Do I have to hire an attorney for my bankruptcy? 11 Answers as of May 11, 2011

What is the next step in our bankruptcy? My foreclosure has now gone to civil court, as the mortgage companies gave the ok to proceed with a short sale. I'm ready to go sign the paperwork this week. I never reaffirmed my 2 mortgages in my bankruptcy. That was my previous question, can they come after me for any monies since I did not reaffirm? All answers indicated no, they can't. Today I received court papers from the homeowners association. They're taking me to court for my association fees. I paid in Sept and left the home on Oct 1st. I believe the bank now owns the home. Can they hold me responsible for the fees? Must I hire an attorney?

Ask a Local Attorney. 100% Anonymous. Free Answers.

Free Case Evaluation by a Local Lawyer: Click here
Benson Law Firm
Benson Law Firm | David Benson
Surrendering a condo is tricky, especially when it comes to your obligation for homeowners association fees. Most HOA obligations prior to filing bankruptcy are dischargeable. However, HOA debt incurred after filing may be your responsibility unless you no longer have a legal, equitable or possessory interest in the unit.
Answer Applies to: Ohio
Replied: 5/11/2011
Law Offices of J. L. Haddock, PLLC
Law Offices of J. L. Haddock, PLLC | Jared L. Haddock
To the first question, I would answer yes - I do not believe anybody should ever attempt a bankruptcy without an attorney. As for the rest.is this a Chapter 7 case that has already been discharged? If so and there was no reaffirmation, then you owe the mortgage companies nothing (they are discharged if not reaffirmed). As for the homeowner's association, that is another matter. The homeowner's association dues that were incurred prior to bankruptcy filing are discharged. The dues incurred from the filing date forward and until the transfer of deed (whether through Sheriff's Sale or short sale) are still your obligation, though there may be some limited exceptions to this. I would certainly recommend consulting with an experienced attorney in your area, especially if you are intending to dispute the fees. I hope this information helps.
Answer Applies to: Michigan
Replied: 5/11/2011
Dearbonn Law Offices
Dearbonn Law Offices | Ajibola Oluyemisi Oladapo
If you feel your situation is complicated enough you may hire an attorney. You dont have to hire an attorney if you do not wish to, however, if you do not feel comfortable dealing with your lenders, you may proceed to hire one. If you file bankruptcy, you may discharge all the claims including your HOA fees since you have lost the house. As for hiring an atty for your BK, as earlier stated its entirely up to you. If you feel you can file BK pro se, then go ahead, if you feel you may not be able to navigate through all the legal issues involved, then hire an attorney.
Answer Applies to: Washington
Replied: 5/10/2011
Indianapolis Bankruptcy Law Office of Eric C. Lewis
Indianapolis Bankruptcy Law Office of Eric C. Lewis | Eric Lewis
You are not responsible for the mortgage as it was discharged in the bankruptcy without reaffirmation, but you are responsible for HOA dues that came due before the deed transferred via the short sale.
Answer Applies to: Indiana
Replied: 5/9/2011
William C. Gosnell, Attorney at Law
William C. Gosnell, Attorney at Law | William C. Gosnell
Yes you must hire a lawyer. It’s too complicated for most people to plow through the bankruptcy code. You are not liable for the homeowner’s fees.
Answer Applies to: Tennessee
Replied: 5/9/2011
    Bankruptcy Law office of Bill Rubendall
    Bankruptcy Law office of Bill Rubendall | William M. Rubendall
    There are special provisions in the bankruptcy code that give protections to HOA's that others don't have. The HOA fees incurred after bankruptcy until the property is no longer owned by you are owed. It doesn't matter whether you move out at an earlier time than foreclosure or short sale.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 5/9/2011
    Janet A. Lawson Bankruptcy Attorney
    Janet A. Lawson Bankruptcy Attorney | Janet Lawson
    You owe HOA fees post petition, until the time the bank actually foreclosed or there was short sale.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 5/9/2011
    Bankruptcy Law Office of Robert Weed
    Bankruptcy Law Office of Robert Weed | Robert Weed
    It's not when you left the home that controls on paying the HOA; it's when the bank actually forecloses. Until somebody else owns the house, you are the owner. And the owner has to pay the HOA. Talking to a lawyer would definitely be a good idea.
    Answer Applies to: Virginia
    Replied: 5/6/2011
    The Orantes Law Firm
    The Orantes Law Firm | Giovanni Orantes
    They can hold you liable for HOA fees until the time your name is no longer on title. You should pay the post-petition fees or your post-petition credit may be harmed.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 5/6/2011
    Steven D. Keist, Attorney at Law
    Steven D. Keist, Attorney at Law | Steven D. Keist
    Unfortunately you are responsible for homeowner association fees incurred from the date the Bankruptcy was filed until the Deed to your former residence is out of your name.
    Answer Applies to: Arizona
    Replied: 5/6/2011
    Ursula G. Barrios Law
    Ursula G. Barrios Law | Guillermo Machado
    You are liable for all HOA fees while you are legal owner of house, both pre and post BK filing.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 5/6/2011
Click to View More Answers: