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Foreclosure Defense

Fresno Foreclosure Defense Attorney Protects Homes from Seizure by Creditors

Astute bankruptcy lawyer in central California helps you keep your home

Home ownership is a major share of the asset portfolio for many people as well being an important part of family life. But if bad luck or financial pressures cause you to fall too far behind on your mortgage payments, the bank may try to foreclose and force you out. If you are in the midst of a foreclosure, or even if the bank has already gotten a judgment against you, it might not be too late to save your home through bankruptcy proceedings. At Gates Law Group, A Professional Corporation, we have protected homes and other properties from the grasp of foreclosing banks and other lenders for four decades.

How bankruptcy stops foreclosures

When a bank loans you money to purchase a home or other real estate, it secures a lien on the property. If you fall behind on your mortgage payments and can’t catch up, the bank has the option of filing an action in state court to foreclose on the property, which terminates your ownership. Filing for bankruptcy almost always stops this process, because it imposes an automatic stay that blocks any attempt by your creditors to pursue their claims outside of the bankruptcy process. There are two exceptions to an automatic stay:

  • If you previously filed a bankruptcy that was dismissed less than one year ago, the automatic stay lasts only 30 days.
  • If two bankruptcies you previously filed were dismissed within the past year, you don’t get an automatic stay.

In either case, you will need to prove that you did not file the dismissed bankruptcy in bad faith. The bank can file a motion to lift an automatic stay, although you may oppose that motion and the court will not grant it without good reason. If we represent you, we will take all necessary steps to put the automatic stay in place and oppose any motion to lift it.

How bankruptcy affects your home

Once you have an automatic stay in place, what happens to your home depends on which type of bankruptcy you file. If you want to stay in your house and you are earning enough money to pay off some of your debts, your best option is a Chapter 13 bankruptcy. It requires you to continue to make your current mortgage payments but it may give you three to five years to pay off the arrears. If you don’t have enough money for a Chapter 13 repayment plan, you may be better off filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. Although the bankruptcy trustee appointed to manage your bankruptcy will likely sell your home to pay your creditors, you have the option of requesting a homestead exemption, which means that when the house is sold, you get paid up to the limit of the exemption. Meanwhile, the automatic stay gives you time to find alternative housing or, possibly, work out a deal with the bank. As your bankruptcy counsel, we can advise you on your best course of action and help you achieve the best feasible outcome.

Contact a dedicated California foreclosure defense lawyer for a consultation

Gates Law Group, A Professional Corporation helps homeowners stop foreclosures through the bankruptcy process. Please call 559-432-9944 or contact us online to schedule a consultation. We serve clients from our main office in Fresno and locations in Paso Robles and Visalia.

COVID-19 Notice

These are unquestionably difficult times. We understand the word "crisis". Usually, people do not come to us just to say hello. They come with their problems and we have to respond quickly. We understand they need help.

The problems do not stop because of the presence of the COVID-19. Assistance from our office will continue. We have the technology available to provide our clients with continued quality legal services in order to protect their interests. We can meet our clients virtually whether by telephone or video. We can meet our clients in person but with special arrangements and implemented safeguards.

In spite of the pandemic, life does not stop. You may continue to have legal needs. Some people will have greater needs than others. We stand ready to help whatever the circumstances.

Your continued faith in us never goes unnoticed.

Allowing us to help you is a privilege we take very seriously. Gates Law Group, A Professional Corporation Tough. Competent. Understanding.

Our Office
  • Fresno Office
    2445 Capitol St
    Ste 150A
    Fresno, California 93721
    Phone: 559-432-9944
    Fax: 866-740-6678
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