Bankruptcy and foreclosure.
If you are facing foreclosure on your home, you’re probably a panic. Where will you live? Will you be able to rent an apartment after foreclosure? Is there any way to stop the foreclosure and force the bank to work with you? How does foreclosure even work? Will they come and kick you out of your house and put all of your belongings on the sidewalk?
Few things are as emotionally frightening as the idea of being forced out of your home and onto the street. In fact, whey you are threatened with homelessness, all of your survival instincts kick into high gear – and it’s hard to concentrate on anything else. You can’t concentrate on your job, it’s hard to concentrate on maintaining a good relationship with your family and friends, in fact, it’s hard to think about anything other than where you’re going to live after foreclosure.
Foreclosure in Ohio, unlike in some other states, requires the bank to sue you in court, and this is a process that takes anywhere from 4 to 12 months in most cases. The foreclosure lawsuit is required to be reported in the newspaper. And, once a foreclosure is started, I seldom see anything stop it except a bankruptcy filing.
Bankruptcy is powerful, but scary. Most people don’t know anything about it, except what they’ve heard from friends, family, and co-workers. Most of this information is incomplete, at best, and incorrect at worst. In fact, most of what people tell me they have heard about bankruptcy turns out to be totally wrong or inapplicable to their situation.
Sadly, many people are frightened away from getting good solid information about bankruptcy, information that could actually help them, simply because they are afraid to ask the questions they need answers to.
By the time some of these families come to me for help, sometimes it’s too late.
The good news is that a foreclosure can be just the thing that forces a someone off of “dead-center” to start looking into options. If they’re lucky, they’ll run into a counselor who can provide them with all of their options. In most cases, the fact that you have a foreclosure means that you have a bigger financial problem than just getting behind a house payment. If so, your foreclosure is a symptom of a bigger financial problem.
Getting all of your options, non-bankruptcy as well as bankruptcy, will help you clarify the problem, and the options you have available to solve the problem. Sometimes the foreclosure turns out to be just what you need in order to open your eyes to possibilities that you would not have explored were it not for the foreclosure being filed. Strange how sometimes good things show up in what appeared to be horrible circumstances.
If you’re being foreclosed upon, you do have options. You can file an answer to the foreclosure complaint, you can explore foreclosure defense options, in some counties you can seek mediation, you can also file bankruptcy. Even if you determine at some point that you don’t want to keep the house, a bankruptcy filing can give you additional time that you need to transition from your current living arrangements do something better
And, since the foreclosure is normally a symptom of a bigger financial problem, you will want to explore the options available to you to solve all of your debt problems, not just the foreclosure.
It is not uncommon for my clients, who initially came to me – tearful and afraid because of the foreclosure complaint that they received, to later emerge confident and on the road to financial recovery simply because they were forced to look at their options and get help to put a plan of financial recovery into place.
I’ve helped over 10,000 families deal with foreclosure problems. Some choose to keep their homes and others make the decision that keeping the home is not in their overall financial best interest. Everyone’s situation is different and sometimes my advice is not to file a bankruptcy at all, but rather to allow the foreclosure to take place. Everyone’s situation is different, and everybody needs the benefit of expert financial counsel in order to map the best strategy from where the rat where they could be.
Foreclosure is not always a bad thing. Sometimes it signals the beginning of a fresh financial future.