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socrateaser, Attorney
Category: Bankruptcy Law
Satisfied Customers: 37810
Experience:  Attorney and Real Estate Broker -- Retired (mostly)
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I am recently divorced. My ex and I are still both on the home

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I am recently divorced. My ex and I are still both on the home mortgage. He also has a line of credit business loan that the home is used as security for. I had agreed to this 6 years ago when the business loan was taken out. Our home is legal nonconforming on commercial property.....we were unable to refinance with the same bank that had given us the previous loans because that bankis being investigated by the FDIC and says they cannot give us a refi due to the legal nonconforming use. Last spring our appraisal was $120,00... we owe 68k on home and 49k on revolving line of credit loan. the line of credit loan is coming due on June 12...the bank is talking like they want to make it a pay back loan....My ex has said he would sign a quick claim deed to the house.....he has considered filing bankruptcy and shutting down his business to get out from under the loans...I have comtemplated filing bankruptcy as welll considering I cannot sell my house due to difficulty getting loan do to zoning. I do not qualify for ch 7....unsure how ch 13 works....Is there a way to get out from under this mess.....My ex is willing to do whatever and he does not want to "take me down" if we can avoid it. Any suggestions>>>

Illinois is a "deficiency judgment" jurisdiction. The lender can sue you for the unpaid balance on the loan after foreclosure. The only way to escape liability for the deficiency is to file for bankruptcy. Given that your property appears to be worth approximately what you owe, the better move would be to sell it and pay off the loans. Prices have been moving up, so it may be that your property actually has some equity value at this point.

If not, then you would want to try to negotiate a deed in lieu of foreclosure, or a short sale, in which each of the lenders agrees to release you from further liability for your loans. If either lender refuses, then you file bankruptcy. And, you can threaten bankruptcy, if the lender signals that it will refuse -- which means that the lender is in a no-win, because it will get little or nothing either way.

Re Chapter 13, if your income is above the median for the state jurisdiction and family size, then you would have to work out a bankruptcy plan in which you will pay your unsecured creditors the amount that they would have received had you filed Chapter 7, over a 5-year period. Your disposable income is minimized during a Chapter 13, making it a rather uncomfortable process. But, sometimes, it's the only option available.

What I've described as how the game shapes up. If you can't get your lenders to "play ball," then visit a local bankruptcy lawyer, give him/her all of your financial info, and find out which Chapter works for you.

For a competent bankruptcy attorney referral, see this link.

Hope this helps.
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