Can you convert from Chapter 13 bankruptcy to Chapter 7 and keep your home? 16 Answers as of June 10, 2011

In 2004 I filed a chapter 7 bankruptcy, then in 2008 I filed chapter 13. My house was behind in payments. I want to know, if I convert to chapter 7 bankruptcy will I be able to keep my house and car if I was paying for it in the chapter 13(but not my house payment)?

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Law Office of Chirnese L. Liverpool
Law Office of Chirnese L. Liverpool | Chirnese Liverpool
Yes, in California you can convert a chapter 13 bankruptcy into a chapter 7 bankruptcy. A Los angeles bankruptcy lawyer notes that there are certain circumstances when it may make sense for those who are in Chapter 13 bankruptcy to convert to Chapter 7 bankruptcy. California bankruptcy law allows debtors to convert from Chapter 13 bankruptcy to Chapter 7 bankruptcy at any time during the repayment period. Generally, a motion is filed by the debtor requesting that their chapter 13 bankruptcy.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 6/10/2011
Janet A. Lawson Bankruptcy Attorney
Janet A. Lawson Bankruptcy Attorney | Janet Lawson
You can keep your house if you're current on the payments (including the arrears you had when you filed) AND if you do not have equity that exceeds your homestead exemption. The same is true for the car. If you were "cramming down" the car, you have a huge problem because all of the payments you did not make in Chapter 13 will come due when you convert to Chapter 7.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 6/10/2011
California's Largest Family of Attorneys
California's Largest Family of Attorneys | Doan Law Firm
You cannot be in both a Chapter 13 (pay the arrears in your plan) and a Chapter 7 bankruptcy (and discharge all your creditors in a Chapter 7).
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 6/10/2011
Diefer Law Group, P.C.
Diefer Law Group, P.C. | Abel Fernandez
You can only obtain a discharge in a chapter 7 once every 8 years. So, if you filed in 2004, you have to wait 8 years to file/covert to another chapter 7. As long as the arrears are paid for, you should be able to convert the case.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 6/10/2011
Law Office of Maureen O' Malley
Law Office of Maureen O' Malley | Maureen O'Malley
If there is still an arrearage, the creditor will move to foreclose.
Answer Applies to: Virginia
Replied: 6/10/2011
    Law Offices of Joseph A. Mannis
    Law Offices of Joseph A. Mannis | Todd Mannis
    Depends on how much equity you have or do not have, and what the homestead exemption is in your state.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/10/2011
    The Law Office of Mark J. Markus
    The Law Office of Mark J. Markus | Mark Markus
    Have you cured the default yet on your house in the Chapter 13? I'm guessing you haven't, in which case if you convert to Chapter 7, they will be able to obtain court permission to proceed with foreclosure. Also, if there is equity in the house beyond your exemptions, the Trustee could sell it. Not enough information to answer your question properly.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/9/2011
    Indianapolis Bankruptcy Law Office of Eric C. Lewis
    Indianapolis Bankruptcy Law Office of Eric C. Lewis | Eric Lewis
    You cannot convert to a Chapter 7 until 2012 if you filed a Chapter 7 in 2004.
    Answer Applies to: Indiana
    Replied: 6/9/2011
    Bankruptcy Law office of Bill Rubendall
    Bankruptcy Law office of Bill Rubendall | William M. Rubendall
    To be eligible to file chapter 7 bankruptcy you cannot have filed bankruptcy for eight years. If you have been paying home arrears in chapter 13 converting to chapter 7 filing will not help you keep your house.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/9/2011
    Financial Relief Law Center
    Financial Relief Law Center | Mark Alonso
    If you convert to a CH 7 you will need to be current on your house payment in order to keep it or will need to obtain a loan workout with your lender. If the CH 13 was repaying delinquent mortgage payments and you break that plan the lender can foreclose on you.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/9/2011
    Carballo Law Offices
    Carballo Law Offices | Tony E. Carballo
    You are not able to obtain a discharge in Chapter 7 since you filed seven years ago and presumably obtained a discharge in the Chapter 7 case. You will not be eligible for a Chapter 7 discharge until 8 years after you last filed a Chapter 7 case in which you were granted a discharge. If you are still in a Chapter 13 paying the arrears on the house and the car then converting to Chapter 7 would put you back in default unless all the arrears have been paid and the bank can ask permission from the court to foreclose. Since you cannot obtain a discharge in a Chapter 7 case it does not make any sense that you would want to convert. There does not seem to be any benefit from converting to a Chapter 7 if you cannot obtain a discharge since that is the reason for a Chapter 7 case. Your situation is complex enough that you need you consult with your own attorney as to the best option. You seem confused and need to discuss this with your own attorney.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/9/2011
    Ashman Law Office
    Ashman Law Office | Glen Edward Ashman
    Maybe and maybe not. The answer will depend on your income, expenses, if your house is current, how much equity the home has, and many other issues. Your Chapter 13 lawyer is obligated to discuss this with you as you have already paid him for the advice. Ask him what happens with your numbers (and to see if you are even eligible to convert).
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 6/9/2011
    Lakelaw - Loop Bankruptcy
    Lakelaw - Loop Bankruptcy | David Leibowitz
    You can keep your home in chapter 7 after conversion if your payments are up to date and there is no non-exempt equity. If you're not making your house payments, you'll lose your house to foreclosure.
    Answer Applies to: Illinois
    Replied: 6/9/2011
    Daniel Hoarfrost, Attorney at Law
    Daniel Hoarfrost, Attorney at Law | Daniel Hoarfrost
    A. You won't be eligible for a Ch 7 until 2012, 8 years after your original Ch 7 filing date. B.The mortgage lien remains in a Ch 7, so if you haven't caught up in your mortgage payments through the Ch 13, the mortgage lender might consider filing a foreclosure.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 6/9/2011
    Bird & VanDyke, Inc.
    Bird & VanDyke, Inc. | David VanDyke
    You are only able to file a ch 7 every 8 years. You won't be able to convert at this time. Also, assuming you could convert if you still owe arrearages on your mortgage the bank may foreclose if you stop making plan payments through your ch 13.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/9/2011
    Ursula G. Barrios Law
    Ursula G. Barrios Law | Guillermo Machado
    Only if you are current on all house payments and fulfilling the terms of your loan contract with the lender(s).
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/9/2011
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