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What Happens to My Investment Property During Bankruptcy?

What happens to my investment or rental property when I file for bankruptcy? Short answer: the outcome depends on if you are filing Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy. The “long answer” is below.

Chapter 7 Bankruptcy and Investment Property

During Chapter 7 bankruptcy, a bankruptcy trustee cancels most if not all of your debts. This is often done through liquidating your assets and property in order to repay your creditors. This is why Chapter 7 bankruptcy is commonly referred to as “straight” or “liquidation” bankruptcy.

Under Chapter 7 bankrputcy, the homestead exemption does not protect any nonresidence real estate. This means that if you have equity in your investment or rental property you may lose it during a Chapter 7 bankruptcy.

Chapter 13 Bankruptcy and Investment Property

During Chapter 13 bankruptcy you are able to keep your property. This includes any investment real estate. You are required to pay back all, or a portion of your debts, over a three to five-year period.  You also might be able to reduce the amount of a loan – this is greatly dependent on the situation. This is often called “reorganization” bankruptcy because you’re reorganizing your debt to eventually pay off all debts.

It’s important to note that if you have investment property the income from it may increase the amount of the monthly payment you are required to pay to the bankruptcy trustee.

Work With a Bankruptcy Lawyer

Bankruptcy law can be confusing. It can also be difficult to determine which form of bankruptcy works best for your debt situation. Because of this, it’s advised that you work with a bankruptcy lawyer. They will assess your situation and provide you with advice on which form of bankruptcy to file. After that is determined, they’ll also advise you on next steps.

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