Will I Lose my Home if I File Bankruptcy in New York City?

A home is most people’s biggest asset, and for many the decision to file bankruptcy will ride on whether or not their home will be lost in the process.  The thought of losing a home can be scary, but don’t let the possibility of losing a home prevent you from seeking the bankruptcy advice you need.  Bankruptcy is designed to give people a fresh start on their finances, not punish them for their debts.  The Bankruptcy laws were specifically designed to protect people’s homes so they don’t receive their fresh start on the street.  Our clients can almost always keep their homes when filing bankruptcy if it is their desire to do so, and saving a home is in fact one of the most common reasons for filing bankruptcy in New York City.

Saving a home through bankruptcy can be a complex process, especially in New York City where many of our clients live in rent stabilized apartments.    First thing first, you need an attorney if you are filing bankruptcy and wish to stay in your home.  Now then, both New York State and the Federal Bankruptcy Code have set lists of property exemptions designed to protect assets when filing for bankruptcy.  A petitioner may not mix and match exemptions from the two but must choose one set list of exemptions.  The set of exemptions to choose will depend on whether or not you own your home as well as any equity you may have.  Under the New York scheme and in New York City specifically there is a very generous “Homestead Exemption” protecting up to $150,000 in home equity.  If you are married and filing jointly with your spouse this amount can also be doubled to $300,000.  It’s important to remember that creditors can only come after your non-exempt assets.  If you are already facing foreclosure your attorney may advise filing for Chapter 13 as opposed to a straight Chapter 7.  Chapter 13 is the best way to avoid a foreclosure and will allow you to become current on your mortgage while eliminating the toxic debts that may have prevented you from making the payment.

Bankruptcy issues related to homes can be very complex whether you own a home or not in New York City.  If you are underwater on your bills and considering bankruptcy but are worried you may lose your home in the process speak to a bankruptcy attorney.  The ironic fact for the people thinking they will lose their home in bankruptcy is that bankruptcy is usually the one thing that will actually save their home.

Anyone looking into bankruptcy should weigh the pros and cons carefully as there are some consequences to any bankruptcy filing.  That being said the benefits of bankruptcy protection always outweighs any negative effects for our clients, and our clients always keep their homes when filing bankruptcy.  Get the facts for your specific situation.  If you need an affordable bankruptcy attorney in New York City please contact the Law Offices of William Waldner online or at 212.244.2882 to arrange a free bankruptcy consultation today.  Our law firm only practices bankruptcy law and maintains a 99% Chapter 7 Bankruptcy discharge record in New York City as of 8/31/16.

**** DISCLAIMER:  This article is intended for educational purposes only.  By reading no attorney-client relationship has been created.  Prior results do not guarantee a similar result for future clients.