Life can be very stressful when you have more bills than you have money. The cost of living is skyrocketing and you need an extra paycheck just to make ends meet. You find yourself cutting back on the basic necessities such as food, clothing, and gas and your lifestyle has changed so much, you cannot remember the last time you had a savings account. Just when you think your financial situation could not get any worse, you receive the letter saying “Notice of Default” and you know soon you will not even have a place to live. Your mortgage lender has initiated foreclosure proceedings because you owe back payments and you have no idea where to turn or what to do next.
Attorney Robert H. Pflueger has practiced bankruptcy law in Central Florida for over 30 years. He understands that times are extremely tough and from his office, Orlando Bankruptcy, he offers years of exclusive bankruptcy law experience to help alleviate the stress your overwhelming debt is causing. Robert Pflueger wants you to know that losing everything you value in life is not necessary and with his professional guidance, he can help you regain your “peace of mind” as well as your dignity.
Foreclosure typically begins after a homeowner falls behind on mortgage payments and the lender starts the legal process of selling the home at auction in order to get payment for the loan. The process involves numerous steps and usually a lender will not begin foreclosure proceedings until you have missed several payments. If your goal is to keep your home, the Florida foreclosure process has a very standard timeline that you need to understand.
One fear a homeowner has is that foreclosure papers mean you will be immediately evicted from your home. It is impossible to know how long a foreclosure will take to complete because today there are so many foreclosures happening in Florida. They all differ yet on average, a foreclosure is taking between 12 – 24 months to complete. The bank does not automatically own your home if you stop paying. Instead, you still own your home until the bank forecloses on it and the reason you are being sued is so they can regain the title free and clear from you for the interest in your home.
Many financially desperate people think that if they file for bankruptcy it will automatically wipe out all of their debts including their home but this is not the case. If you file for bankruptcy protection under Chapter 7, an “automatic stay” will be placed on all your creditors by the court, including your foreclosing lender, but this is only a temporary solution. Chapter 7 gives you relief from unsecured creditors but it will not permanently stop your home from being foreclosed upon. Chapter 7 bankruptcy protection does not discharge secured debts such as taxes, child support, alimony, student loans, nor your lender whose debt is secured by your home. The “automatic stay” is only effective as long as the court allows it to be in place and they can grant your lender’s motion for “relief from the automatic stay” at any time. It may be that you will have to give up your home no matter what and in that case, filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy will stall the auction and give you a few months to work things out with your lender if possible.
If you are serious about keeping your home, one choice is to file for Chapter 13 Bankruptcy. During this process, you will be allowed to arrange a plan to pay back what you owe enabling you to pay off the “arrearage,” or late unpaid payments over the length of a repayment schedule you propose. Considered a “financial reorganization,” once accepted by your creditors you can stop foreclosure as long as you make the payments until all debt is totally paid off. During your repayment, you will need enough income to meet your current mortgage payment at the same time you are paying off the arrearage. Basically, by implementing a Chapter 13 debt repayment arrangement, assuming that you make all the required payments you will be able to avoid foreclosure and keep your home.
It is important that you realize that not everyone automatically qualifies to file for bankruptcy protection. There are certain threshold qualifications that must be met and under the Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act of 2005, a mathematical formula called the “means test” establishes an initial determination of the kind of bankruptcy you qualify for. The formula takes into account your monthly income, the amount and kind of debts you have, and other aspects of your financial situation. If your annual income is less than the Florida median income for your household size, you are eligible to file for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13, assuming you meet all other qualifications. If your income is higher than the state median, you must complete a list of expense deductions to estimate what your “disposable income” will be over the next five years and the result of this calculation will again determine what type of bankruptcy you are eligible for if any.
There is no easy answer when you find yourself in an economic predicament so it is best to consult with a professional, such as Attorney Robert Pflueger. If you want to save your home from foreclosure, he will help you implement a plan that makes sense and filing for bankruptcy is a viable opportunity because it will automatically stop foreclosure activity. The time to start working on a bankruptcy plan is well in advance of lender proceedings however in order to maximize the chances that the foreclosure process is handled properly. That is where Robert Pflueger can be a great help because he knows the way that banks think and he will ensure the best-case scenario for your situation. Florida bankruptcy cases are extremely complicated and technical, especially with the current escalating foreclosure debacle, so schedule your consultation today and sleep better tonight. No matter how hopeless you think your situation is, you are not alone as many people today face monetary problems and are behind on payments due to the high price of mortgages. At the law office of Robert Pflueger, together you can explore the debt relief or debt reorganization options available through bankruptcy protection and get back on track with a fresh new start.