After Bankruptcy, many clients wonder how fast they will have to move out of the house in cases where it is the intention of the debtor to surrender the house. In the Northwest Georgia area, it can be difficult to find the right place to rent. No one wants to rush out and sign a lease without having time to investigate the area. At the same time, a most debtors want to stay in their house as long as they can so that they will be able to save money for the future rent.
In a Chapter 13 and a Chapter 7, the automatic stay stops all creditor actions. Even in cases where it is the intention of the debtor to surrender the house, a mortgage company will file a Motion for Relief so that they may begin the foreclosure process. As a general rule, a hearing will be held in the Bankruptcy Court in Rome, GA approximately thirty days after the Motion for Relief is served on the debtor.
After the Motion for Relief is granted, the mortgage company will begin advertising your house for foreclosure in the local newspaper. In Georgia, a mortgage company must advertise your house in the legal organ of your county for four consecutive weeks before the foreclosure date. As a general rule in Georgia, foreclosures take place the first Tuesday of every month.
If your bankruptcy case was just filed in Georgia, you should have somewhere between two and three months before you have to move out. However, some mortgage companies may drag their feet before they start foreclosure. I have seen some cases where the debtor stayed in the house rent free for one year before the mortgage company started foreclosure!
I have also seen a case where the debtor moved out of the house and then mortgage company called the debtor and begged them to move back in. In that case, the mortgage company reworked the loan and the debtors did in fact move back in. It doesn’t hurt to ask your mortgage company if they would be willing to do a loan modification.
If you decide to move out, make sure you give your new address and phone number to your bankruptcy attorney so that they will be able to keep you updated on your bankruptcy case.