What is the difference between secured and unsecured debt? 16 Answers as of July 11, 2013

I know under a chapter 13 filing I can claim a house as a secured debt, I have an apartment in the city I stay in during the week for work and a condo outside the city that I go to on the weekends. Which of the two will be secured and which will be unsecured?

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Mercado & Hartung, PLLC
Mercado & Hartung, PLLC | Christopher J. Mercado
Secured debt is debt where if you don't pay, they can look to the property to collect. Both are likely secured
Answer Applies to: Washington
Replied: 7/14/2011
Janet A. Lawson Bankruptcy Attorney
Janet A. Lawson Bankruptcy Attorney | Janet Lawson
Debt on real property that own is a secured debt. The apartment is unsecured, or it might be a lease. Leases go on Schedule G.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 7/5/2011
CONSUMER PROTECTION ASSISTANCE COALITION, INC. (DE).
CONSUMER PROTECTION ASSISTANCE COALITION, INC. (DE). | Gary Lee Lane
Unsecured cannot go after your property.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 7/4/2013
Law Office of Dennis Jay Sargent Jr, PLLC
Law Office of Dennis Jay Sargent Jr, PLLC | Dennis J Sargent Jr.
Secured debt has to do with whether the creditor has a security interest in the property or the debt. Generally speaking, secured debt is debt where there has been some sort of act by the creditor to enforce their interest in the property. For example, a mortgage or lien on a vehicle are secured interests in that particular property. Generally, unsecured debt is debt or credit that was given to you based upon your signature only, like credit cards and signature loans. It is the nature of the debt that determines if is secured or unsecured. Usually, the creditor has to take additional steps to have the debt secured, but there are exceptions.
Answer Applies to: North Carolina
Replied: 7/5/2011
Theodore N. Stapleton, PC
Theodore N. Stapleton, PC | Theodore N. Stapleton
Secured debt is secured by property like your home/apartment. It depends on what papers you signed. I am happy to discuss these and any other issues you have. Please call to schedule a free consultation.
Answer Applies to: Georgia
Replied: 7/5/2011
    Law Office of Maureen O' Malley
    Law Office of Maureen O' Malley | Maureen O'Malley
    They're all secured if you have mortgages on them. The issue is which is your primary residence?
    Answer Applies to: Virginia
    Replied: 7/4/2013
    Bankruptcy Law office of Bill Rubendall
    Bankruptcy Law office of Bill Rubendall | William M. Rubendall
    A security interest means a lien created by an agreement. If you own a house or condo secured by a mortgage these are examples of a security agreement.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/5/2011
    Ashman Law Office
    Ashman Law Office | Glen Edward Ashman
    Your question is confusing. When you say "apartment" do you own it or do you rent? Same for the condo. As a very general answer, if you own something and owe money on it, it probably is a secured debt. MOST other debt is unsecured. Regardless, the key thing to do if you are thinking of filing is get a lawyer. Very few pro se Chapter 13s work at all, and even if they do a lawyer might have designed one that is more advantagous to you.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 7/5/2011
    Law Office of Harry L Styron
    Law Office of Harry L Styron | Harry L Styron
    In the way you phrased the question, I cannot tell. If you own the apartment (like a condominium or a coop) then both the loan and the home owners' association dues are secured. I presume you own the condo, so the answer for that is the same. A secured debt is one in which you have agreed that the creditor has a security interest in a particular piece of property, usually by signing a deed of trust. The usual unsecured debt is a credit card. If you are simply renting the apartment, then it is neither a secured nor an unsecured debt, but the rental agreement is an "executory contract", which obligates you to make periodic payments for the use of the property. In that case you can elect to retain or abandon the contract, but of you retain it then you will have to keep making the payments on it.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/5/2011
    Law Offices of Sheryl S. Graf
    Law Offices of Sheryl S. Graf | Sheryl S. Graf
    If you have agreed to pledge an asset as collateral to secure a loan, the debt is called a secured debt. Typical examples include a car loan and a home mortgage. If you fail to make the payments, then the bank forecloses on the house (in the case of a mortgage) and repossesses the car (in the case of a car loan). If there is no collateral and the debt is based on your promise to pay, then the debt is unsecured. Typical examples of unsecured debts include credit card debts and unpaid doctor bills. If you make payments to a mortgage lender, then the debt is almost always secured by the real estate acquired with the money you borrowed. If you pay rent to a landlord, then there is no loan - neither secured nor unsecured. This information is general and should not be construed to be formal legal advice, nor the formation of a lawyer/client relationship.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/5/2011
    The Law Office of Brian Nomi
    The Law Office of Brian Nomi | Brian H. Nomi
    Secured debt is that debt that attaches to a property that you own. You own the condo, so you can have secured debt on that. You do not own the apartment, and so any debt associated with the apartment is unsecured. For further information, its best to consult with an experienced attorney. Any good attorney will give you a free initial consultation.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/1/2011
    Carballo Law Offices
    Carballo Law Offices | Tony E. Carballo
    A secured debt is a debt secured by collateral (property) such as a house or a car or a boat. An unsecured debt is a debt not secured by any property, such as a credit card bill or medical bill or a personal loan. All mortgages on real estate and car loans are secured debts. It has nothing to do with whether it is your primary residence or second home or rental house. You are thinking of the exemption to protect the equity in your home. That is called the homestead exemption and is available if you live in the house (primary residence) so that you can protect equity in your home and not lose it in bankruptcy. Don't be foolish and try to file a Chapter 13 without an experienced local bankruptcy attorney. Leave these technical and highly important issues for the attorney to handle. You can pay most of the attorney's fee in the Chapter 13 Plan.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/1/2011
    Ursula G. Barrios Law
    Ursula G. Barrios Law | Guillermo Machado
    Both are secured because if you don't pay for either, the bank can take the property. This is the meaning of secured.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/11/2013
    Law Office of Jackie Robert Geller
    Law Office of Jackie Robert Geller | Jackie Robert Geller
    If the properties are secured by any kind of mortgage, then those debts are secured. If the amount of the debts exceed the value of the property, then the debts may be "partially secured and partially unsecured".
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/1/2011
    Colorado Legal Solutions
    Colorado Legal Solutions | Stephen Harkess
    Any debt which is attached to property is secured to the extent that there is value in the property. Any debt in excess of the value of the property and any debt which is not attached to property (such as medical bills or credit cards) is unsecured.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 7/1/2011
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