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Equity Law

In many cases of bankruptcy equity is often a topic of interest. Those contemplating filing bankruptcy are often unsure of which kind of bankruptcy is right for them. There are many factors to consider. Is there equity in the home? Is there a Home Equity Line Of Credit (HELOC)? Knowing what your equity is will help in the determination of how to proceed with a bankruptcy choice. These factors often lead to questions like the ones answered below.

I live in Missouri and owe 100k on my house and 68k in a home equity line of credit. In a chapter 7 bankruptcy will I be able to keep my house?

In a Chapter 7 bankruptcy an individual will need to make payments on both the mortgage and the home equity line of credit (HELOC) in order to keep the home. If payments are not made then the lenders can proceed with foreclosures on the mortgage and the HELOC because the debts are secured by the house.

In a Chapter 13 bankruptcy a different scenario can happen. If your house is worth less than the mortgage and HELOC, then you can classify the HELOC as an unsecured debt. This will allow you to pay off the HELCO at the same interest rate as credit cards under whatever your chapter 13 plan may include. This is typically referred to as cram down or lien strip.

Does having equity in my home prevent me from being able to file for bankruptcy in New Jersey?

Equity will play a part. You will need to find out how much equity you have in your home. If you were to sell your house, how much would you make over what you owe? This would be your equity. In New Jersey you can use the Federal exemption (Homestead exemption). This exemption allows for the equity in the home to be exempt up to $21,625. However if you are married, filing jointly then this can be doubled.

I own a house in Texas with lots of equity in it. Can I file for bankruptcy even though I have all this equity?

There are different factors that will come into play. Whether the home is in a town, city or village, and how many acres the home is on. The Texas homestead exemption is unlimited for any home in a town on less than 10 acres. Texas Prop. 41.001 This means you would not lose your home no matter how much equity you had in it.

My ex-wife has just been discharged from all in a chapter 7 that she filed. She was primary on both the mortgage and equity line of credit. Can I file for chapter 13 and keep the house even though she filed a chapter 7?

Your ex-wife’s bankruptcy discharged her liability for paying the home equity loan, but it did not take away your liability in paying it. Since you are also co-borrower on the mortgage and HELOC then you also have a right to file for bankruptcy to discharge your liability to the loan. Filing a chapter 13 can allow you to keep the home. The balance of the unsecured portion of the home equity loan will be stripped (lien strip).

Having the right information and understanding of equity can help when dealing with questions regarding equity. Experts can help answer questions about the effect equity may have when filing bankruptcy or how home equity lines of credit can be discharged in bankruptcy. Get the answers fast and affordably by asking an Expert online.

Ask a Bankruptcy Lawyer

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FiveStarLaw, Attorney
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Experience:  Bankruptcy Lawyer. Experienced.
9968427
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Recent Equity Questions

  • I am presently in chapter 13. My atty withdrew as my legal

    I am presently in chapter 13. My atty withdrew as my legal counsel and I have no representation. I have had an ongoing issue regarding my mortgage which I why I discontinued payments with demands that could never be provided. Chapter 13 came as a last ditch effort when they attempted to foreclose on my property.
    I explained all of this to my attorney, and he admitted that he was unfamiliar with MERS and the discrepancies I had shown him regarding this mortgage. However, he did object to the servicer's proof of claim and we requested a perfected chain of title.
    After counsel for the "lender"/servicer requested two extensions, she finally provided a copy of a note and a copy of a deed of trust. The note that she provided is not my signature. It does not match any of my nearly 50 signed documents from the last 20 years. I was adamant about this with my atty and emailed him that I DO deny that the note they provided is what I signed. He refused to bring it up because he stated that he did not want to deal with fraud.
    Therefore, the judge ruled in the creditors favor because 1) I have made payments to the servicer (only after filing bk 13 and upon the instruction of my atty who stated that I needed to do so), 2) They held a copy of a note endorsed in blank as holder of the note along with a deed that they assigned to themselves by themselves as both an employee of the servicer and also of MERS (the stated "beneficiary" of the "lender").
    Since then our Supreme Court has made it very clear that MERS cannot be and is not a beneficiary. It is merely a database. I sent a letter to the servicer about this news and they sold the rights off to another servicer within two weeks. The new servicer has now assigned to itself, by itself, as the attorney in fact for JP Morgan (the "investor"). JP Morgan refused a long time ago to ever talk to me about it.
    I presently have filed a quiet title complaint in district court against the original "lender" on the basis that the original "lender", "a corporation existing under the laws of the State of New York" was, in fact, non-existing at the time that any note was signed or promise made to them making the promise or agreement non-existing as well. Furthermore, in my quiet title my other claim is that they did not loan me any money as evidenced by a bank wire. My bk 13 atty told me that I could file quiet title outside the bk court, and at least I would know that they do not have any perfected chain.
    So, I need to address this invalid lien and discovery that the lender was non-existent and did not loan me any money. What kind of motion do I file with the bk court to raise this issue? And, also, if you will, I have discovered multiple degrees of fraud, breach of fudiciary duty and a myriad of other complaints. Is this something that I can take to BK court, or do I take this to district court? Thanks
  • THIS is a question for a BANKRUPTCY LAWYER. I claimed

    THIS is a question for a BANKRUPTCY LAWYER. I claimed bankruptcy over 5 years ago. Th bankruptcy was a chapter 7. The debt was never reaffirmed. When the Bankruptcy was filed I was current on my mortgage. An alleged default took place during the bankruptcy.
    The bank never lifted the automatic stay. The bank didn't object to the bankruptcy so can they still foreclose on the house. New jersey
  • Hello, My daughter stopped paying her student loans again.

    Hello, My daughter stopped paying her student loans again. It's been several months of non payment. She says she can't afford to pay because she is paying such high payments to her dad for a home (she will never own). I cosigned 2004- 2005 on a total of
    $20,000 in loans. The balance on the cosigned loans is now over $40,000 due to her deferments. She has a good job now and she had a payment plan in place for the $100,000 &#43; in student debt. It's been over 3 months and Sallie Mae is demanding I pay again. I
    paid for a long time and I am tired of it. My daughter entered into an arrangement (against my advice) to take over payments on her father's home. (We are divorced) I checked county records and her dad has a large SECURED personal line of credit loan that
    is due in 2038. She still won't listen.... I don't want to pay Sallie Mae so she can do this stupid thing. I'd like to know if I can sue her in order to get Sallie Mae paid. I'm thinking garnishing her wages, for the payments on the cosigned loans. I thought
    about just calling Sallie Mae and telling them to do it, but I don't think that would work.
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