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Roger
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My friend (BD) is preparing to file Chapter 7 BK pro se in

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My friend (BD) is preparing to file Chapter 7 BK pro se in L.A. county, CA. He has been out of work for years. His $100,000 home is paid for but he is behind on property taxes 5 years.
County wants to sell his home for the $18,000 property tax bill at auction next month. DB wants to stop the sell, claim the $100,000 homestead exemption on his home, pay the property tax bill after BK from the sell of his home, after DB short sells it and pocket the balance. Is that possible through Chapter 7 BK? How does that play out? What are the logistics? Does he request that of the Trustee? Thank you.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Bankruptcy Law
Expert:  Roger replied 1 year ago.

Hi - my name is XXXXX XXXXX I'm a Bankruptcy litigation attorney. Thanks for your question. I'll be glad to assist.

 

Your friend would be able to claim the exemption for his homestead, which ranges from $75,000 to $175,000 depending on circumstances and facts. Here's a good link on the different exemption amounts: http://www.nolo.com/legal-encyclopedia/the-california-homestead-exemption.html

 

As for stopping the sale of his house by filing, a chapter 7 will not do that. Filing a chapter 7 will delay the process, but it cannot stop it. Once a bankruptcy is filed, the automatic stay (11 USC 362) goes into effect and stops creditors from pursuing creditors, like your friend. HOWEVER, creditors can file a motion with the court to lift the automatic stay as to the property it is interested in and proceed with the collection. Thus, the tax collector could file a motion to lift stay AFTER he files bankruptcy and could proceed to sell his property for the taxes due. He should be entitled to the money remaining from the sale, but it won't stop the sale.

 

If he were to file chapter 13, then he could keep his house and propose to repay the tax debt over time, which the court would likely approve. That may be the better option as he can prevent the sale and try to sell the house on his own time and then pay the taxes when he does sell the place.

 

He can certainly discuss these options with his attorney, but filing bankruptcy can help him, but a 13 would likely help most.

Roger, Attorney
Category: Bankruptcy Law
Satisfied Customers: 26597
Experience: BV Rated by Martindale-Hubbell; SuperLawyer rating by Thompson-Reuters
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