For Underwater Georgia Homeowners Who Are Delinquent, Atlanta Bankruptcy Provides Relief
New statistics show that one in every three U.S. homeowners is underwater on their mortgage.
In Atlanta, the numbers are even worse. More than half of homeowners in the Atlanta area owe more on their home loans than their homes' market values, according to the data by MSNBC.com.
However, the picture may not be as bleak as it looks.
Despite the growing number of underwater mortgages and reported foreclosures, most homeowners are still able to keep up with their mortgage payments.
Only 8.3 percent of underwater borrowers in Atlanta are delinquent by 90 days or more - less than the national average of 10 percent.
What does, however, is debt related to home equity borrowing and credit card charges that occurred when homeowners' home values were on the rise.
If recent economic growth stalls and unemployment rises, homeowners with overwhelming debt are likely to be forced into delinquency and, eventually, foreclosure - just as they were when we first entered the recession.
Since negative equity discourages potential home buyers, it may have a negative effect on the economy as a whole.
But there's good news for homeowners. While it's not possible to control home value - and thus equity - it is possible to control debt.
By restructuring debts with Chapter 13 bankruptcy in Atlanta, struggling families can often reduce or eliminate unsecured debts such as credit card and medical debt, freeing up more funds for mortgage payments.
At the same time, Chapter 13 provides legal protection from foreclosure. Thanks to an action known as the automatic stay, it's possible to protect against repossession and even stop foreclosure proceedings once they've begun.
Unless you need to sell your house, home value is just a number. With freedom from debt, you can protect your property and your ability to make payments, providing time for your equity to rise and your finances to recover.
Find out if Chapter 13 or another type of bankruptcy is right for you by calling the DebtStoppers Bankruptcy Law Firm at 800-440-7235 for a free one-on-one debt analysis with one of our experienced Atlanta bankruptcy attorneys.
More Blog Entries:
One in Three Mortgage Holders Still Underwater, by John W. Schoen, MSNBC.com