Foreclosure Fears Drive One in Five Bankruptcies

One in five people cite avoiding foreclosure as the main reason for choosing bankruptcy, according to the Consumer Credit Counseling Service (CCCS) of Greater Atlanta. In June, the national nonprofit financial counseling agency found that 21.6% of the 16,744 people who received counseling filed for bankruptcy to keep their home. That figure remained above 20% since April. “Our research shows that tens of thousands of Americans are turning to bankruptcy to avoid foreclosure,” said Suzanne Boas, president of CCCS of Greater Atlanta, in a corporate release. Anyone seeking to file for bankruptcy must receive credit counseling. CCCS of Atlanta accounts for nearly 20% of pre-filing counseling sessions nationally and is on track to counsel more than 200,000 individuals this year. Filing for Chapter 13 bankruptcy protects homeowners from foreclosure as long as they keep up with their monthly mortgage payments. In continued legislative assistance to distressed homeowners, a bill that allows bankruptcy judges to modify mortgage terms and cram down some of the principal on a loan lingers in Senate committees, according to reports from Housing Wire. Write to Jon Prior.

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