pay your debts.  Hopefully, the paperwork will always be filled out truthfully.  Sadly, if it is not filled out correctly, assets will be lost, including possibly a home, a car, or a bank account.

Bankruptcy is supposed to be simple enough that an individual can do it without the need of an attorney.  Sadly, it is not!  One always needs to remember that mercy is not given to those who do not know the law.  Not knowing something needs to be done is not a valid excuse.  one of hte main reasons to hire an attorney is to make sure the paperwork is filled out correctly.  Even the best how-to books cannot guide an individual through the tangled web of state and federal laws that govern the bankruptcy system.

To avoid loss of property or denial of debt forgiveness, consider hiring an attorney to guide you through the bankruptcy process.  It may cost you money to hire an attorney, but it will save you money if you end up having to replace your assets or still pay your debts after your bankruptcy is over.

To determine if you should hire an attorney to do bankrutpcy, click here and request a free no obligation consultation.