In Risk of Foreclosure?
Feb 28, 2023Falling behind on your mortgage payments can be stressful. You are struggling financially and now you are worried about losing your home to foreclosure. You are not sure what you need to do, but know that you need to do something. Understanding the foreclosure process and learning about your debt relief options can help you avoid losing your home to foreclosure. Let’s discuss a general overview of the foreclosure process in the State of Wisconsin and how bankruptcy could help you.
FORECLOUSRE PROCESS OVERVIEW
Summons & Complaint – A foreclosure action is started by your mortgage company filing a summons and complaint in the county your home is located in. You have twenty days from the date of service to file an answer. Some counties in Wisconsin offer a mediation program that you can participate in to try to stop the foreclosure once it has been filed. Even if you don’t plan on fighting the foreclosure you may want to file an answer to continue to receive notices in the case.
Filing an Answer - Filing an answer means to put in writing whether you agree or disagree with the information listed in the complaint. If you file an answer, a hearing will be scheduled for the court to determine if your mortgage company should receive a judgment of foreclosure based on the evidence provided. If you do not file an answer, the court will grant a default judgment of foreclosure. Before a judgment of foreclosure is entered, you may be able to dismiss the court case if you are able to pay the outstanding balance plus attorney fees and costs.
Redemption Period – Once a judgment of foreclosure is entered the redemption period begins. The redemption period is the amount of time you have to refinance or sell your home to pay off your mortgage including any fees and costs. The length of the redemption period can vary depending on several factors and will be listed in the complaint. The most common time frames for redemption periods are three months and six months.
Sheriff Sale and Confirmation of Sale – The sheriff sale is when your home is sold by auction and can be held any time after the end of the redemption period. The confirmation of sale will be soon after, which is a hearing to confirm the sale of the home. You must be out of your home by the date of the confirmation of sale.
FORECLOSURE & BANKRUPTCY
Whether you have fallen behind on your mortgage because of job loss or illness, it is very likely that you are struggling with other debts as well, such as medical bills or credit cards. It is extremely difficult to bring your mortgage current when every creditor wants to be paid at once. The sooner you review your financial situation and debt relief options, the better. Depending on your circumstances, a Chapter 13 Bankruptcy or Chapter 7 Bankruptcy can help you avoid losing your home to foreclosure and eliminate your debt.
Chapter 13 Bankruptcy
A Chapter 13 Bankruptcy can save your home from foreclosure and manage all your debts. Once a Chapter 13 bankruptcy is filed, it can stop foreclosure, even if the Sheriff sale is scheduled. The amount you are behind on your mortgage gets repaid over a 3-to-5-year repayment plan. A Chapter 13 can help with other debts as well. Any property tax debt or income tax debt can also be included in the repayment plan. Unsecured debts; such as credit cards, medical bills, and pay day loans; can get repaid at a lower percentage; even 0% if your income qualifies. To learn more read our blog, “How Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Stops Foreclosure”.
Chapter 7 Bankruptcy
A Chapter 7 Bankruptcy can help eliminate your unsecured debts, such as medical bills, credit cards, pay day loans, and money judgments; and stop wage garnishments. Eliminating unsecured debts can allow you to use all your income to bring your home mortgage current before a foreclosure is filed. Once a foreclosure is filed, a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy cannot stop the foreclosure, only delay it temporarily. If you decide to sell your home to avoid foreclosure, Chapter 7 Bankruptcy can help satisfy money judgments that have been docketed against your home. This will help you keep the money from the equity of your home sale and help with your fresh start.
At Pedersen Law Office, LLC we understand how stressful a potential foreclosure can be; and that is why we offer free consultations. We meet with you personally to discuss your circumstances and goals to help figure out what debt relief option is best for you and help you through the entire process. Our law office serves the communities of Appleton, Neenah, Menasha, Oshkosh, Green Bay and their surrounding areas.