HELOC's or Home Equity Lines of Credit were pretty popular during the boom years and I'd put a good bet are a thing of the past for near distant future. Riverside County has lost 8 years of value in homes. I've seen many homes that are worth 50% of what is owed on a 1st mortgage. Homes that are underwater to the point that you owe more to the first then the home is worth are eligible for lien strips in Chapter 13 bankruptcy. This has been enticing enough for some clients that I have that even though their unsecured credit is minimal and typically would not fit a profile that had bankruptcy in their future, have led them to seek bankruptcy relief as a form of restructuring their mortgage. The amount of loan modifications that are being denied and peoples desire to get out of bad housing deals make bring them to the steps of the bankruptcy court. If you are in this position call a riverside bankruptcy attorney to discuss your options.
January 2011 Archives
Chapter 13 bankruptcies are twice the usual amount on a monthly basis in Riverside County. I filed 3 Chapter 13's last month and was amazed at how slow the trustee's were to responding to issues in my cases. When I inquired I was told that filings are around 1000 for the month of December as opposed to the typical 500 that their office reviews. I don't know if higher income people are needing to file or more people are being enticed with the potential for discharging 2nd mortgages and HELOC loans. I know 2 of the cases that I filed the clients qualified for Chapter 7 but chose to do a 13 because of a 50k dollar HELOC loan that we could discharge through the bankruptcy with the making of minimal payments over 3 years. The chapter 13 trustees while busy are still extremely persistent in examining the cases that I have sent over. They even went to the point of calculating my clients commute mileage when I put in an expense of 650 dollars for transportation costs. They thought that 550 was more reasonable based on their commutes. I hadn't even calculated commutes and took my clients at face value and don't know costs for oil changes etc which all get wrapped up in that expense. Even with the magnifying looking eye of the Chapter 13 office for many people it is the best way to go if your house is really upside down and you want to keep it. Either paying back arrearages or getting rid of 2nd homes makes Chapter 13 a better advantage to a 7 for some clients