If you are struggling to pay your mortgage and trying to avoid foreclosure, you are likely considering filing for bankruptcy or attempting a short sale. Many clients ask which option is better. The answer depends on your unique circumstances, but below are a few things to consider: •Treatment of deficiency balance. A deficiency balance is any amount that remains due and owing on the mortgage loan after the house is sold. In many states, including New Jersey, there is no guarantee that the mortgage lender will agree to waive the deficiency after a short sale. In some states, the law requires the mortgage lender to accept the short sale as payment in full. However, if you file a bankruptcy case, you can usually discharge all of your deficiency balance. •Your financial picture. In a short sale, the only debt being dealt with is your mortgage. Thus, if your financial struggles extend beyond your mortgage, a short sale only solves the one financial issue. When you file a bankruptcy case, you deal with ALL of your financial troubles. By filing a bankruptcy case, you can bring all of your creditors into your case and handle your financial issues at one time. •Time involved. The procedure for a short sale can be complex and time-consuming. A short sale involves several parties and at the end of the short sale, there is no guarantee that your sale will close successfully. When you file a bankruptcy case, you are provided immediate relief from your creditors. When you complete your bankruptcy, you will receive a discharge order that could potentially eliminate all or a large majority of your debt. If you are struggling to pay your mortgage and/or you are facing foreclosure of your home, you should contact Levitt & Slafkes, P.C. to discuss your various options. If you are interested in learning more about Chapter 13 bankruptcy cases or lien stripping, contact Levitt & Slafkes, P.C. We are experienced in handling a variety of bankruptcy issues. Our offices are conveniently located in South Orange, New Jersey. Please call us at 973-323-2953 or online to schedule your free initial consultation today.