MORTGAGES – EFFECT OF BANKRUPTCY FILING

Property owned by a debtor which is subject to a mortgage becomes property of the bankruptcy estate (unless exempt) and the automatic stay against foreclosing the mortgage does not terminate until the property is sold or abandoned or the case is closed.  A relief from stay must be obtained under subsection (d) of Section 362 to lift the automatic stay.

Property is considered as property of the bankruptcy estate if it was acquired by the debtor within 180 days after filing for bankruptcy.  Such property passes to the bankruptcy estate (as opposed to being retained by the debtor), provided that the mode of acquisition is by way of bequest, devise or inheritance, as a result of a property settlement agreement with the debtor's spouse or from an interlocutory or final divorce decree, or from a life insurance policy or death benefit plan.