Can I declare a bankruptcy on only a house? 12 Answers as of March 08, 2011

I was discharged from a Chapter 7 bankruptcy last year. It did not include the house. My ex husband and I still are on the title and mortgage for the house. I am going to quitclaim it to him and know I'm stuck on the mortgage until he refinances it under him. Can I declare a bankruptcy on the house alone? What if he doesn't refinance?

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David R. Fondren, Attorney at Law
David R. Fondren, Attorney at Law | David R. Fondren
What do you mean "it did not include the house"? Did you fail to list the house and loan on your schedules? Did you sign a reaffirmation agreement? Either way, you cannot file another bankruptcy this soon and get another discharge. If you did the first, speak to an attorney and get a confidential consultation about your rights and liabilities. You may be able to re-open the case and list the creditor, maybe not. If you did the second, from the way you phrased the question, more than 60 days has passed and you cannot rescind the reaff.
Answer Applies to: Missouri
Replied: 3/8/2011
Rhonda R. Werner Schultz, PL
Rhonda R. Werner Schultz, PL | Rhonda R. Werner Schultz
You can only be discharged in bankruptcy every 8 years. If you were discharged last year and did not include your house on that petition you will not be able to discharge the mortgage debt now.
Answer Applies to: Wisconsin
Replied: 3/3/2011
Carballo Law Offices
Carballo Law Offices | Tony E. Carballo
Your question clearly tells me that you are very confused and should really speak with your bankruptcy attorney about the situation. All your debts and properties were included in your bankruptcy because everything has to be included unless you did not tell the truth and did not list the house and mortgage in your bankruptcy petition as required by law. Don't do anything like quitclaiming the house until you consult with a lawyer first. Doing that could create a big problem for you and/or your ex husband. You should not be liable for the mortgage if you obtained a Chapter 7 discharge last year. Again, you need to clear up the situation by having your bankruptcy attorney explain to you the situation. Quitclaiming the house to your ex husband does not appear to have any benefit to anyone and it might be hazardous.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 3/3/2011
The Law Office of Mark J. Markus
The Law Office of Mark J. Markus | Mark Markus
I'm not sure what you mean by "declare bankruptcy on". Are you talking about discharging your obligations on the mortgage, or using bankruptcy to catch up on arrearages? If the loans against the house existed when you filed your Chapter 7 case, then your debt on them was already discharged. If you are talking about eliminating the liens against the property, that's a completely different story. You would not be able to do that at this point.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 3/3/2011
Janet A. Lawson Bankruptcy Attorney
Janet A. Lawson Bankruptcy Attorney | Janet Lawson
You were required to list that house in your prior bankruptcy. You testified and signed your papers under penalty of perjury that you listed*all * of your creditors. Had you done so you could have kept the house so long as you made payments *and *would have had the right to walk away now. You should consult a lawyer near you as the loan may be a non-recourse loan anyway.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 3/3/2011
    Mercado & Hartung, PLLC
    Mercado & Hartung, PLLC | Christopher J. Mercado
    No, you cannot file bankruptcy on specific pieces of property like a home. Moreover, you must wait 8yrs from the time your Ch 7 was discharged to file another Ch 7 (or 4yrs from a Ch 7 to file a Ch 13).
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 3/2/2011
    Ursula G. Barrios Law
    Ursula G. Barrios Law | Guillermo Machado
    If you did not sign a reaffirmation on house, the liability on such debt was presumably discharged in your BK. You can also check antideficiency statutes to see whether you have any liability on that property after surrendering it. You would not file another BK, just a year off a prior successful filing. Thank you.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 3/3/2011
    Law Offices of Michael J. Berger
    Law Offices of Michael J. Berger | Michael J. Berger
    You can only get a discharge in a Chapter 7 case once every 8 years. If you were "discharged from a Chapter 7 bankruptcy last year," you are not eligible to file a second Chapter 7 now. You should seek legal counsel before you quitclaim the home to your ex husband.

    Is there equity in the property? Quitclaiming the property to your ex husband does NOT relieve you of your legal obligations under the mortgage. If your husband does not refinance, you will remain legally obligated to pay the mortgage on the home, even after you have quitclaimed the home to your ex.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 3/3/2011
    Law Office of L. Paul Zahn
    Law Office of L. Paul Zahn | Paul Zahn
    If you already received a bankruptcy chapter 7 discharge last year, you cannot file for another bankruptcy at this time. As for quit claiming the property, I wouldn't suggest doing that until the property has been refinanced.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 3/3/2011
    The Carmichael Firm
    The Carmichael Firm | Booker Carmichael
    Yes you can file bankruptcy on your home. As for as your other debt is concern, it depends on what debt was discharged in your Chapter 7 bankruptcy and what is remaining.
    Answer Applies to: Louisiana
    Replied: 3/3/2011
    Ferguson & Ferguson
    Ferguson & Ferguson | Randy W. Ferguson
    You can't file another 7 for eight years.
    Answer Applies to: Alabama
    Replied: 3/3/2011
    The Shakoori Law Group
    The Shakoori Law Group | Rachelle Shakoori
    You can't file another chapter 7 for another 8 years from the previous filing. If you didn't reaffirm the debts, you may not to file another bankruptcy if you give back the house but if you quitclaim it to someone, then so long as they continue paying, the creditor shouldn't come after you.

    I highly recommend that you retain an experienced bankruptcy attorney in your jurisdiction to guide you through the complexities of bankruptcy law and procedure

    Disclaimer: Please note that this answer does not constitute legal advice, and should not be relied on, since each state has different laws, each situation is fact specific, and it is impossible to evaluate a legal problem without a comprehensive consultation and review of all the facts and documents at issue. This answer does not create an attorney-client relationship.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 3/2/2011
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