Are you currently in bankruptcy or considering filing bankruptcy? Even during bankruptcy, there is a way to sell your house and get a fresh start. We understand that this happens and are willing to work with you during any part of the process.
The short answer is “Yes”; however, you need to understand the long version of the answer, too.
When you file for bankruptcy relief (whether it’s Chapter 7, Chapter 11, Chapter 12 or Chapter 13) an entity called the “Bankruptcy Estate” is created by the Bankruptcy Court. The “Bankruptcy Estate” consists of all of the assets that you own at the time that you file the bankruptcy.
It also includes the income you receive for some (if not all) of the time your bankruptcy case is open in Chapter 11, 12 and 13 cases. (Note: income that is earned after the case is filed is NOT part of the Estate in Chapter 7 cases.) So if you own a house when you file for bankruptcy, it becomes part of the “Bankruptcy Estate”.
This means that the Bankruptcy Court has control over ALL of your assets. (In a Chapter 7 bankruptcy case, the Chapter 7 Trustee can sell it to get money to distribute to your unsecured creditors.)
The Chapter 13 Trustee can’t sell your house, but will consider its equity in computing the Chapter 13 Plan payment. Here is the important part: it also means that because the Bankruptcy Court has control, you must get Court approval before you can sell your house.
You must file a “Motion to Sell” with the Bankruptcy Court. The “Motion to Sell” allows the Court to determine what should happen with the proceeds from the sale of the house. The Bankruptcy Court also oversees the sales process to ensure that the terms and conditions are reasonable. You can expect it to take about one month from the date the “Motion to Sell” is filed until it is granted.