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A Chapter 13 Mortgage Lien Strip May Remove Second Mortgage for Filers

Posted by: Admin User

A process known as lien stripping can remove a second mortgage for individuals seeking bankruptcy protection.

Many people are not aware of the benefit a mortgage lien strip. If you have taken out a second mortgage on your home to try and keep your head above water, but foreclosure is looming, filing Chapter 13 will halt the process, no matter how far along it is.

Chapter 13 bankruptcy proceedings have a potent tool that allows a debtor to remove the second mortgage. This is beneficial during a housing crisis that may have caused the value of a home to plummet below the amount of the mortgage.

The removal of the second mortgage is referred to as lien stripping, and it is legal in all 50 U.S. states. To qualify for this, the value of the debtor’s house must be lower than the balance of the first/primary mortgage, meaning the second mortgage is not supported by any equity, thus turning the second mortgage into an unsecured loan. This process may not be available to everyone, and for this reason, when declaring bankruptcy, it is necessary to discuss the various options that may apply with an Iowa bankruptcy lawyer.

In a Chapter 13 repayment plan, the second mortgage is regarded as an unsecured debt, like medical bills or credit card bills. Since the bills are paid on a pro-rated basis, in accordance with the court-ordered Chapter 13 repayment plan, the amount to be paid on a second mortgage becomes a mere fraction of what it would have been had the lien stripping option not been applied.

When the Chapter 13 repayment plan has been completed and the debtor has made all court-ordered payments, the second mortgage lien is permanently removed from the debtor’s property. Before choosing this route, it is wise to know the value of the residential home.

To this end, the home will likely need to be appraised. Additionally, homeowners need to check what their property tax appraised value is, because the recession may have caused property tax appraisals to come back higher than the appraised value of the home. Again, this is something that needs to be reviewed with an experienced Iowa bankruptcy lawyer.

Kevin Ahrenholz is an Iowa bankruptcy lawyer and Iowa bankruptcy attorney. To contact him, visit http://www.iowachapter7.com or call 1.877.888.1766.

Posted on Friday, March 15th, 2013 and filed under News and Press | Comments Off on A Chapter 13 Mortgage Lien Strip May Remove Second Mortgage for Filers .
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What Federal Income Taxes May Be Discharged in Bankruptcy?

Posted by: Admin User

There are some circumstances in which federal taxes may be discharged in a bankruptcy proceeding.
While it is possible to include taxes owed the IRS when you file for bankruptcy protection, there are very strict conditions that need to be met. If you are considering doing this, you must seek the experienced legal counsel of an Iowa bankruptcy lawyer.

If you are filing a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, which is by far the most common bankruptcy declared in the U.S., federal income taxes may be discharged only if the taxes in question were due to be filed more than three (3) years ago, and were actually filed more than two (2) years ago, and were assessed on previous returns at least 240 days prior to seeking bankruptcy protection, and you did not file a fraudulent tax return or try to avoid paying taxes. The issue is that if you are seen to have made an effort to pay the taxes, but just did not have enough funds at your disposal, you may be able to discharge your federal taxes.

The courts may consider discharging a tax debt if the IRS has not already filed a tax lien on your assets. If they have, the lien will then carry over through the bankruptcy, meaning the IRS may still seize your property to collect on your debt. By and large, debtors may find this process more beneficial for them, instead of agreeing to what the IRS refers to as an “offer in compromise.” That would, if the debtor accepts it, mean they must make payments for a long time to come.

Federal tax liens are a tricky area, and you really need to understand how this process may work, by consulting with an Iowa bankruptcy lawyer. For instance, any federal lien filed against property prior to a bankruptcy, should only attach to the equity you have at the time the bankruptcy petition is filed.

Make certain before you file for bankruptcy protection that you are up-to-date on all of your tax returns and amendments before going to the 341 meeting. The fact is there are a large number of bankruptcy trustees who refuse to have a 341 hearing if you are missing tax returns for the last four years. If information is missing, the trustee will not know if you have non-dischargeable tax liability, which makes a difference in how your case is handled. In other words, be prepared before filing Chapter 7, and do it in partnership with an experienced Iowa bankruptcy lawyer.

Kevin Ahrenholz is an Iowa bankruptcy lawyer and Iowa bankruptcy attorney. To contact him, visit http://www.iowachapter7.com or call 1.877.888.1766.

Posted on Tuesday, March 5th, 2013 and filed under News and Press | Comments Off on What Federal Income Taxes May Be Discharged in Bankruptcy? .
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