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Own a House But Don't Live In It? You Could Lose It In Bankruptcy

For most folks filing bankruptcy, their greatest asset is almost always real estate.  That is certainly true here in the Gloucester County area. One of the biggest questions I get from people with whom I consult is, will I lose my house if I file bankruptcy?  The question I often ask is, it depends: is it your house or your residence?

Huh?  What difference does that make?  It's my house!  Well, I am here to tell you that it can make a big difference, and that difference comes in with what exemption you can use.  A residence is where you live, and is a key word in the federal home equity exemption used here in New Jersey.  The bankruptcy code provides an exemption for the equity "in real . . . or personal property that the debtor or a dependent of the debtor uses as a residence."  Learn more here.

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