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In these days of financial challenges and slumping economies, it’s become almost commonplace for many Americans to be threatened with foreclosure. Oftentimes, it’s the result of predatory lending, where lenders gave out weighty loans to anyone with a pulse. It could also be the result of an unforeseen job loss or a tragic disability and suddenly you and your family are being foreclosed upon and thrown out of your home.

When you’re facing an imminent situation like this, there are some options you can try to minimize the damage: talking to the lender about working out a deal, getting a loan forbearance or selling the house through a short sale are all possibilities. But they aren’t always successful. In that case, a bankruptcy may be the best course of action.

In both Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcies, the courts will issue what’s called an Order for Relief, a document that forces creditors to stop trying to collect and effectively gives you a stay of execution for three or four months as the bankruptcy is processing.

Of course, the lender can come back and stop the delay with a motion and continue selling the house out from under you. Even in these cases, you will often still get a couple of months of reprieve.

Bankruptcy, and specifically how they relate to foreclosures, can get exceedingly complicated, so having an attorney on your side may be the best way to help you hang on to your house and circumvent a financial tailspin.