If I lost my job, can I go from chapter 13 to 7 without losing my house? 21 Answers as of February 06, 2014

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David R. Fondren, Attorney at Law
David R. Fondren, Attorney at Law | David R. Fondren
That depends on the amount of equity you have in the house. Talk to your attorney about your exemptions and the costs of the sale.
Answer Applies to: Missouri
Replied: 2/6/2014
Law Office of Shawn N. Wright | Shawn N. Wright
This depends on two questions. Number one, are you current on your mortgage payments? IF so, then you are protected from your mortgage company, because as long as you are current, then you're not in default with your mortgage loan. I would want to know why you filed Chapter 13 in the first place. If you filed because you were behind on mortgage payments, then you'll want to make sure that you're current if you convert to a Chapter 7. The second issue concerns your equity in your house. If you have more than $23,000 in equity in your house (as a single owner) or $46,000 (as a married couple), then you will be protected from the Chapter 7 Trustee in the event that you convert to a Chapter 7. Basically though, whenever I have a client who wants to convert from Chapter 13 to Chapter 7, I need a lot more information than what you have provided, because I look at a lot of questions, particularly those having to do with the property that you owned at the time of filing your Chapter 13 and what your exemptions were.
Answer Applies to: Pennsylvania
Replied: 12/31/2013
Law Offices of Linda Rose Fessler | Linda Fessler
Yes, if you reaffirm the mortgage and there is no significant equity in the home.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 12/30/2013
Stuart P Gelberg
Stuart P Gelberg | Stuart P Gelberg
Whether you lose your house in a chapter 7 has nothing to do with your employment. If you have non exempt equity in the house, the trustee will sell it.
Answer Applies to: New York
Replied: 12/26/2013
Goldsmith & Guymon
Goldsmith & Guymon | Marjorie Guymon
You must be current or get current with your mortgage.
Answer Applies to: Nevada
Replied: 12/26/2013
    Grasso Law Group
    Grasso Law Group | Charles Grasso, Esq.
    The options are specific to the facts of your case. Generally, if you are making back mortgage payments as part of your Chapter 13 plan, then you need to keep to your plan or modify your plan based on changes to your income to safeguard your home. If you are current on your mortgage and are able to stay current, then you can ask to re-affirm the debt in a Chapter 7 filing.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 12/26/2013
    Patrick W. Currin, Attorney at Law | Patrick Currin
    You can move from Chapter 13 to Chapter 7, but you must pay your mortgage regardless of which BK chapter you are in. In some ways, Chapter 7 will likely make things more difficult if you have a deficiency, since there will be no plan to relay as in 13. A short sale may be your best option.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 12/26/2013
    Garner Law Office
    Garner Law Office | Daniel Garner
    The answer depends on a lot of factors not stated in your question. The bottom line is that you won't be able to keep your house without a credible plan to get or stay current or to modify your mortgage. There is a program in Oregon for unemployed homeowners which might be of assistance. You should contact your mortgage servicer and find out if you qualify for a program that will help you make the payments while you are unemployed. The ability to keep your house is somewhat separate from whether you can convert from a 13 to a 7. Chapter 13 is always voluntary, so you can always choose to dismiss your case if you are unable to convert to a 7, or it may be beneficial to dismiss your 13 and re-file a 7. If you are not represented by a bankruptcy attorney, you should contact the Chapter 13 trustee's office and notify them of your loss of employment. Although they can't give you legal advice, they might be able to tell you how much time you have to make a decision.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 12/26/2013
    Kirby G. Moss PC | Kirby G. Moss
    This depends on whether your mortgage is current through the 13. If yes, then at least as to the bankruptcy, you would not lose the house as long as you can make payments.
    Answer Applies to: Indiana
    Replied: 12/26/2013
    Janet A. Lawson Bankruptcy Attorney
    Janet A. Lawson Bankruptcy Attorney | Janet Lawson
    Yes, if you do not have excess equity in it now (as value is determined by date of sale by trustee on chapter 7) and you are not past due in payments.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 12/26/2013
    Moore Taylor Law Firm, P.A.
    Moore Taylor Law Firm, P.A. | Jane Downey
    Your attorney can explain but the simple answer is to see if all the equity in your house is listed on your schedule C and also to be sure you are current with the loan payments.
    Answer Applies to: South Carolina
    Replied: 12/26/2013
    Law Offices of Joseph A. Mannis
    Law Offices of Joseph A. Mannis | Todd Mannis
    Depends on the equity in the house, if any.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 12/26/2013
    Law Offices of Daniel J Winter
    Law Offices of Daniel J Winter | Daniel J Winter
    Maybe. It depends on your situation. If you have a lawyer now, call your lawyer to discuss your situation. If you don't have a lawyer, call an experienced bankruptcy attorney for a consultation.
    Answer Applies to: Illinois
    Replied: 12/26/2013
    A Fresh Start
    A Fresh Start | Dorothy G Bunce
    It sort of depends on why your filed Chapter 13. For example, if you filed Chapter 13 to catch up on your delinquent mortgage payments to save your house, converting to Chapter 7 won't resolve the issue of a delinquent mortgage. Or if you filed Chapter 13 because you had too much equity in the house to protect it by the available homestead exemptions, converting will not help you either.
    Answer Applies to: Nevada
    Replied: 12/26/2013
    Danville Law Group | Scott Jordan
    Yes, you can convert your bankruptcy to a chapter 7. However, if you filed Chapter 13 because you were behind on your mortgage and were making payments to catch up, the bank may seek relief from stay in order to either foreclose or possibly renegotiate your loan, if you qualify. I suggest you speak with your attorney to discuss strategies. If you do not have an attorney, you should call a local bankruptcy attorney for advice.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 12/26/2013
    Deborah F Bowinski, Attorney & Counselor at Law | Debby Bowinski
    If your mortgage payments are current then you may be able to convert a chapter 13 to a chapter 7, however you need to speak with your lawyer as to eligibility. If you were trying to cure a mortgage arrearage in your chapter 13 then a chapter 7 will not help you keep your home unless you are able to catch up the loan payments all at once.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 12/26/2013
    Law Office of Mark B. French
    Law Office of Mark B. French | Mark B. French
    However, if you convert to Chapter 7 the issue will be whether you are current on your house payments. If you are then you should have no issue keeping your house. If you are behind on your house payments you will have to find a way to get caught up or you will lose the house. Your question does not specify your jurisdiction, so note that this answer only addresses issues with the mortgage company, I am not addressing exemption issues with the Trustee.
    Answer Applies to: Texas
    Replied: 12/26/2013
    Law Office of Michael Johnson
    Law Office of Michael Johnson | Michael Johnson
    If you are not making the mortgage payment through the plan then you may be able to convert.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 12/26/2013
    The Law Office of Darren Aronow, PC
    The Law Office of Darren Aronow, PC | Darren Aronow
    Depends if you have no equity or less equity them the exemption amount then you can keep your home. If not, then you will have to just dismiss your case.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 12/26/2013
    Robert J. Sayfie, P.C.
    Robert J. Sayfie, P.C. | Robert J. Sayfie
    If you are current on your mortgage payments, the you can probably keep your house. I would call your mortgagee and ask them. They may be able to do a loan modification.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 12/26/2013
    Robert S. Payne, Utah Bankruptcy Attorney
    Robert S. Payne, Utah Bankruptcy Attorney | Robert S. Payne
    Kind of. If you're current on your home and there isn't too much equity, then you can convert to a 7 and still keep the home. If you're behind on the home, you'll have to work out a loan modification very, very quickly or you'll still lose the house. And, if you have a previous 7 discharge, you may not be eligible for a new 7 yet.
    Answer Applies to: Utah
    Replied: 12/26/2013
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