Posted by Ian(Honolulu) on March 14, 2002 at 04:33:22:
If the equity in the home is exempt and they can continue making payments then bankruptcy may not take their home away. There have been many cases like this in Florida for example. Another possibility is under Chapter 13 they can discharge some of their burdened debt and buy extra time to cure defaults on home mortgages. I’m sure there are other cases as well, but as I am no expert I won’t speculate as to circumstances I know nothing about. That being said, perhaps a course you might take is to persuade them to avoid bankruptcy completely. Like you said, unfortunately many people view it as a way to get a clean slate. The sad truth is that a bankruptcy can remain on a credit history for up to 10 years. It can demolish a FICO score, and often simply having it on record will be more than enough to scare away any potential lender on a home, automobile, you name it. It WILL haunt them for years to come. Make sure they understand this. There are instances in which bankruptcy IS the only prudent choice, but often this is not the case. If you can help them “see the light” and try to work through their problems perhaps it will earn their trust and better position you to further remove some of their debt (home) while making yourself a pretty penny. Just some suggestions.