How can we go back and reaffirm our home after our bankruptcy file was discharged? 28 Answers as of June 24, 2013

Our lawyer was absent for our trustee hearing and left the firm during our case without notifying us. Our chapter 7 bankruptcy (due to failed business) has been discharged, but we have now discovered she did not inform us that we needed to reaffirm our home before the discharge, or the bank account that we must keep. Our bank now says they can't reaffirm with us. How can we fix this?

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Breckenridge and Walton
Breckenridge and Walton | Alan D. Walton
Nothing is broken. As long as you pay on your home, you are safe from foreclosure. Most knowledgeable bankruptcy attorneys will NOT reaffirm home loans. Your bank is leading you against your attorney who did the right thing for you.
Answer Applies to: Michigan
Replied: 9/28/2011
D T Pham Associates, PLLC
D T Pham Associates, PLLC | Duncan T Pham
If you have failed to reaffirm your home mortgage during the pendency of your bankruptcy filing, you may be facing foreclosure very soon, unless you can get your mortgage reinstated or modified.
Answer Applies to: Texas
Replied: 9/16/2011
Dan Wilson Bankruptcy
Dan Wilson Bankruptcy | Dan Wilson
I never allow my clients to reaffirm. Reaffirmation means you are taking back the debt you just discharged. You don't have to reaffirm a mortgage. So long as you make the payments creditor cannot foreclose. But what happens if you reaffirm and a couple years later you decide you just cannot afford the keep the house or you get tired of owing $300,000 for a house that is worth $200,000. You are stuck unless you can come up with the difference. The bank will threaten all sorts of stuff, like you cannot pay on line or cannot pay by automatic withdrawal. Big deal. All the above is academic because you must reaffirm before the case closes. Its too late. Don't know what you mean by bank account you must keep, but if it involves reaffirmation of a debt don't do it.
Answer Applies to: Colorado
Replied: 9/16/2011
Grace Law Offices of John F Geraghty Jr.
Grace Law Offices of John F Geraghty Jr. | John F. Geraghty, Jr.
A Motion to ReOpen for the limited purpose of reaffirming the property.
Answer Applies to: Georgia
Replied: 6/23/2013
Janet A. Lawson Bankruptcy Attorney
Janet A. Lawson Bankruptcy Attorney | Janet Lawson
You do not need to reaffirm a home mortgage! The code does not require it. Just keep making your payments.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 9/16/2011
    Bird & VanDyke, Inc.
    Bird & VanDyke, Inc. | David VanDyke
    Probably can't re affirm now. This shouldn't be a problem as most people dont re affirm mortgages. You can simply continue to pay and it should not be a problem.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 9/16/2011
    Indianapolis Bankruptcy Law Office of Eric C. Lewis
    Indianapolis Bankruptcy Law Office of Eric C. Lewis | Eric Lewis
    You cannot sign a reaffirmation agreement after the bankruptcy is discharged, it's too late.
    Answer Applies to: Indiana
    Replied: 9/16/2011
    Bankruptcy Law office of Bill Rubendall
    Bankruptcy Law office of Bill Rubendall | William M. Rubendall
    It is not typical to reaffirm a home mortgage since the lender retains its security interest in the property. You can keep the house as long as you make your regular payment.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 9/16/2011
    Judith A. Runyon, Esq. Attorney at Law
    Judith A. Runyon, Esq. Attorney at Law | Judith A. Runyon
    You are not require to reaffirm mortgages in any bankruptcy - only car loans in a chapter 7, if you want to keep the car. Never reaffirm mortgages.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 9/16/2011
    G. Anthony Yuthas & Assoc.
    G. Anthony Yuthas & Assoc. | Tony Yuthas
    Reaffirmations must be signed and approved by the court while your case is still active. This is normaly 60 days from your 341 meeting. You never have to reaffirm a loan and your bank has discretion here.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 9/16/2011
    Tucker Legal Clinic
    Tucker Legal Clinic | Samuel Tucker
    As long as the bank is happy with getting paid, why bother?
    Answer Applies to: Mississippi
    Replied: 6/24/2013
    Bankruptcy Law Center
    Bankruptcy Law Center | Bill Zurinskas
    Colorado bankruptcy law doesn't require that you reaffirm your home loan in order to retain the real estate, so most debtors do not reaffirm home loans. To reaffirm a debt, the reaffirmation agreement must have been made before discharge, so under your facts it is too late to reaffirm a debt. It is also unusal to reaffirm a bank account just to keep it. You should talk to another attorney about the effects of not reaffirming a debt.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 9/15/2011
    Law Offices of James Wingfield
    Law Offices of James Wingfield | James Wingfield
    Generally speaking you cannot reaffirm your debts after the bankruptcy case is closed. You could, in theory, file a motion to reopen your bankruptcy case and then file another motion to allow a reaffirmation agreement to be filed late. The real question is why do you feel the need to do so? A reaffirmation puts the personal responsibility for a particular debt back on you. If you were to have reaffirmed your debt, and you fall behind on your mortgage and the home is taken in a foreclosure, any deficiency (the amount due under the reaffirmed note) will be a liability that you still owe to the bank. The bank may sue you to recover the debt, or if they forgive the debt, you could end up with some large tax liabilities. The discharge you received relieves you of that problem.
    Answer Applies to: Massachusetts
    Replied: 9/15/2011
    Charles Schneider, P.C.
    Charles Schneider, P.C. | Charles J. Schneider
    Once the discharge is entered you cannot reaffirm.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 9/15/2011
    Property and Estate Law, PLC
    Property and Estate Law, PLC | Alisa Lachow-Thurston
    Most mortgages do not require a reaffirmation agreement during bankruptcy and as long as you continue paying the mortgage all will go as before and when you finish paying the house title is transferred to you. The good thing about not reaffirming is that in case you cant pay for the house and the bank forecloses you will be free from paying any deficiencies if the house is sold for less than the mortgage amount owed. Most of the time I advice debtors to not reaffirm unless they absolutely have to.
    Answer Applies to: Virginia
    Replied: 9/15/2011
    Law Office of Lynnmarie A. Johnson
    Law Office of Lynnmarie A. Johnson | Lynnmarie Johnson
    You generally do not reaffirm a mortgage in Michigan in a bankruptcy. The mortgage company may give you a hard time and try to say well you didn't reaffirm so we aren't going to report to the credit agencies that you are making your payments on a timely basis, but they cannot force you to sign reaffirmation papers or kick you out as long as keep sending your payments in. The mortgage companies like to blame this on the lawyers, but in fact it is the law in Michigan. That way if you discover a few years down the road that you can't make your mortgage payment and need to walk away from the house, they can't come after you for the deficiency.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 9/15/2011
    Carballo Law Offices
    Carballo Law Offices | Tony E. Carballo
    Mortgages need not be reaffirmed in California. Just keep paying. Chapter 7 does not affect a mortgage loan, which is a secured loan. Bank accounts are not debts that need to be reaffirmed anywhere. Only loans secured by liens on personal property, such as a car, may have to be reaffirmed if the bank insists and it is otherwise advisable (and the court approves it). Most bank employees, except those higher up in the bankruptcy department, don't know anything about bankruptcy or don't know that the laws of your state affect how federal bankruptcy laws are applied.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 9/15/2011
    Colorado Legal Solutions
    Colorado Legal Solutions | Stephen Harkess
    In general, reaffirming a home mortgage is a bad idea. It is not necessary to keep the house and a reaffirmation carried risks that are not worth the (limited) possible benefits of a reaffirmation. It is also a generally bad idea to reaffirm debts with a bank or credit union simply to keep an account with them. Generally you are better off getting rid of the debt and finding a new bank. However, if you want to reaffirm debts despite this advice and the creditor is interested in allowing you to do so, you can get an extension of the time to reaffirm and a reaffirmation can be done.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 9/15/2011
    Heupel Law
    Heupel Law | Kevin Heupel
    You have to reaffirm a mortgage prior to the discharge. Thus, it is too late to reaffirm the debt. However, it is never advisable to reaffirm a mortgage and most bankruptcy judges in Colorado will not permit you to do so. The bank is misleading you. As long as you pay your mortgage you can keep your home.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 9/15/2011
    North Sound Law, PS
    North Sound Law, PS | Spencer Bergstedt
    It's fairly simple. Your case needs Ro reopened, which involves filing a motion to reopen and paying a filing fee. Once reopened, you go ahead and file the reaffirmation agreement and thereafter your case will close again.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 9/15/2011
    Eranthe Law Firm
    Eranthe Law Firm | Cate Eranthe
    Why do you think you need to reaffirm your home loan? I don't know anyone who does this. To keep your home you must make the payments as due but this has nothing to do with a reaffirmation. I've never had a mortgage lender require an affirmation to keep the home and I would not sign off on it if they did. Your mortgage is secured by a lien against the property and does not require a reaffirmation to protect the lender's interest. If they refuse to send you statements, just keep making the payments. As to the bank account that is not a debt and could not be reaffirmed. Is there someone else in the firm you could speak with? It sounds like to would benefit from some sound advice.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 9/15/2011
    Ashman Law Office
    Ashman Law Office | Glen Edward Ashman
    First of all, report your lawyer to the state bar (and the whole law firm). Also report them to the United States Trustee. They may get disbarred (and should). As for reaffirmations, no harm was done. NEVER reaffirm a house. You can't now, but it would have been malpractice for your lawyer to have allowed it. With no reaffirmation, as long as you pay, you get to keep your home and the bank cannot take it, and you can walk with no penalty at any time if you want. If you reaffirmed, you'd lose that right to walk. Bank accounts don't get reaffirmed so that part of your post makes no sense.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 9/15/2011
    The Schreiber Law Firm
    The Schreiber Law Firm | Jeffrey D. Schreiber
    First of all, if you live in California, I am not aware of a judge who will approve a reaffirmation of a mortgage loan and allow you then to give up your rights under California law not to be personally liable due to the anti-deficiency statues, particularly if you have no equity. The anti-deficiency statutes provide that if in the future you lose your house in foreclosure, the bank cannot go after you on a first at all or for a second used as part of the purchase. All the bank can get is whatever they sell the house for. If you reaffirm and in the future there is a foreclosure, you could be liable for the entire unpaid balance. So if you reopened the case and spend the filing fee to do so, there is no guarantee the court would approve a reaffirmation any way. I do not understand why you need to reaffirm a bank account. If it is a credit card you are talking about and the bank is requiring you reaffirm to keep a checking or savings account with them, that is not sufficient reason for the court to approve a reaffirmation of a credit card, and most courts will not approve those either. If you are current on your mortgage loan, I do not see how the bank can do anything except take the payments if you bring them or mail them in. They may not allow automatic withdrawals or e mail payments, but the bank shouldn't want to take back the house just because you filed bankruptcy. They have enough bad loans to deal with without messing with someone making the payments.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 9/15/2011
    The Schinner Law Group
    The Schinner Law Group | Quinn J. Chevalier
    Answer: I think either your mortgage lender is wrong, or there has been a miscommunication. Heres how things usually work with homes and bankruptcy: Your mortgage lender lent you $500,000 to buy the home. In exchange, you gave them whats called a security interest in the home. That means that if you dont pay them back, they can take the home. Thats what a security interest is. And more than likely (because of the crappy market), you owe more to your lender than the house is worth. When you file for bankruptcy, one of the jobs of the trustee is to see if you have any assets that he can liquidate (sell for cash) to pay off your creditors. One of your assets is your home, but the trustee cant touch it because its a secured asset and your mortgage lender has first rights to all of its value. So the trustee probably abandoned the home to your mortgage lender, which simply means that the trustee is treating your case as though there is no home. This is very common. Because the home is abandoned back to your mortgage lender, your lender is free to do what it wants. If youre hopelessly late on your payments, it can foreclose. If youre current on your payments, it can just keep accepting your payments and everybody is happy. If youre a few payments behind, its free to try and work out a deal with you. But theres usually no reason why it would demand that you must reaffirm the debt. There might be more to this than meets the eye. You should probably talk to an attorney to see what your options are.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 9/15/2011
    Greifendorff Law Office
    Greifendorff Law Office | John Greifendorff
    Many misunderstandings in this question reaffirmation of your home? bank account you must keep? The firm from which your lawyer departed likely owes you a duty to consult with you and make right any error or miscommunications. Talk to them. If they are recalcitrant talk to the local bar association, if that doesn't work talk to the state bar association. You might also have a consultation with another attorney in the bankruptcy field. Check www.nacba.org to get a lead.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 9/15/2011
    Dan Shay Law
    Dan Shay Law | Daniel Shay
    I never re-affirm mortgages there is no need. Just keep making the mortgage payment and you keep the house.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 9/15/2011
    Jackson White, PC
    Jackson White, PC | Spencer Hale
    Why would you want to reaffirm a mortgage? You should be able to just keep paying on it and keep the home.
    Answer Applies to: Arizona
    Replied: 9/15/2011
    Law Offices of Steven A. Wolvek
    Law Offices of Steven A. Wolvek | Steven A. Wolvek
    I do not let clients reaffirm their mortgage nor does the court or bankruptcy code require you to do so. Reaffirmations are for consumer debts not mortgage obligations.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 9/15/2011
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