How can I stop being harassed after bankruptcy? 12 Answers as of April 27, 2011

I filed Chapter 7 and included my house (mortgage) in the bankruptcy. It was discharged over a year ago and I have not lived in the house for that long as well. I am constantly getting mail from the city, sewer division and from the current mortgage holder and when I call and tell them this information I am told I am still responsible for the property because my name is still on record as being the owner. What can I do? Can I be sued for property violations or mortgage payments? I have tried to contact my lawyer and he will not return my calls or emails.

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Benson Law Firm
Benson Law Firm | David Benson
Unfortunately, the lender is generally not compelled to foreclose on the property or purchase it at a sheriff's sale. Your personal obligation may be discharged, but until title transfers you're still the owner of the property and thus responsible for maintaining the property. The best thing to do under these circumstances is to find a qualified attorney who can assist you in dealing with any discharged and post-petition creditors, as well as explore options for transferring the property out of your name.
Answer Applies to: Ohio
Replied: 4/27/2011
Burnham & Associates
Burnham & Associates | Stephanie K. Burnham
A Deed in Lieu of Foreclosure may be an option for you.

A Deed in Lieu is a Deed where you Quit Claim all interest that you have in the property to the Mortgage Company. Recording the Deed will stop the Town and Sewer Division from contacting you. Since the mortgage was discharged in Bankruptcy, they are not supposed to contact you to collect that debt other than required legal notices for Foreclosure, you should be able to refer the Mortgage Company to the Bankruptcy Court and give them your Docket No. Further contact from them may be a violation of Federal Law.
Answer Applies to: New Hampshire
Replied: 4/27/2011
William C. Gosnell, Attorney at Law
William C. Gosnell, Attorney at Law | William C. Gosnell
You are not liable, but make sure your bk lawyer included all of the above. Get your bk lawyer to write them a nasty but professional letter.
Answer Applies to: Tennessee
Replied: 4/27/2011
Bankruptcy Law Office of Robert Weed
Bankruptcy Law Office of Robert Weed | Robert Weed
You still are the owner so you have to be responsible for property violations. The city has the right to come after you for those. (I usually tell people don't move out.) The mortgage though is discharged in the bankruptcy. I get a couple calls a month form my bankruptcy clients with your complaint. I go back in front of the bankruptcy judge and ask him to sanction ("fine") the mortgage company. That gets it to stop and gets a few hundred dollars for the annoyance. Some judges would give a lot more than mine do here.
Answer Applies to: Virginia
Replied: 4/27/2011
The Davies Law Firm, P.A.
The Davies Law Firm, P.A. | Robert F. Davies, Esq.
What they are doing is a violation of the bankruptcy stay, and they could be punished for this. It sounds like your bankruptcy lawyer is not interested in helping you any further.

Call me, come in to see me, and I will put a stop to this, or take them to Federal Bankruptcy Court to get them punished. let's get moving on this for you. No charge for the telephone call and no charge for the first office visit.
Answer Applies to: New Jersey
Replied: 4/27/2011
    Law Offices of Michael T. Krueger
    Law Offices of Michael T. Krueger | Michael Krueger
    If your case was filed properly the city departments should have been notified that you are surrendering the property. You should have a certificate of discharge from the bankruptcy court. You can send a copy to the city departments and the mortgage holder stating that the home was discharged through bankruptcy.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 4/27/2011
    Indianapolis Bankruptcy Law Office of Eric C. Lewis
    Indianapolis Bankruptcy Law Office of Eric C. Lewis | Eric Lewis
    Until a surrendered property is deeded to the lien holder, you are responsible for the property, including zoning requirements, property taxes, etc. You are not liable for mortgage payments, as your personal liability has been extinguished by the discharge.
    Answer Applies to: Indiana
    Replied: 4/27/2011
    Janet A. Lawson Bankruptcy Attorney
    Janet A. Lawson Bankruptcy Attorney | Janet Lawson
    If you still own it, you are liable for the code enforcement problems. Just because you filed for bankruptcy does not mean they got the house back. They still have to foreclose and they may not do that for quite awhile. Your lawyer is dumb for not returning your calls. You have a good discharge violation case against the lender for harassing you after you filed for bankruptcy protection. Start logging all calls. Write down the date and time of each call. Find a lawyer who will go after them. Both of you can make money on this.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 4/27/2011
    Mercado & Hartung, PLLC
    Mercado & Hartung, PLLC | Christopher J. Mercado
    Your attorney is the best person to be able to straighten everything out for you. Sorry to say but keep trying him or her.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 4/27/2011
    Bankruptcy Law office of Bill Rubendall
    Bankruptcy Law office of Bill Rubendall | William M. Rubendall
    It sounds like the mortgage lender never foreclosed. Unfortunately, this means you are still the title owner. Try a letter to the lender. Ask them to initiate a foreclosure or allow a deed in lieu of foreclosure. You do not owe mortgage payments. Taxes and other property assessments are owed until foreclosure. Continue to send all bills relating to the property to the lender with a letter complaining about their failure to foreclosure. Let them know you intend to sue them if they ignore you. Also, seek an opinion from a real estate attorney. This is no longer a bankruptcy issue, so your prior attorney does not have to help you.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 4/26/2011
    The Law Offices of Alan M. Laskin
    The Law Offices of Alan M. Laskin | Jared B. Gaynor
    It all depends on where you live. In most places, you are completely liable for all post-petition utility bills until the home is out of your name. Your best bet is to try and either 1)speed up foreclosure or 2)offer a deed-in-lieu to get your name off of title. While you likely cannot be sure for post-petition mortgage payments (also depend on where you live and what occurred in your Chapter 7), any city code violations are your own responsibility.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 4/26/2011
    The Law Office of Mark J. Markus
    The Law Office of Mark J. Markus | Mark Markus
    If you still own the property, you are responsible for any debts that are incurred after your bankruptcy case is filed, so if there are utilities still being used (such as gas, power, water) you are responsible for those. Additionally, if the property is violating any ordinances or laws you can be responsible for those as well. There is no way you're responsible on a mortgage that was discharged in your bankruptcy case, so something isn't adding up there. You should have an attorney file an Order to Show Cause with the bankruptcy court for contempt against the mortgage lender.

    Are you still making payments on the property? If not, why hasnt any of the mortgage lender(s) foreclosed yet? Too many missing facts here to properly answer.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 11/4/2010
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