Potential clients who cannot afford to make their house payments often ask me whethetr if it is best to file bankruptcy or to hire an attorney to defend a foreclosure action.

There is no general rule since each situation is different.
In Ohio, mortgage holders are allowed to pursue homeowners for mortgage deficits. For example, if a homeowner owes $100,000.00 on their home and the home sells at a foreclosure sale for $60,000.00, the former homeowner is liable for the $40,000.00 deficit, plus attorney fees and court costs.

A bankruptcy discharge eliminates that liability.
On the other hand, if a homeowner wants to seek a mortgage loan modification, having an experienced attorney represent that person in the foreclosure action could allow the homeowner to stay in his or her home.

In many instances, both a bankruptcy and a foreclosure defense are necessary to achieve a client’s goals. The bankruptcy will eliminate unsecured debt (such as credit cards and medical bills) freeing up cash that can be used toward an affordable, reduced house payment.

Attorney Fred Boyk has the experience to guide a homeowner though both the bankruptcy and foreclosure processes. He can be reached at (419) 327-6160.