How long can I live in my house after filing a Chapter 7 bankruptcy? It’s no secret that a Chapter 7 bankruptcy will
not save your home from foreclosure. That’s the purpose of a Chapter 13 bankruptcy. A Chapter 7 will eliminate the ability of the bank to file deficiency suit against you and wipe out all your unsecured debts, but it will not allow you to make up your past due mortgage payments.
With that being said, the automatic stay provision of the bankruptcy code still stops any pending foreclosure proceedings against your home. Shortly after filing, the mortgage company will file a motion requesting the court to lift the automatic stay so that it can restart its foreclosure proceedings against your home.
After you file your Chapter 7, the lender will likely file its motion to lift the stay within a few weeks. The lender is required to give your 14 days notice of the hearing on the motion. If you decided to surrender your home in the Statement of Intention (a part of your bankruptcy petition and schedules), this motion is just a formality. Your attorney will not oppose the motion since you have chosen to surrender your home, and the court will enter an order allowing the lender to foreclose on your home.
In Georgia, the lender still has to advertise the foreclosure sale for four weeks in the county legal organ, or the newspaper in which banks are required to post their foreclosure advertisements. For instance, in Fulton County, that paper is the Daily Report.
You need to be aware that the bank has to start the foreclosure advertisement at the beginning of the month, as foreclosure sales are held on the first Tuesday of every month.
So for example, if you filed bankruptcy on November 4, 2013 and the lender filed a motion requesting relief from the stay a week later on November 11, the lender could get an order allowing them to initiate foreclosure proceedings by the November 25. The bank would then be required under Georgia law to advertise the foreclosure sale for the month of December and would be authorized to sell your home on the courthouse steps on the first Tuesday in January. You would then have roughly two weeks before a sheriff’s deputy show up to evict you.