Can we sell our house after a report of no distribution? 15 Answers as of July 11, 2014

We just (today) had our 341 meeting for our Chapter 7 BK. The trustee sent our attorney the report of no distribution email, and we are wondering when we can list/sell our house. We are 30 days behind on the mortgage right now, but do have some equity (not enough to justify the trustee liquidating, but enough to justify us selling and moving on). When can/should we sell the house, and if we have to wait until the discharge, do we have to make payments on the house? I've asked our attorney some of these questions and he indicated we could list it anytime, but I didn't ask about the payments and I'm just not 100% sure and this is causing a lot of stress.

Ask a Local Attorney. 100% Anonymous. Free Answers.

Free Case Evaluation by a Local Lawyer: Click here
Stephens Gourley & Bywater | David A. Stephens
If the exemption amount covers the equity then you can sell. If it does not then you may need the trustee to abandon the home to you before selling it.
Answer Applies to: Nevada
Replied: 7/11/2014
GARCIA & GONZALES, P.C. | Richard N. Gonzales
You are free to sell the house.
Answer Applies to: Colorado
Replied: 7/10/2014
Law Office of Peter M. Lively
Law Office of Peter M. Lively | Peter M. Lively
The "no asset report" and the "discharge order" do not mean that the property has been returned to you from the bankruptcy estate. You must wait until the estate is closed or obtain an order of abandonment of that property from the estate to you. However, based upon the "no asset report" your attorney is correct that can safely list the property for sale but you should include the following in the listing agreement: "subject to bankruptcy court approval or closing of case". It is also reasonably safe to make payments to the lender because the "no asset report" indicates that the trustee is not planning on hiring a broker to sell the property.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 7/11/2014
David R. Fondren, Attorney at Law
David R. Fondren, Attorney at Law | David R. Fondren
Creditors have 15 days to object to the trustee's report. But you can go ahead and list it. If I were you, I would continue making payments so the house does not get foreclosed while the house is on the market and you lose all of your equity. The house could be on the market long after the bankruptcy protection has ended.
Answer Applies to: Missouri
Replied: 7/11/2014
You should take the advice of your attorney. That is why you are paying him.
Answer Applies to: Minnesota
Replied: 7/10/2014
    Garner Law Office
    Garner Law Office | Daniel Garner
    Since you have an attorney already, it is unlikely that another will want to give you any advice. Ordinarily, in your situation, you would not need to continue making mortgage payments. But you should ask your attorney to be sure.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 7/11/2014
    You may list the property for sale, however, until the bankruptcy discharge is entered, the bankruptcy court still has to approve the sale to clear title. The discharge cannot be entered until 60 days after completion of the 341 meeting. If you fail to make the monthly payments to the lender, they can declare a default and start foreclosure but only after they have obtained an order from the bankruptcy court granting relief from the automatic bankruptcy stay. I would doubt they would file their motion for relief from stay, but would wait until the discharge is granted and then they can start the foreclosure process which would take three months and 20 days to the actual foreclosure sale date.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/10/2014
    A Fresh Start
    A Fresh Start | Dorothy G Bunce
    You will need to wait until the court closes the file to sell your property without court approval. With luck, you should receive the order closing case & discharging your trustee soon.
    Answer Applies to: Nevada
    Replied: 7/10/2014
    Janet A. Lawson Bankruptcy Attorney
    Janet A. Lawson Bankruptcy Attorney | Janet Lawson
    I am always amused when someone who is represented by counsel feels the need to ask me their questions..... (I could get a fat head here). Yes, you can list it. Yes you can sell it. You do not have to make the payments. A discharge will absolve you of personal liability for the mortgage. I don't know where you are, but in many jurisdictions it can take forever to complete a foreclosure. While that process is pending you can stay in the house without making payments.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/11/2014
    Steele, George, Schofield & Ramos, LLP
    Steele, George, Schofield & Ramos, LLP | Alan E. Ramos
    I don't know of any legal reason why you could not list the property for sale. However, there are some issues that you should consider. 1. The listing value should not be greater than the value you listed your property for in your Schedule A. If you wait until the case is closed, you have much more latitude in a listed price. 2. How volatile your market is. If sales are hot, you could expect a sale fairly quickly. However, if the property goes into the foreclosure process, buyers could sense that they have leverage and hold off making offers or submit low offers. You can prevent this situation by making payments until you have a sale. 3. If your market is moving slowly, then you should consider staying current on the property and/or setting an aggressive price (low end of the market).
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/10/2014
    Ronald K. Nims LLC | Ronald K. Nims
    The reason that the trustee didn't go for turnover of your equity in the house is because it's covered by the "homestead exemption". The homestead exemption only applies to the property that you're living in, if you sell it and cease to live in it, then the homestead exemption might no longer apply. I would advise that you wait until your case is closed to sell the house. And you'll want to pay the mortgage during that time or else the interest and penalties will probably take all your equity.
    Answer Applies to: Ohio
    Replied: 7/10/2014
    The Law Office of Darren Aronow, PC
    The Law Office of Darren Aronow, PC | Darren Aronow
    You can list it for sale but you cannot sell it until your case is closed. If you sell it prior to your case closing then the equity is no longer covered by the homestead exemption and it is open for the trustee to seize it. You would have to file a motion for the trustee to abandon the real property if you were to try to sell before your case closes.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 7/10/2014
    Hicks, Massey & Gardner, LLP
    Hicks, Massey & Gardner, LLP | Robert M. Gardner, Jr.
    Call and ask your attorney again. Stopping payments during a bankruptcy could prompt a mortgage company to see relief from the stay and move forward on a foreclosure, which whole process could be done in 90 days or less. Since timing is an issue, get with your attorney and a listing agent to determine how long the house would take to sell and what steps you should take next.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 7/10/2014
    Law Office of Lynnmarie A. Johnson
    Law Office of Lynnmarie A. Johnson | Lynnmarie Johnson
    You can list it anytime, but realize that if you haven't been discharged you will need the trustee and court's permission to sell it. If you get it done fast enough, (2-4 months) then you can pay the back payments out of the equity at the time of closing. If you didn't reaffirm the mortgage, then you don't have to make the payments, but they are going to be much quicker to start foreclosure proceeding. Good luck!
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 7/10/2014
    Idaho Bankruptcy Law | Paul Ross
    You can either move to have the home abandoned from the bankruptcy estate and then sell it, or wait until the bankruptcy closes (which is different than discharge) to sell. I would probably just wait until after closure, which will likely be within days of the discharge. You can stop making payments on the home now. However, failure to make payments will add late fees and other costs which could quickly reduce any equity you might have.
    Answer Applies to: Idaho
    Replied: 7/10/2014
Click to View More Answers:
12 3 Free Legal QuestionsConnect with a local attorney