The U.S. Supreme court ruled on Monday that struggling homeowners will not be able to get rid of second mortgages by filing for bankruptcy. The decision was unanimous with all 9 justices agreeing that filing for a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy does not enable homeowners to cancel a second mortgage while their homes are hardly worth the value of their first mortgage.
In a case between Bank of America and two Florida homeowners who attempted to cancel their second mortgages, the bank quickly fought back to keep the second mortgage liens. The homeowners said that their second mortgages were pointless because they had to first pay off their initial mortgages. Lenders argued that the debt could be paid in the future, once property values rose again.
Regarding the court’s decision, Justice Clarence Thomas said that they considered the constantly shifting value of real estate. “Sometimes a dollar’s difference will have a significant impact on bankruptcy proceedings,” he stated. According to CoreLogic’s report, by the end of 2014’s second quarter, approximately 2.1 million underwater homeowners held second liens.
A long running dispute between homeowners and mortgage lenders circled around the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals’ decision to support bankruptcy court in stripping Bank of America’s liens. For bankruptcy judges who have disagreed on this dispute, Monday’s ruling offers clarification.
Some consumer experts remain positive that bankruptcy will help struggling homeowners repair their property-related financial troubles. The most popular type of consumer bankruptcy is Chapter 7, which allows a court-appointed trustee to repay their debts and cancel the remaining, through selling their property. Over 700,000 cases were filed for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy last year.
If you are in a financial crisis and are considering filing bankruptcy, contact an experienced Miami bankruptcy attorney who can advise you of all of your options. As an experienced CPA as well as a proven bankruptcy lawyer, Timothy Kingcade knows how to help clients take full advantage of the bankruptcy laws to protect their assets and get successful results. Since 1996 Kingcade & Garcia, P.A. has been helping people from all walks of life build a better tomorrow. Our attorneys’ help thousands of people every year take advantage of their rights under bankruptcy protection to restart, rebuild and recover. The day you hire our firm, we will contact your creditors to stop the harassment. You can also find useful consumer information on the Kingcade & Garcia website at www.miamibankruptcy.com.