May 10, 2016 Bankruptcy No Comments

St Louis foreclosure activity in January 2016 was at the rate of 1 in every 1,533 households.  This foreclosure activity rate is down almost 16 percent from December and down over 25 percent (25.79%) from a year ago, according to the latest data from RealtyTrac[1].  Even with this recent downturn, there are still many foreclosure cases being filed in the state of Missouri.

What Steps Can Be Taken in Missouri to Stop or Delay a Foreclosure?

If you fall upon difficult financial circumstances and find that you cannot provide payment for your monthly mortgage, it is likely that the mortgage company will eventually file a foreclosure action in court.  Although it may seem like once a foreclosure case is opened the process will end with the homeowner losing their residence, it is always possible for the lender to voluntarily dismiss the foreclosure action. There are also some steps that can be taken by the homeowner to slow the foreclosure process including:

  • Filing for bankruptcy: When a petition for bankruptcy is filed under any chapter of the Bankruptcy Code, an “automatic stay” goes immediately into effect. This automatic stay prohibits creditors from taking any further collection action relative to any debt without permission of the court. This includes prohibiting the filing of a foreclosure action. While filing for bankruptcy under Chapter 7 usually delays the foreclosure action for several weeks or months, a Chapter 13 bankruptcy plan may allow for the payment past due mortgage payments over time and allow the homeowners to keep their residence.
  • Approval of a workout/loan modification: In a loan modification or workout, the lender is essentially agreeing to modify the terms of the mortgage on a permanent or temporary basis to allow the homeowner to get back on track with their payments. Successfully complying with and completing a workout agreement can cause the lender to dismiss the foreclosure action.
  • Temporary deferment or forbearance: This is similar to a modification agreement and essentially involves the lender agreeing to allow the homeowner to miss one or two payments due to a temporary but serious financial hardship. The missed payments are added onto the end of the loan.

Contact an Experienced Foreclosure Attorney in Missouri

The Missouri General Assembly sets forth the Missouri Revised Statues which apply to foreclosures [2].  These laws can be difficult to understand and complicated to apply to your individual situation making it necessary to seek the advice of a skilled attorney who can discuss all of the options that may be available to you.  Consider contacting an attorney who is familiar with both Missouri and federal laws to discuss the specifics of your case even before you contact your mortgage company so that you can best understand your rights.  Call Kenneth P. Carp today at (636) 947-3600 to schedule a free consultation to discuss your case.



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