Maybe Nic Cage's homes wouldn't have been gone in sixty seconds had he looked for protection from foreclosure from an experienced St. Louis Missouri or Illinois bankruptcy attorney. Cage's two New Orleans properties sold for $2.3 million and $2.2 million an auction last week. His foreclosures were the result of $6 million in unpaid back taxes dating all the way back to 2007. So, the question is, could I have stopped Nicholas Cage's homes from being sold at auction? If I were licensed in the state of Louisiana, the answer would be absolutely. A foreclosure can be stopped immediately with a chapter 13 bankruptcy; it can even stop one as a result of back taxes. Chapter 13 bankruptcy reorganizes your debt into one low monthly payment. It is a federal law that requires your creditors to take lower payments over a longer period of time. In Nicolas Cage's case, it would have allowed him to keep his home and pay back his taxes throughout the life of his bankruptcy. I'm sure that wouldn't have been a problem if he'd had another installment of National Treasure. "So, James, are you saying that there are lawyers that specialize in foreclosure?" There absolutely are. They happen to be the same attorneys who specialize in bankruptcy. An order called an "automatic stay" is the tool that chapter 13 bankruptcy issues. In the case of a foreclosure, an automatic stay will stop your lender from moving forward with the sale of your home. And that isn't all that bankruptcy can do. It can also prevent your creditors from harassing you, stop them from garnishing your wages, and even prevent the repo man from taking your car. If, as in Nicolas Cage's case, you've elected to let your home go to auction because of a foreclosure, there are still options. If your home is sold for less than you owe, the remaining debt is called a deficiency balanceand your creditors will do anything to collect it. A chapter 7 bankruptcy can eliminate that balance and help you find a permanent solution to credit card debt or any other debt you owe. There is more than one way to put your life back together after a foreclosure. But, the most important thing to remember is not to wait once you have received a notice. Taking immediate action by calling your mortgage company or a bankruptcy attorney can keep youand your familyoff the streets and on your way to eliminating the burden of debt. 

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