My Client is Considering Bankruptcy ...said the Divorce Lawyer

Real Estate Agent with EXP Realty 414-525-0563 57026-90 Broker

We are often given a "heads up" by our referral sources that one of their divorcing clients will be calling to have us list their home along with some background on the case. They want us to contact them when we list the house . Our  contact with their client is often more frequent...and certainly less expensive for the client.

    We had gotten an email mentioning a client referral and the request to let the lawyer know when/if we had been contacted.  A couple weeks later...returning to what we still refer to as the "tickle file"...we had not been contacted and looking at other agent had listbannkruptcyed the house.

We dashed off an email letting the lawyer we have not been contacted by the client she referred to a couple weeks ago. "My client is now considering bankruptcy, I will keep you informed." Bankruptcy...the word has the same effect as fingernails on a blackboard for us....and know that this couple must feel have others that they have come to the "court of last resort" to be considering this action.

   We don't offer legal advice to anyone...and sooo appreciate when lawyers don't offer real estate advice to clients.  Filing for bankruptcy does not preclude doing a short sale.  Listing the house as a short sale allows someone to stay in the house and not pay what is probably their largest single bill. During times of unemployment which also may mean the loss of health insurance...there are tough decisions people have to make about their priorities with more bills to pay than money to pay them. There may be children to feed and clothe, necessary medications to buy, a vehicle that must be maintained....utilities have to be paid to stay on....and the list continues.

   What may also be the case....and we make no the homeowner may be entitled to a payment from the bank at closing if the house remains occupied until closing. This relocaton "funding" is a huge advantage when money is scarce and bills are not.

     If bankruptcy is still  legally advised...a short sale can still be done...listing the home as a short first...filing after closing or leaving the home out of the bankruptcy. We have had cases where couples were able to avoid bankruptcy by doing a short sale.

    If you or anyone you know for reasons of hardship...divorce, death, unemployment...some combination of reasons...Call Sally K. & David L. Hanson, Broker Associates with EXP Realty  414 525 0563  to find out the possible option of a short sale and the benefit doing one may bring to a particular situation.  If you do not live in Wisconsin, we  will refer you to an experienced agent anywhere in the country. Sometimes the best things in life are FREE...a short sale may be one of them  to begin the best next "happily ever after."

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Sally K. & David L. Hanson, ABR, CDPE, CSS, e-Pro,ILHM, REDS

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Sally K. & David L. Hanson
EXP Realty 414-525-0563 - Brookfield, WI
WI Realtors - Luxury - Divorce

That would be nice....only sometimes Brian England ...there are a lot of very good reasons to divorce....physical and emotional abuse are at the top of our list

May 16, 2019 07:02 AM #9
Roy Kelley
Realty Group Referrals - Gaithersburg, MD

Prospective home sellers will be in very good hands when they select you as their listing agent.

May 16, 2019 07:42 AM #10
Will Hamm
Hamm Homes - Aurora, CO
"Where There's a Will, There's a Way!"

Hello Sally and David,  Divorce is bad enough but bankruptcy is bad.  A short sale would make sense.


May 16, 2019 08:05 AM #11
Paul S. Henderson, REALTOR®, CRS
RE/MAX Northwest. - Tacoma, WA
Tacoma Washington Agent/Broker & Market Authority!

I too cringe at the word bankruptcy, Sally K. & David L. Hanson. Thank you for sharing this experience. 

May 16, 2019 09:03 AM #12
Grant Schneider
Performance Development Strategies - Armonk, NY
Your Coach Helping You Create Successful Outcomes

Good afternoon Sally K. & David L. Hanson - this is so complex.  I sounds like you have a great network of experts when working with divorce.

May 16, 2019 12:14 PM #13
George Souto
George Souto NMLS #65149 FHA, CHFA, VA Mortgages - Middletown, CT
Your Connecticut Mortgage Expert

Sally and David anything that can be done to avoid should be done.  Bankruptcy comes with some very negative consequences.

May 16, 2019 03:18 PM #14
Sally K. & David L. Hanson
EXP Realty 414-525-0563 - Brookfield, WI
WI Realtors - Luxury - Divorce

We agree George Souto it looks like the "easiest" thing to do....the long term effects should be considered.

May 16, 2019 03:24 PM #15
Kathy Streib
Room Service Home Staging - Delray Beach, FL
Home Stager - Palm Beach County,FL -561-914-6224

Sally and David- my takeaway is that anyone even thinking about this should get as much information they can from professionals so that they can make an educated decision. You two would be great on anyone's team. 

May 16, 2019 06:41 PM #16
Anita Clark
ColdwellBanker SSK Realtors ~ 478.960.8055 - Warner Robins, GA
Realtor - Homes for Sale in Warner Robins GA

Sally: Getting sage advice from an agent who has helped others in similar situations is invaluable and can often help avoid bankruptcy.

May 17, 2019 05:52 AM #17
Adam Feinberg
NYC Condo, Co-op, and Townhouse specialist

I am President of my Condo Association (NYC's version of an HOA). We are foreclosing on an owner that defaulted almost 10 years ago. We were due to publicly auction the apartment on April 3, but on April 1st, the owner filed for bankruptcy. Somehow there is still some equity in the apartment- despite the 10 years in default. The courts in NYC are crazy- which is also the reason why costs and procedures are so challenging here too- because we know if an owner defaults - getting the situation remedied is incredibly difficult unless the owner truly wants to fix the problem. I went to bankruptcy court yesterday as a creditor and it wasn't an easy setting- and hopefully after 10 years of torture- the court will dismiss the case with predjuice during the next appearance with the judge in about a month. The building is only 12 apartments- so having this go on for 10 years is difficult costing each owner in excess of $25,000. Hopefully this ends soon. I don't like the idea of foreclosing on anyone, but the owner has gotten lucky that the legal process in NYC is so difficult.

May 18, 2019 06:34 PM #18
Laura Cerrano
Feng Shui Manhattan Long Island - Locust Valley, NY
Certified Feng Shui Expert, Speaker & Researcher

This is pretty common even from what I see on my end of things. Good luck to everybody dealing with this.

May 18, 2019 11:06 PM #19
Lynn B. Friedman
Atlanta Homes ODAT Realty Call/Text 404-939-2727 Buckhead - Midtown - Westside -- and more ... - Atlanta, GA
Concierge Service for Our Atlanta Sellers & Buyers

Sally K. & David L. Hanson 
So much good advice and professionally prefaced by complete disclosure tht you are not lawyers! All the best - Lynn

May 18, 2019 11:37 PM #20
Muhammad Mushtaq
Weichert, Realtors® - SBA Group - Fall River, MA

Daly and david, please be careful when challenging an attorney on their advices to their client. They carry ego higher than mt Washington. I recently had to deal with one and his attitude was certainly not pleasant after.

May 19, 2019 01:32 AM #21
Sally K. & David L. Hanson
EXP Realty 414-525-0563 - Brookfield, WI
WI Realtors - Luxury - Divorce

We work with lawyers a  lot Muhammad Mushtaq  with our divorce niche to our minds...the good ones know what they don't know...and others assume they know it all ! 

May 19, 2019 04:44 AM #22
Marney Kirk
Cummings & Co. Realtors - Towson, MD
Towson, Maryland Real Estate

Hi Sally and David, you are right, best to defer to the lawyer for legal advice. It can be so heartbreaking when sellers feel their only choice is bankruptcy. 

May 19, 2019 12:25 PM #23
Kimo Jarrett
WikiWiki Realty - Huntington Beach, CA
Pro Lifestyle Solutions

How profitable must an opportunity be to spend countless hours dealing with multiple circumstances and transaction issues before determining that an opportunity is best left to another agent or agency. Investing time and resources on a challenging transaction is a business decision, yet, not all business decisions are prudent or pragmatic, are they? Regardless, a great post. 

May 20, 2019 10:48 PM #24
Susan McCall, Independent Listing and Buyer Agent
Compass Realty Solutions - Portland, OR
Bringing buyers and sellers together!

Great information.  I haven't had to deal with many lawyers.  One of my very first listings was for a lawyer and he was smart enough to step back.  I told him up front that he couldn't change any of the language in the contract.

May 20, 2019 11:24 PM #25
Amanda S. Davidson
Amanda Davidson Real Estate Group Brokered By eXp Realty - Ashburn, VA
Alexandria Virginia Homes For Sale

Sally and David, you deal with such a complex niche and you navigate it successfully year after year. Hearing bankruptcy makes me cringe, should always be an absolute last resort. 

May 21, 2019 05:12 AM #26
Marte Cliff
Marte Cliff Copywriting - Priest River, ID
Your real estate writer

As you and I have discussed before - no two situations are exactly alike. You navigate far more twists and turns than those who don't handle divorcing clients.

May 21, 2019 07:46 AM #27
Georgie Hunter R(S) 58089
Hawai'i Life Real Estate Brokers - Haiku, HI
Maui Real Estate sales and lifestyle info

You have a very special niche in the real estate market, and I hope it works out for you.

Jun 17, 2019 03:56 PM #28
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Sally K. & David L. Hanson

WI Realtors - Luxury - Divorce
For All Things Wisconsin Real Estate...Call the Hansons
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