Stripping Junior Liens in Bankruptcy
When people find themselves underwater on their home mortgages or simply needing more income, they may take out second or third mortgages, also called junior liens. Unfortunately, though, this can sometimes compound a person’s debt problems rather than help them. However, a Chapter 13 bankruptcy process known as lien stripping allows for certain junior liens to be reclassified as unsecured debt and thus potentially forgiven.
To learn more about your rights and options for debt relief and the possibility of removing your second or third mortgage, contact an experienced Houston Chapter 13 lawyer at the Russell Van Beustring P.C., today at 713-973-6650.
Understanding Lien Stripping
In order to get rid of a junior lien such as a second or third mortgage, the senior lien or liens must exceed the value of the property securing the lien. In other words, in terms of home ownership, you must be underwater on your mortgage. If your initial mortgage is upside-down, then any junior liens may be stripped. Additionally, a third mortgage can be stripped so long as the combined value of the first and second mortgage are more than that of your home.
Once a lien is stripped, it is treated as an unsecured and therefore non-priority debt in your bankruptcy filing. You will still likely pay a portion of this debt, but the process of lien stripping will reduce the amount of your total repayment plan by minimizing your secured debt.
At the Russell Van Beustring P.C., our legal team is committed to helping clients emerge from debt and recover their financial independence, and we will work diligently to help you reach a resolution through the bankruptcy system. For a no-cost legal evaluation of your case, contact a knowledgeable Houston bankruptcy attorney today at 713-973-6650.