Reader Questions

The bankruptcy lawyer says I will lose my home if I file bankruptcy. Is this true?

Written by Consumer

I have a situation similar to one of your other readers.

A large amount of credit card debt of my daughters when they were having troubles and now she can’t make the payments.

I am struggling to keep up but because I am a widow and only have limited income at this point I can’t keep it up if she defaults.

I have talked to an attorney and he says I will lose my home if I file bankruptcy because I have equity in it. About $50,000 equity. I am confused.

So many of these comments say you won’t lose your home. I live in VA. Is the law different there.

My question is If I default on these payments can they make me sell? What’s the worse thing they’ll do? And is it true that I won’t lose my home if I file for bankruptcy? The lawyers says yes I will???????

Please help


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  • I would definitely talk more than one attorney, and specifically address your concerns within the State of Virginia.  I live in Missouri, and I was told by multiple BK attorneys  that even if I declared Chap7 BK, I could keep my house as long as I was current on payments.  But then I  talked to another BK attorney and he said I couldn’t keep the house after Chap 7BK no matter what the account status was. I have no equity at all, in fact am underwater, so that is a difference.  At least BK attorneys offer free consultations.  You also can check references by checking the state bar, and I believe and a v v also give attorney references. That is the priceless question, how to find the best attorney. I would hope that your daughters would be able at some point to help you pay this debt, since it is essentially their debt, but you are the one who could lose your house because you helped them. Also, is there any way you could tap the equity of the house? Current  interest rates are so low it would seem to be a good investment, since you are using the equity to protect the house, if you have good enough credit.  Also, talking to a real estate attorney might be a good idea also, they might give you a different strategy.  I hope that you can get good help to resolve your situation to your best advantage. Marilyn in Kansas City

  • I have been told the same thing by a qualified bankruptcy attorney. If the lender decides to go that route this will not protect you.

  • I just read an article on-line about Bankruptcy myths and it says losing your home will not happen. I have no idea if that’s correct but I’d like to think so!! I wish you well.

  • Hello Debbie,

    I am not a bankruptcy attorney so I can’t tell you specifically what will or won’t happen if you file bankruptcy in Virginia. The bankruptcy laws vary from state to state and the best thing I would recommend for you to do is meet with 1 or 2 more licensed BK attorneys. If they also confirm that you could be forced to sell your home to satisfy the creditors, then you can be pretty sure that will be the case and you will need to look at other options such as perhaps a chapter 13 or a settlement with the creditors.

    Currently it sounds as if your daughter is keeping up on the payments. How much credit card debt does she have outstanding? Perhaps if you both pooled your resources we could come up with a plan that allowed you to settle the debts and avoid a bankruptcy if you would in fact lose your home in a chapter 7.

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