The COVID-19 pandemic along with the expiration of the eviction moratorium is expected to fuel a rise in bankruptcy filings at the beginning of 2022, according to an Indianapolis-based lawyer.
After the eviction moratorium ended over the summer the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau put new rules into place to curb foreclosure.
“What the mortgage company cannot do under the new rules is they cannot foreclose unless the borrower has been behind for over 120 days,” said Indianapolis bankruptcy attorney Mark Zuckerberg.
But unless those rules are extended beyond the new year, Zuckerberg said he is expecting a flood of bankruptcy cases not seen since the housing crisis a decade ago.
People generally file for Chapter 7 or 13 after suffering a significant event that hurts their finances.
“It's either divorce, loss of job, medical bills for death of a family member, and they just can't handle the burden of debt that they're under,” he said.
A person qualifying for Chapter 13 will be required to pay back what they owe over a three-to-five-year period.
“The bankruptcy code sets forth how the money is going to be passed out. It's called the priority system,” said Zuckerberg.
Chapter 7 releases the debtor from paying unsecured debts, such as credit card and medical bills, but you may be required to relinquish some luxury items.
“If you owe $100,000 on a house and you haven't paid on it for two years, because of COVID. You can't file bankruptcy and keep your house,” he said.
If you file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, it will stay on your credit report for 10 years; Chapter 13 will remain on your credit report for seven years.