Can I Stay in My Home After a Sheriff’s Sale?

I recently posted a piece about how long mortgage foreclosure takes in Pennsylvania. A different question came to me today from a client, who asked how long he could expect to stay in his home after his sheriff’s sale was completed. Basically, it’s going to really depend on the circumstances. First, you should realize that most foreclosures result in the … Read More

How long does mortgage foreclosure take in Pennsylvania?

First Step for Mortgage Foreclosure If you are a Pennsylvania residence who is behind on mortgage payments, it’s important to know how mortgage foreclosure generally works and what the procedures are. If you are generally three full months behind on your mortgage payments, then your mortgage company will send you a letter entitled “Notice of Intention to Foreclose” via regular … Read More

Watch Out for HAMP Mortgage Modification Denials

HAMP stands for the Homeowners Affordable Modification Program and it’s the Obama Administration’s foreclosure-prevention program. The attractive feature since April 2010 is that the program specifically permits folks in current bankruptcy cases to still pursue HAMP modifications. Today a client (who had recently entered into a 3-month Trial Mortgage Modification Agreement with his mortgage company) just informed me that after … Read More

How do I convert my Chapter 13 case to Chapter 7?

We frequently have to convert Chapter 13 cases to Chapter 7. Usually, it’s because the client in a Chapter 13 case has lost his job and doesn’t have the same income he once had. You must be careful however to determine whether you are eligible for Chapter 7 relief. For example, if you filed a Chapter 7 case and got … Read More

I Filed Chapter 7 Bankruptcy About 5 Years Ago, But Now Have New Debts

A client recently came into my office with about $18,000 in credit card debt. He had filed Chapter 7 in early 2005, but he had taken out several credit cards after his case was completed. He had become unemployed back in 2008 for awhile, and although he was now working, he simply couldn’t get back on track with his credit … Read More

What’s a “Cure and Maintain” Chapter 13 Bankruptcy?

I’ve seen a lot of cases in my 17 years as a Pittsburgh bankruptcy lawyer. The most common Chapter 13 bankruptcy case is one in which a homeowner files for Chapter 13 relief in order to protect his home from mortgage foreclosure. Here’s a chronology of a recent Chapter 13 case that I filed in April 2010. My clients, a … Read More

My House Is Up For Sheriff’s Sale–Is It Too Late to File Chapter 13?

As you know, in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, sheriff’s sales on real estate are held on the first Monday of each month starting at 9 am. Although you can theoretically file a bankruptcy case at 8:55 am on Monday to prevent your sheriff’s sale from going forward, you don’t want to be quite that risky and wait that long. I often … Read More

How to Get a Car Loan While in Chapter 13 Bankruptcy

First off, one big caveat: I am writing about Chapter 13 bankruptcy as practiced in Western Pennsylvania. Specifically, this is the Court known as the Western District of Pennsylvania. As discussed in a previous post, all secured loans (for example, car loans and mortgages) are paid “inside the plan” on a monthly basis in Chapter 13 cases in Western Pennsylvania. … Read More

When Is My First Chapter 13 Plan Payment Due?

The easy part of this question is the answer: your first Chapter 13 payment is due within 30 days of filing your Chapter 13 plan. This is a rule embedded into Federal Bankruptcy law and it’s pretty clear. Your attorney will tell you this numerous times before your case is filed. Additionally, the Trustee’s office will send you a letter … Read More