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cfortunato, Attorney
Category: Bankruptcy Law
Satisfied Customers: 8023
Experience:  Bankruptcy professor.
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Hi. I declared Ch. 7 Bankruptcy 7 yrs ago due to a job loss.

Resolved Question:

Hi. I declared Ch. 7 Bankruptcy 7 yrs ago due to a job loss. Unfortunately, I experienced another layoff back in 2008 and although am employed now, but at a much lower salary, minimal benefits, etc. so much so that I'm now considering bankruptcy AGAIN because I've been trying to do a Loan Mod with my first mortgage and have a $10k balloon payment on my 2nd mortgage payment due in August that I can't possibly pay and with the home values plummeted(I'm at about 1/3 of my purchase price), they'll never refi my loan...I also have about $6k in credit card debt that I'm struggling with AND just graduated from college and am now looking at about $300/month in student loan payments. If I choose to accept the terms of my Loan Mod(not sure I can even afford to at this point), would I be able to do bankruptcy again with my 2nd mortgage(equity loan) and credit cards? I already know I can't include my student loans, so that's not an issue. I just never dreamed I would even NEED to consider this again, seven years later and am really struggling with what my next step should be...Thanks
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Bankruptcy Law
Expert:  cfortunato replied 3 years ago.
Hi JACustomer,
The Bankruptcy code is set up so that even though you can discharge your liability to pay the second mortgage in a Bankruptcy in a Chapter 7, you cannot have the lien removed. You can only have a second mortgage lien removed in a Chapter 13 Bankruptcy, where you would have to pay all disposable income (gross income minus allowable expenses) to the Bankruptcy court for up to 5 years. At the end of the Chapter 13 period, the balance of the second mortgage, including the lien, can be discharged.
This might work for you, because it is possible you will end up paying less for your second mortgage than you currently are paying.

I think this is what you wanted to know. If not, please let me know.
Thank you!
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Hmmm. Ok, so let me ask you this...I'm a bit confused about the Ch 13 scenario. I recently read something about Ch. 13 and filing a POND something or other? Would that help in any way? And if I were to stay in my condo, accept my loan mod terms, but file bankruptcy again, it would be better to do the 13 rather than the 7? I do understand that you don't have all my specific financial info, but just based on what I've told you, what are your thoughts?

ps...great name! My maternal grandmother's maiden name was Fortunato! :-)
Expert:  cfortunato replied 3 years ago.

Thank you! It is my ex-husband's name. I kept it because it is more colorful than my maiden name (Harris).

A Pond motion is available in a Chapter 13 only. It is the motion you have to file to have the second mortgage "stripped" of its secured status, thereby becoming unsecured debt. This cannot be done in a Chapter 7.

If you file a Chapter 7, the second mortgage lien will still be attached to your condo. This means you will not ever be able to sell it unless the second mortgage agrees to remove the lien - perhaps by accepting a portion of the balance. But if they will not remove the lien, you won't be able to sell the condo.

cfortunato, Attorney
Category: Bankruptcy Law
Satisfied Customers: 8023
Experience: Bankruptcy professor.
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