Can I renew my mortgage if I’ve filed for bankruptcy?

December 19, 2014

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Home ownership is a huge concern for many people who have filed for bankruptcy, and rightfully so, because it isn’t always a simple issue. Let’s start with the basics:

  • It’s possible for you to keep your home even if you declare bankruptcy. As long as your mortgage payments have remained up to date, your lender will likely be willing to have you continue them. (If, on the other hand, you’re already in default or you fall behind on your payments during your bankruptcy, your lender may realize on your home —this action is separate from your bankruptcy proceedings.)
  • Any equity in your home is considered an asset. In order to remain in your home, you’ll need to pay the amount of that equity to your trustee. (This is something you’ll need to discuss with your trustee to make sure it’s an option for you. More about that here.)

But what if you have already decided it’s in your best interests to keep your home, you’ve made all your payments without defaulting, and now your mortgage is up for renewal? Will your lender be willing to renew your mortgage if you’re still in bankruptcy (or you’ve recently completed it)? Sadly, there’s no absolute yes/no answer to that, because it will depend heavily on your lender.

As long as you’ve made all your payments on time, you may very well be able to renew with your current lender. After all, they’re likely far more interested in continuing to receive payments from you than they are in taking over ownership of (and responsibility for) your house. Bear in mind, however, that just as you’re not required to renew your mortgage with your lender when the time comes, neither is your lender required to renew it with you. You’ll want to discuss the possibility with them well in advance of your renewal date so that you can explore other options if needed (your trustee may be able to assist with this).

To find out more about your home ownership options during bankruptcy, call today for your free, no-obligation consultation: in Ottawa call 613-237-5555; out of town, call toll-free 1-800-517-9926 or book online.

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