What if you are under threat of foreclosure, don’t want to keep your house, but just need a little more time to find another place to live? Or if you just need to finish a pending sale before the scheduled foreclosure happens?
Or maybe you don’t want or need the extra benefits of Chapter 13. Or you just want to put it all behind you in a few months instead of going through a 3-to-5 year Chapter 13 Plan. A Chapter 7 “straight” bankruptcy may give you just the right amount of help.
A Chapter 7 case:
1. Stops a pending foreclosure sale, at least temporarily. Depending on your situation, and the aggressiveness of the mortgage lender, it may buy you an extra few weeks or an extra few months. Chapter 7 does give you much less control over the situation than a Chapter 13, but the extra time it gives you may be enough in your particular situation.
2. It temporarily stops not just foreclosures by your mortgage company, but also by other creditors. This includes foreclosures for unpaid property taxes, homeowner assessments, or judgment lien creditors.
3. Prevents, at least briefly, most kinds of liens from attaching to your house, such as income tax liens, or judgment liens by creditors who have sued you and have not yet gotten a judgment.
So if you have a pending sale of a house which has less equity than your allowed homestead exemption, and need to buy enough time to close the sale before the foreclosure or before a new lien eats into your equity, and need to file some kind of bankruptcy to deal with your debts, filing Chapter 7 may be your best option. Or if you have resigned to losing your house but need to postpone the foreclosure to give you time to save money for rental and moving costs, again Chapter 7 could well be the best tool for you.
Because the amount of time a Chapter 7 will gain for you depends a great deal on the facts of your case, the anticipated actions of your creditors, and sometimes the behavior of your Chapter 7 trustee, be sure to discuss this thoroughly with your bankruptcy attorney. Find out if the comparatively modest help a straight bankruptcy provides is enough help for you.