Foreclosures Rising In Memphis: Can Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Help?

According to the Nashville Business Journal, Tennessee foreclosure filings had been slowly sliding early in 2011. For example, RealtyTrac reported nearly 40 percent fewer foreclosure filings in May of this year than in May, 2010. However, foreclosure filings has recently inched higher as we near the end of 2011, particularly in Memphis and surrounding areas.

As reported by The Commercial Appeal, it was no surprise that the August, 2011 foreclosure rates for the Memphis area were noticeably higher than previous months. The data showed that the foreclosure rate was up a half-percentage point from the same point in 2010, rising from 2.10 percent to 2.60 percent.

The good news, however, is that Memphis' foreclosure rate was markedly better in August than the national rate of 3.43 percent.

Reasons for Rising Foreclosure Rates

Many reasons explain why millions of families have struggled to keep current with their mortgages. For one, the Bureau of Labor Statistics shows the national unemployment rate has remained around 9 percent - nearly double what it was in 2006 - 2007. Additionally, the drop in home values has created an underwater epidemic, with millions of homes worth less than what is owed on family's mortgage.

Luckily, those who qualify for Chapter 13 bankruptcy might be able to keep their homes even if they are currently facing foreclosure.

Advantages of Chapter 13 Bankruptcy

Chapter 13 bankruptcy is available to people who have enough disposable income to repay creditors over a three to five year repayment plan. So long as a person's income qualifies, he or she is not barred by a previous bankruptcy, and his or her debts do not exceed the maximum, then filing for Chapter 13 protection could be an excellent decision.

Once someone qualifies, he or she develops a repayment plan which is then approved by the court and creditors. After approval, the debtor gets to keep all of his or her property so long as they abide by the terms of the repayment plan. Upon the plan's conclusion, most debt is discharged and the debtor is granted a fresh financial start.

Anyone facing foreclosure or considering bankruptcy should speak with an experienced lawyer immediately to discuss their eligibility, as well as whether bankruptcy is appropriate for their situation.