Losing your home to foreclosure is among the most stressful financial setbacks you may have to endure. Federal and state programs may help you avoid foreclosure. If all else fails, filing for Chapter 13 bankruptcy might be your last and best hope to stop a foreclosure. The bankruptcy cannot actually stop the foreclosure, but it can provide you with temporary relief from creditors and a stay on the foreclosure process, allowing you to rearrange your finances and get back to making your monthly mortgage payments.

Things You Will Need

A mortgage

Counseling sessions

Repayment plan

Step 1

File a chapter 13 bankruptcy with the bankruptcy court (federal court) that serves your area. Search for the court that serves your area at www.uscourts.gov and insert your city, state and zip code in the court locator's search box.

Step 2

Include in your chapter 13 file: 1) A list of all your creditors and what you owe them. 2) A detailed account of your income, that is, how much money you make and how often. 3) List of all your property. 4) A list of all your monthly expenses, including food, housing, service bills, taxes, and so on.

Step 3

Attend credit counseling at an approved credit counseling agency. At these counseling sessions you will prepare a repayment plan to present to your creditors with the help of your counselor.

Step 4

Attend the meeting of creditors and present your creditor repayment plan. This meeting will be arranged by the court bankruptcy trustee or administrator. You will need to answer questions form your creditors.

Step 5

Attend the hearing of your repayment plan at the bankruptcy court of your area (South, Middle or North Florida Federal Courts). The judge will study your plan and carry out judgment. If the judge approves your plan you will have to abide by the repayment plan you prepared to save your home.


Tips & Warnings

Contact your court bankruptcy trustee and make sure your bankruptcy petition (step 1) and your chapter 13 repayment plan is complete and accurate before you attend the creditors meeting.

Hire a bankruptcy lawyer. Filing for bankruptcy is a complicated legal process, and you will need help from a professional.

Filing a chapter 13 bankruptcy does not save your home from foreclosure; it only gives you a chance to rearrange your finances so you can continue meeting your mortgage payments. If you do not meet your mortgage payments you will lose your home.

Be quick about filing a bankruptcy once you decide it is your only chance because it will only stay your foreclosure if you file before your lender completes the foreclosure sale.