How Does Bankruptcy Treat Secured Debt?
If you file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, you may be able to discharge the secured debt but you could lose the property attached to it. The property will be sold at an auction and used to repay these obligations.
With a Chapter 13, you can keep your property as long as you catch up and continue to make your payments.
Unless you are willing to surrender your property to creditors, you will still be responsible for paying off these debts despite filing for bankruptcy.
What Happens If I Default on a Secured Debt?
If you default on a secured debt or loan, secured debt creditors may take a variety of enforcement actions and seek court orders enabling them to take some control of your assets, including:
- Foreclosure or seizure on the asset they hold as collateral
- A writ of possession
- A mechanic’s lien (for creditors who have done work on a vehicle or your property)
- A tax lien (for the federal government in cases of unpaid tax debt)
What Happens If Creditors Seize My Assets?
When creditors seize an asset used to secure a debt, the amount received at a forced sale is applied to the overall amount of the debt. If the amount of your debt is greater than the value of the asset, which is most often the case, you are responsible for the remaining amount owed. This remaining amount is an unsecured debt on which you can be sued.
How Can I Save My Home?
In almost every case, a home equity loan is just another name for a second mortgage, a common type of secured debt. Defaulting on a home equity loan can result in the foreclosure of your house. In today’s real estate market, you may be left with substantial debt even after your house has been sold. Our Los Angeles bankruptcy attorneys may be able to renegotiate your mortgage, as we have done for countless other clients. We can often help reduce interest rates and your monthly payment, as well as defer payments and reduce the principal.
Our bankruptcy attorneys are on your side. If creditors are threatening you or you are concerned about protecting your assets through bankruptcy, contact us as soon as possible for the peace of mind you deserve.