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Avoid or delay foreclosure of your home by seeking bankruptcy protection.If you are facing foreclosure, bankruptcy might be able to help. In many cases, filing Chapter 7 bankruptcy can delay the foreclosure by a number of months. Some people may be able to save their home by filing for Chapter 13 bankruptcy. 

What Is Foreclosure?

Typically foreclosure begins after a homeowner falls behind on mortgage payments. The lender begins the legal process of selling the home at auction in order to get payment for the loan. The process involves numerous steps, including notification to the homeowner. 

This won't happen overnight. Usually a lender won't begin the foreclosure process until you've missed several payments, often three or four. That gives you time to try some alternate measures, such as loan forbearance, a short sale, or a deed in lieu of foreclosure.

But if you've already tried and failed with these measures, now is a good time to consider bankruptcy as a possibility for avoiding or stalling foreclosure. Here are some ways that filing for bankruptcy can help you.

The Automatic Stay: Delaying Foreclosure

When you file either a Chapter 13 or Chapter 7 bankruptcy, the court automatically issues an order (called the Order for Relief) that includes a wonderful thing known as the "automatic stay." The automatic stay directs your creditors to cease their collection activities immediately, no excuses. If your home is scheduled for a foreclosure sale, the sale will be legally postponed while the bankruptcy is pending--typically for three to four months. However, there are two exceptions to this general rule:

Motion to lift the stay. If the lender obtains the bankruptcy court's permission to proceed with the sale (by filing a "motion to lift the stay"), you may not get the full three to four months. But even then, the bankruptcy will typically postpone the sale by at least two months, or even more if the lender is slow in pursuing the motion to lift the automatic stay.

Foreclosure notice already filed. Unfortunately, bankruptcy's automatic stay won't stop the clock on the advance notice that most states require before a foreclosure sale can be held (or a motion to lift the stay can be filed). For example, before selling a home in California , a lender has to give the owner at least three months' notice. If you receive a three-month notice of default, and then file for bankruptcy after two months have passed, the three-month period would elapse after you'd been in bankruptcy for only one month. At that time the lender could file a motion to lift the stay and ask the court for permission to schedule the foreclosure sale.

How Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Can Help

Many people will do whatever they can to stay in their home for the indefinite future. If that describes you, and you're behind on your mortgage payments with no feasible way to get current, the only way to keep your home is to file a Chapter 13 bankruptcy.

How Chapter 13 works. Chapter 13 bankruptcy lets you pay off the "arrearage" (late, unpaid payments) over the length of a repayment plan you propose--five years in some cases. But you'll need enough income to at least meet your current mortgage payment at the same time you're paying off the arrearage. Assuming you make all the required payments up to the end of the repayment plan, you'll avoid foreclosure and keep your home.

2nd and 3rd mortgage payments. Chapter 13 may also help you eliminate the payments on your second or third mortgage. That's because, if your first mortgage is secured by the entire value of your home (which is possible if the home has dropped in value), you may no longer have any equity with which to secure the later mortgages. That allows the Chapter 13 court to "strip off" the second and third mortgages and recategorize them as unsecured debt --which, under Chapter 13, takes last priority and often does not have to be paid back at all.

FDCPA Attorney in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Maryland, DC, and Virginia
Your Rights to Fair Debt Collection PracticesThe law says that debt collectors must treat you with truth, fairness, dignity and respect. Any debt collector who doesn't work within these very clear guidelines can be sued in federal court for damages under this law. The FDCPA does not cover the original creditor (for example, the credit card company to whom you owe) but does apply to anyone who regularly collects debts on behalf their clients, including collection agencies, debt buyers who purchased your debt from the original creditor and attorney law firms who regularly collect debts.

For the law to apply, the following elements must be present:You are a consumer.The debt is a consumer debt, meaning that it was incurred for personal or household purposes.The collector is a debt collector. A "debt collector" is a person hired by the original creditor specifically to collect a debt. They can also be debt buyers, which are companies that purchase a debt that has been in default to try and collect it.There are several important steps you can take to help your case, including saving all phone messages and voice mail, making notes of your conversations with the bill collector and contacting my office to speak with a FREE debt collector abuse lawyer about your case. My name is Donald Litman and I am a highly experienced debt collection abuse attorney that can provide competent legal advice regarding your case.FDCPA Lawyer - Committed to Protecting Your Rights Under the FDCPA, debt collectors are prohibited from engaging in harassing or abusive behavior when collecting a debt, including:Using foul or abusive language Making repeated phone calls Continuing to call after receiving a written notice to stop the callsCalling before 8:00 a.m. or after 9:00 p.m.Contacting someone at their job after being told not toContacting someone directly that is represented by an attorneyThe FDCPA provides an attorney without any cost. If we take your case and successfully litigate, lawyer fees are paid for by the defendant debt collector, including litigation costs and expenses. You can be awarded $1,000.00 for statutory damages if you have no actual damages. When there are actual damages, which means that you have been harmed by the harassing debt collector, you will earn further compensation from the court.

If you have had to endure any abusive collection practices, you may be entitled to compensation. Call me immediately to fight back and turn the tables on these collection bullies. Not only may you be entitled to collect money from the debt collectors, they may also be required to pay for my fees.

FREE REPRESENTATION: We do not charge for a consultation for debt collection abuse and harassment cases. We can map out a strategy and review your options. If we decide that you have a case and wish to pursue it, we will represent you in filing a lawsuit against the abusive debt collector. If we are successful, the abusive debt collector becomes responsible for our fees.Collection Agencies:If you are being harassed or abused by a debt collector from one of the following agencies, please call me right away so I can help you stop the abuse once and for all! 

A & S Collection Associates Inc 
Academy Collection Service Inc 
Account Services Collections Inc 
Accounts Receivable Management Inc 
Accounts Serv Co LTD 
Accredited Collectional Aency Inc 
Active Credit Svcs 
Alexander Wright & Associates Inc 
Allen Lewis & Associates Inc 
Allen Lewis Ass Inc 
Allen, Lewis & Associates 
AllianceOne Rec Mgmt 
AllianceOne Receivables Management Inc 
Allied Interstate Credit Corp 
Allied Interstate Inc 
Alternative Revenue Systems Inc 
American Coradius Inc 
American Coradius International LLC 
Anderson, Crenshaw & Associates LLC 
Apex Financial Management LLC 
Arrow Fin Serv LLC 
Arrow Financial Services LLC 
ARS National Services Inc 
ARS Recovery Services LLC 
Ascension Services LP 
Asset Acceptance LLC 
Asset Mgmt Out Rec 
Associated Credit Services Inc 
Atlantic Credit Fin 
Audit Systems Inc 
AvanteUSA LTD 
Bay Area Credit Service LLC 
Bonded Collection Corporation 
Bronson & Migliaccio LLP 
CAC Financial Corp 
Capital Management Services Inc 
Capital Management Services LP 
CBE Group Inc, The 
Central Credit Services Inc 
Central Portfolio Control Inc 
Client Services Inc 
Coast Professional Inc 
Collectcorp Corporation 
Collection Pros Inc 
Collection Technology Inc 
Collecto Inc 
Collectors Training Institute of Illinois Inc 
Commercial Rec Syst 
Consumer Adjustment Company Inc 
Credit Collection 
Credit Control LLC 
Credit Control Services Inc 
Creditors Financial Group LLC 
Creditor's Interchange Inc 
Creditors Interchange Receivable Management LLC 
Daniel Daniel Assoc 
Debt Recovery Solutions Inc 
Diversified Adjustment Service Incorporated 
Diversified Collection Services Inc 
Diversified Consultants Inc 
Doctors Cred Ser Inc 
Encore Receivable Management Inc 
Enhanced Recovery Corporation 
Enterprise Recovery Sytems Inc 
ER Solutions 
ER Solutions Inc 
Federal Bond and Collection Service Inc 
Financial Asset Management Systems Inc 
First Fin Asset Mgmt 
First Financial Asset Management Inc 
First Performance Recovery Corporation 
First Revenue Assurance LLC 
Firstsource Advantage LLC 
FMA Alliance LTD 
Focus Receivables 
Focus Receivables Management LLC 
Frederick J. Hanna & Associates PC 
GC Services Limited Partnership 
GE Services Limited Partnership 
General Revenue Corporation 
Gerald E. Moore & Associates, PC, The Law Office of 
Gerald E. Moore Asso 
Global Payments Chk 
I.C. System Inc 
IDG Financial Services LLC 
Imperial Cred Systems 
Innovative Accounts Management Inc 
J.C. Christensen & Associates Inc 
Johnson & Rountree 
Law Office of John P Frye PC 
Leading Edge Recovery Solutions LLC 
LHR Inc 
LTD Financial Services LP 
M.R.S. Associates Inc 
Mid America Credit Corporation 
MRS Associates Inc. 
National Action Financial Services Inc 
National Check Trust Inc 
National Credit Adjusters LLC 
National Credit Systems Inc 
National Enterprise Systems Inc 
National Financial Systems Inc. 
National Recovery Incorporated 
Nations Recovery Center Inc 
Nationwide Credit Inc 
Nationwide Recovery Systems LTD 
NCA Financial Services Inc 
NCB Management Services Inc 
NCO Financial Sys 
NCO Financial Systems Inc 
Nelson Watson & Associates LLC 
Nelson, Watson & Associates LLC 
Nor-Don Collection Network Inc 
Northland Group Inc 
Ocwen Loan Servicing LLC 
Omnium Worldwide Inc 
OSI Collection Services 
OSI Collection Services Inc 
OSI Collection Svcs 
Oxford Collection Agency Inc 
Pentagroup Financial LLC 
People First Recoveries LLC 
Phillips & Burns LLC 
Phillips & Cohen Associates LTD 
Pinnacle Fin Grp Inc 
Pinnacle Financial Group Incorporated 
Pioneer Credit Recovery Inc 
Portfolio Recovery Associates LLC 
Professional Bureau of Collections Inc 
Professional Credit 
Professional Recovery Services Inc 
Professional Recovery Systems LLC 
Ray Klein Inc. 
Recovery One LLC 
Redline Recovery Services LLC 
Regional Adjustment Bureau Inc 
Richard J. Boudreau & Associates LLC 
Sam Street PLLC Law Office 
Southwest Credit Systems 
Southwest Credit Systems LP 
Sunrise Credit Services Inc 
Sure Tech Recovery LLC 
Tiburon Financial LLC 
Transworld Systems Inc 
TRS Recovery Services Inc 
TSYS Total Debt Management Inc 
United Collection Bureau Inc 
United Collections Bureau Inc 
United Processing Inc et al 
Universal Fidelity LP 
Valentine & Kebartas Inc 
Van Ru Credit Corporation 
Ventus Capital Services LP 
Viking Collection Service Inc 
Vital Recovery Services Inc 
Wells Fargo Financial Acceptance Pennsylvania Inc 
West Asset Management 
West Asset Management Inc 
West Peak Financial Inc 
Western Control Services 
Westmoreland Agency 
Windham Professional Inc 
Worldzen Collection and Recovery LLC 
Zenith Acquisition Corporation 
Zwicker & Associates PC 

This list is certainly not complete, and a more detailed list is available through the Federal Trade Commission of debt collectors who violate FDCPA guidelines, and the Telephone Protection Act (TPA).

Contact FDCPA Lawyer DONALD LITMAN, JD, MFS to find out about your rights regarding debt collection and how to stop collector abuse.