If I stop paying in March 2014 and pocket money for the move, roughly how many months before lenders can sue and throw me out? 6 Answers as of February 24, 2014

We may be divorcing and want wife to have some money to move. Although I added her name to the deed when we married, the mortgage is in my name and she was not part of my Chapter 7 petition. Her credit is intact and over 800 with the bureaus. I never reaffirmed mortgage(s) on my house after Chapter 7 and discharge. Originally I paid $549,000 and owe $500,000. We keep paying monthly on time at $4,000 per month. The house is an 1892 Victorian with 22 rooms, very tough market, pretty sure house is worth under $500,000 today with no comps in the area. MA is a different place so I am wondering because my mortgages have been sold 4 or 5 times who really has the right to foreclose at this point and if title is cloudy. I assume I can walk away and owe nothing and give wife all the saved mortgage payments because I never reaffirmed and house shows in bankruptcy even though we are current. Am I potentially correct in my assumptions?

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GARCIA & GONZALES, P.C.
GARCIA & GONZALES, P.C. | Richard N. Gonzales
The foreclosure process in Colorado does not typically begin until you are at least 3 payments behind, or more. It will then be referred to a lawyer to handle the foreclosure. The foreclosure process in Colorado is approximately 5 months or a bit longer. The mortgage company can not start the eviction process until the title to the real estate is transferred to the foreclosing mortgage company, shortly after the foreclosure auction. At that point, the foreclosing mortgage company would need to start an eviction process, about another month or so (maybe a tad less). Since the debt was not reaffirmed, you have no liability. Since your wife is not on the mortgage obligation, she has no personal liability.
Answer Applies to: Colorado
Replied: 2/24/2014
Thomas Vogele & Associates, APC | Thomas A. Vogele
Your question prompts a couple of responses. First, I presume, although you do not explicitly say so, that you already filed a Chapter 7 and received a discharge. As a practical matter, it may take many months for you to actually be subject to a foreclosure sale and eviction. You mention Massachusetts, but in California it is not uncommon for lenders to take 1-2 years to actually get someone out of the house, during which time you could save the monthly payments for a new start. From a moral standpoint, do you really want to engage in what is arguably fraud and theft? One reason for our nation's economic collapse in 2007/8 was the refusal of all facets of the mortgage industry (lenders, brokers, borrowers) to act honestly and ethically. How does staying in the house without paying for it comport with your own personal ethos? If it were me, I would contact the lender and propose a deed in lieu of foreclosure with the lender paying you a move-out fee (cash for keys) rather than the course you are suggesting. Whatever you decide, I highly recommend you speak with an attorney conversant in local real property laws before you take one course of action over another.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 2/21/2014
Janet A. Lawson Bankruptcy Attorney
Janet A. Lawson Bankruptcy Attorney | Janet Lawson
Because you did not reaffirm the mortgage you can walk. I am only licensed in California and I have no idea how long it takes to foreclose in your state.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 2/21/2014
Law Offices of Eric W. I. Anglin
Law Offices of Eric W. I. Anglin | Eric W. I. Anglin
Each state has different foreclosure laws so it is difficult to give you anything other than a guess as to how long you may stay in the house. I would reach out to the lender and look for options other than foreclosure. You may opt for a short sale or a deed in lieu of foreclosure. Both options are better for your credit. If you stop paying on the mortgage it will probably take several months before you would be forced to vacate the house but remember that each state and foreclosure is different. Walking away after bankruptcy does not protect you from property taxes, nuisance fines (grass/weed ordinances), and potential injuries that occur on your property so make sure that you let the lender know that you have vacated the property if you decide to walk away.
Answer Applies to: Indiana
Replied: 2/21/2014
The Law Office of Darren Aronow, PC
The Law Office of Darren Aronow, PC | Darren Aronow
Yes, neither of you are personally liable for the pre-petition debts. However you can not get a new mortgage until at least two years of this house being out of your name.
Answer Applies to: New York
Replied: 2/21/2014
    Haskell Law Firm | Lori Haskell
    There is no set time. Some lenders start the foreclosure process quickly, and some takes years. Once a Sheriff's Sale happens, you have 6 months to vacate the premises before an eviction can happen.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 2/21/2014
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