Can I keep my home when I file bankruptcy?
For most Americans, a home is their biggest investment in their lifetimes. When you become financially unstable, you may fear losing your home and feel stress surrounding your future. After all, we become emotionally attached to our homes because it is where we raise our families and enjoy family occasions.
When you purchase your home, you obtain a secured loan with your house serving as collateral. In Washington, you are entitled to a homestead exemption in your residence when you file bankruptcy. That means, in many cases, though you file bankruptcy, you may keep your home.
The exemption entitles an individual or couple to protect up to $125,000 in equity in their home. Therefore, if your mortgage payments are current and you continue to make those payments, your home is protected, up to $125,000 in equity. If your home has more than $125,000 in equity, you may be liable for your debt and be required to sell your home in order to pay what you owe.
If you are behind on your mortgage payments, but still desire to keep your home, a Chapter 13 bankruptcy can save your home by permitting you to catch up on your house payments over time while you still live there.