How To Stop A Foreclosure

by Hermin Dowe on January 3, 2013

Your foreclosure sale is next week – or maybe tomorrow – and you’re panicking. Should you file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy? What will this do for you? It can stall a foreclosure. It may give you some additional time to stay in your home but it’s difficult to say for how long. Once you file for bankruptcy, the “automatic stay” kicks in. This prevents your lender from taking any action to take over the home without first getting court approval through a motion for relief from stay. The bankruptcy court only grants this motion under certain circumstances.

Losing a home and moving can be traumatic. Bankruptcy might make the process easier. However, a Chapter 7 bankruptcy does not stop the foreclosure permanently. Once the lender receives and order from the court lifting the automatic stay, they can proceed with the foreclosure. Moreover, a creditor who is granted a motion for relief from stay may proceed – albeit quite slowly – with the foreclosure.

Once a creditor gets the stay lifted, it is up to them whether to resume the foreclosure. If they do decide to resume the foreclosure, it is also up to them when they will do it. It’s hard to say when that will be because lenders proceed at their own pace. Many do nothing for a long time, even if they were hounding you right up until the case was filed.

If you seek a temporary delay in the foreclosure process, Chapter 7 bankruptcy might be the right choice for you. It may surprise you to learn how long it takes some mortgage lenders to enforce their foreclosure rights.

A Chapter 13 bankruptcy is usually a better avenue for stopping a foreclosure. It allows time for the homeowner to catch up on missed payments and reduce other debts. It might even buy time until a mortgage is modified. Currently, lenders seem more amenable to modifying mortgages once the debtor has filed for bankruptcy under Chapter 13.

In order to file for Chapter 13 bankruptcy, you must be able show regular income and the ability to make payments over a three- to five-year period.

If you or someone you know is interested in finding solutions to your foreclosure problems, call us at 510-233-7700. The attorney and staff of the Dowe Law Firm will help you to save your home.

For more information on stopping a foreclosure and other bankruptcy-related issues, please visit our website at We also practice immigration law. For help with your family immigration issues, visit

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