Bankruptcy and Your Home: What Happens to Your Mortgage and Property?

Bankruptcy and Your Home

At the Bond & Botes Law Offices, we understand that considering bankruptcy can be a daunting process, especially when it comes to the fate of your home and mortgage. As a leading consumer bankruptcy law firm serving Alabama and Mississippi, we’re here to help you navigate these complex decisions and protect your most valuable asset—your home.

Understanding the Basics

Chapter 7 vs. Chapter 13 Bankruptcy:

  • Chapter 7 Bankruptcy: Also known as “straight” bankruptcy, Chapter 7 involves the sale of non-exempt assets to pay off debts. However, certain exemptions can protect your home from being sold.
  • Chapter 13 Bankruptcy: Often referred to as “reorganization” bankruptcy, Chapter 13 allows you to keep your home while repaying debts over a three- to five-year period through a court-approved plan.

The Role of Exemptions

Homestead Exemption:

  • Each state has its own set of exemptions that dictate what property you can keep. The homestead exemption protects a certain amount of equity in your primary residence.
  • In Alabama and Mississippi, the homestead exemption amounts vary, so it’s crucial to understand the specific rules in your state. Our experienced attorneys at the Bond & Botes Law Offices can help you navigate these exemptions to maximize your protection.

How Chapter 7 Affects Your Home

  • Equity Consideration: If you have significant equity in your home that exceeds the homestead exemption, the bankruptcy trustee may sell your home to pay creditors.
  • Mortgage Debt: If you’re current on your mortgage payments and your equity is within the exemption limits, you can generally keep your home by reaffirming the debt, which means you agree to continue paying the mortgage.

How Chapter 13 Affects Your Home

  • Repayment Plan: Chapter 13 allows you to catch up on missed mortgage payments through a structured repayment plan, potentially preventing foreclosure.
  • Lien Stripping: If you have a second mortgage or home equity line of credit, Chapter 13 may allow you to remove (“strip”) these liens if your home’s value is less than the balance of the first mortgage.

Foreclosure and Bankruptcy

  • Automatic Stay: Filing for bankruptcy triggers an automatic stay, which temporarily halts foreclosure proceedings. This provides immediate relief and time to devise a plan to keep your home.
  • Long-Term Solutions: Chapter 13 can offer a more sustainable solution to foreclosure by allowing you to address past-due payments over time.

Steps to Take Before Filing

  1. Evaluate Your Equity: Assess your home’s equity and compare it with your state’s homestead exemption limits.
  2. Consider Your Mortgage Status: Determine if you are current or behind on mortgage payments.
  3. Consult an experienced Bankruptcy Attorney: An experienced bankruptcy attorney can help you understand your options and protect your home to the fullest extent possible.

Post-Bankruptcy Considerations

  • Reaffirmation Agreements: If you reaffirm your mortgage, you remain personally liable for the debt after bankruptcy.
  • Rebuilding Credit: Work on rebuilding your credit post-bankruptcy to improve your financial situation and future borrowing potential.
  • Financial Planning: Create a budget and financial plan to manage your mortgage payments and other expenses effectively.

Conclusion

At the Bond & Botes Law Offices, we know that your home is more than just a property—it’s where you build your life and create memories. Bankruptcy can provide a path to financial stability while offering options to protect your home. Understanding the specifics of how Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcies affect homeownership is crucial for making informed decisions. Our knowledgeable attorneys are here to ensure that you navigate the process effectively and make the best choices for your unique situation.

If you’re facing financial difficulties and are concerned about your home, contact the Bond & Botes Law Offices today by phone 1-877-581-3396 or email us through our website We offer a free initial confidential consultation with an experienced attorney, available by phone, video, or in person. Our teams in Alabama and Mississippi are ready to provide you with the expert guidance and support you need to achieve a fresh financial start.

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Bond & Botes Law Offices

At Bond & Botes, we now offer full service bankruptcy consultation and filing over the phone or by video from the comfort and safety of your home or office. Please call 1-877-581-3396 or click here to setup your free phone or video consultation.

The lawyers at the Bond & Botes affiliated offices serve clients at offices in Anniston, Birmingham, Mobile, Montgomery, Opelika, Decatur, Huntsville, Florence, Haleyville and Gadsden, Alabama; Vicksburg, Hattiesburg and Jackson, Mississippi. Read our disclaimer here. You can view our Privacy Policy here.

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2107 5th Avenue North
Age-Herald Building
Birmingham, Alabama 35203
Phone: (205) 802-2200


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Birmingham, AL 35244
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Florence, AL 35630
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Huntsville, AL 35801
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Montgomery, AL 36104
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Decatur, AL 35601
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Haleyville, AL 35565
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430-B Chestnut Street
Gadsden, AL 35901
Phone: (256) 485-0195


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216 South 8th Street
Opelika 36801
Phone: (334) 887-7666


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1302 Noble St #2C
Anniston, AL 36201
Phone: (256) 344-3559


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200 Second Avenue SW
Cullman, AL 35055
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Jackson Location
120 Southpointe Dr., A
Byram, MS 39272
Phone: (601) 353-5000


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607 Corinne St, Ste B8
Hattiesburg, MS 39401
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1212 Farmer Street
Vicksburg, MS 39180
Phone: (601) 353-5000

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