How do I get my house back in my name after bankruptcy? 26 Answers as of July 01, 2014

I filed bankruptcy in 2010 and did not reaffirm my mortgage. I have continued to make payments on my home. The house has increased in value but I cannot get a lower interest rate or refinance the home because my "paralegal" did not tell me that I had to reaffirm my house. I never missed a house payment but had other outstanding debts that I could not pay. How do I get my house back in my name? I have over 50K in equity that I cannot touch and bank is not willing to help.

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Barnhart Law Office
Barnhart Law Office | Bruce C Barnhart
Assuming that you had a no asset Chapter 7 case, the house should remain in your name. If you are trying to refinance, request a payment history from your current mortgage company and provide the payment history to the potential new mortgage company.
Answer Applies to: Nebraska
Replied: 7/1/2014
GARCIA & GONZALES, P.C.
GARCIA & GONZALES, P.C. | Richard N. Gonzales
The house has always been in your name. Filing BK does not change that. Find a different mortgage broker.
Answer Applies to: Colorado
Replied: 6/26/2014
Law Office of Melissa Botting | Melissa Botting
This problem is more prevalent in some parts of Texas than others. Having said that, there is no reason the bankruptcy changed the ownership of your house. Some of our judges will not sign reaffirmations for mortgages. A reaffirmation is a statement essentially that says 'I know I could stop paying on this in bankruptcy but I won't and I will be personally liable for the debt after the bankruptcy is over. The Texas constitution says that you can not be held personally liable for a mortgage. So, some bankruptcy judges say that the Texas Constitution prohibits them from approving a reaffirmation agreement on a mortgage. This becomes a problem because national mortgage servicing organizations do not like to deal with bankruptcy in the first place, let alone bankruptcies that need special handling due to the Texas constitution. If your judge does not grant reaffirmations on mortgages, you need to find a finance organization that will work with your circumstances or you may not be able to access your equity.
Answer Applies to: Texas
Replied: 6/26/2014
Ronald K. Nims LLC | Ronald K. Nims
It appears that you are confused (not surprising given that you dealt with a paralegal rather than a lawyer), since the bank didn't foreclose on your house (I assume since you're still living there and paying the mortgage), the house was never taken out of your name. The bank has a lien on the house but you're not personally liable on the mortgage. You can't refinance or modify the mortgage with your current lender - because you have a bankruptcy discharge on that debt, the bank can't do anything but accept your voluntary payments. You could refinance with another lender, the bank is still subject to all the normal non-bankruptcy laws on the mortgage including the right to pay it off.
Answer Applies to: Ohio
Replied: 6/25/2014
Law Office of Peter M. Lively
Law Office of Peter M. Lively | Peter M. Lively
You are still on title to the property unless the lender has foreclosed. You can refinance or sell, if you want, despite that your current lender isn't communicating with you.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 6/25/2014
    Stephens Gourley & Bywater | David A. Stephens
    Unless the house has been foreclosed upon it is in your name. You can refinance the house, although you may have to go to another lender. With that much equity you should be able to refinance through a different lender.
    Answer Applies to: Nevada
    Replied: 6/25/2014
    Moore Taylor Law Firm, P.A.
    Moore Taylor Law Firm, P.A. | Jane Downey
    What makes you think your house isn't in your name?
    Answer Applies to: South Carolina
    Replied: 6/25/2014
    Garner Law Office
    Garner Law Office | Daniel Garner
    This is a common misconception perpetrated by the banks. They choose not to report your payments to the credit bureaus after you file bankruptcy because you have the right (even under Oregon law without filing bankruptcy) to walk away from the debt with no recourse by the bank against you personally. Typically, the courts frown on reaffirming debts on real property, so you're stuck in a no-win situation. The only solution you have is to demand a record of your payments since filing, and then supply that record to the credit bureaus, so that other lenders can see that you have faithfully made your payments. Given that information, some lender other than your current bank may be willing to refinance the mortgage at a lower interest rate.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 6/25/2014
    Deborah F Bowinski, Attorney & Counselor at Law | Debby Bowinski
    You do not need to do anything to "get your house back in your name" after filing bankruptcy. The house has remained in your name. It sounds as though you may have used the services of a Bankruptcy Petition Preparer when you filed your case. They are not "paralegals" necessarily, nor are they permitted to or qualified to offer you legal advice regarding any aspects of your case. It is actually a good thing that you did not reaffirm your mortgage. I can't think of any situations where it makes sense for a debtor to do so. If your current lender will not work with you to modify or refinance your mortgage loan then you should investigate other lenders. If you have the income to qualify you for a loan, then you should be able to find a lender willing to do a refinance.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 6/25/2014
    Danville Law Group | Scott Jordan
    First of all, you house is still in your name, legally. You own title to the house, so you can keep, refinance or sell it. If your bank is requiring a reaffirmation, you have two choices: 1) Re-open the bankruptcy and file the reaffirmation. 2) Find a new bank to refinance. Yours is one of the reasons individuals should not rely on the word of a paralegal who is not an expert in the law.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/25/2014
    Goldsmith & Guymon
    Goldsmith & Guymon | Marjorie Guymon
    The house is in your name. Just go finance with another lender.
    Answer Applies to: Nevada
    Replied: 6/25/2014
    A Fresh Start
    A Fresh Start | Dorothy G Bunce
    Really - you expected a paralegal to commit a criminal offense by giving you legal advice? Not cool!
    Answer Applies to: Nevada
    Replied: 6/25/2014
    214bankruptcy.com
    214bankruptcy.com | Rustin Polk
    I am guessing that the reason your paralegal did not tell you that you had to reaffirm the house is because you are not required to reaffirm it. In fact, reaffirming a mortgage as part of a bankruptcy case is usually a terrible financial move. If you are dealing with a bank that does not understand that you still have valid ownership in the property then go to another bank.
    Answer Applies to: Texas
    Replied: 6/25/2014
    Eranthe Law Firm
    Eranthe Law Firm | Cate Eranthe
    Go to another lender. There is nothing about a reaffirmation that changes title of the house and no compelling reason to reaffirm a mortgage (in my opinion). It's not clear from your post if you are trying to sell your home or refinance it. If your payments are not being reported to the credit bureaus, you can obtain and send in your own payment history. If there was actually a change in title then you need to obtain the deed and take it to an attorney to figure out what happened. In all cases it is the best course to seek counsel from a local knowledgeable bankruptcy attorney before filing anything. Since that ship has sailed you now need to see a knowledgeable local real estate attorney to clear your title if that is an issue.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/25/2014
    The Troglin Firm | William M. Troglin
    The house is still in your name you simply have no personal liability on the mortgage. When you bought the house the Seller conveyed the title to you by a Warranty Deed. In order to pay for the house you had to borrow money and you gave the lender a Security Deed or Deed to Secure Debt to secure the loan. You are not required by bankruptcy law or by the mortgage lender to Reaffirm the debt (put your personal liability back on the debt) - as long as you make the payments you can stay in the house, if you don't pay the lender can foreclose their loan deed and take title to the property. What you have given up is the right to continue to have the credit history on the loan up dated on your credit report. Also, since you have no personal liability on the note you cannot modify it or refinance it. In order to recover those benefits you would have to reopen the case then sign and file a reaffirmation agreement. The Court Cost to reopen the case is $260.00 and I would suggest you talk to the lender's bankruptcy department to make sure they are willing to allow you to reaffirm the debt at this point in time.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 6/25/2014
    Idaho Bankruptcy Law | Paul Ross
    Use a different lender.
    Answer Applies to: Idaho
    Replied: 6/25/2014
    Patrick W. Currin, Attorney at Law | Patrick Currin
    Your house was and has always been in your name, only your mortgage has not been reporting to credit services because your payment has been optional due to the fact your didn't reaffirm. You can access your equity only by selling.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/25/2014
    Hicks, Massey & Gardner, LLP
    Hicks, Massey & Gardner, LLP | Robert M. Gardner, Jr.
    The lack of a reaffirmation agreement does not remove the house from your name. You are the owner of the house, can borrow money against it, or sell it just as if you had never filed bankruptcy. The only problem you would have, and the one you are dealing with now, is that your current mortgage company does not consider you to have an open loan with them because of the discharge. Thus, they do not want to deal with you on refinancing a loan and violating the discharge order entered against them. To refinance, just use a different mortgage company. To sell the house, you would still have to pay off the lien on the house, so have a closing attorney get a payoff from them.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 6/25/2014
    Law Office of Lynnmarie A. Johnson
    Law Office of Lynnmarie A. Johnson | Lynnmarie Johnson
    The house is still in your name, your mortgage company is just refusing to deal with you because of your not reaffirming the house. Go to a different mortgage company and refinance. Let them know about the bankruptcy upfront and you may need to get an audit done by your old company and sent to you showing that you have made all the payments on a timely basis because they are probably not reporting it to the credit bureaus either.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 6/25/2014
    Musilli Brennan Associates PLLC
    Musilli Brennan Associates PLLC | John F Brennan
    See an attorney, but it may well be that due to your previous decisions you are effectively renting from the bank at this point.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 6/25/2014
    Janet A. Lawson Bankruptcy Attorney
    Janet A. Lawson Bankruptcy Attorney | Janet Lawson
    The house is in your name. There is NO legal requirement to reaffirm mortgage debt. There was one case that seemed to say that. That court Recently corrected its self. Judges are split on whether or not they can issue "comfort orders" to the lenders. I suspect a lawsuit would be required to change this pig headedness by lenders.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/25/2014
    CARL C SILVER ATTORNEY AT LAW
    CARL C SILVER ATTORNEY AT LAW | Carl C Silver
    I am sure the house is still in your name. Try different banks.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 6/25/2014
    Law Office of Shawn N. Wright | Shawn N. Wright
    Most people do not reaffirm mortgage loans when filing bankruptcy. I"m not sure what state you reside in (because laws differ from state to state), but in my practice in Pennsylvania, it is somewhat rare to reaffirm a mortgage. The house is still in your name; I am not sure what you are talking about that the house is not in your name. The bankruptcy filing did not remove your name from the title or deed to your property. Moreover, if you want to refinance, simply go to a new bank and refinance. Your mortgage broker will get a payoff from your existing mortgage company and you will then get a new loan. The problem you complain of is that your existing mortgage company won't agree to refinance your existing loan. I don't think that's a huge problem. Just go to a different mortgage lender and if your credit and income ratios are acceptable, then they should refinance you. It's been 4 years since the bankruptcy, so that's more than enough time to wait to refinance.
    Answer Applies to: Pennsylvania
    Replied: 6/25/2014
    The Law Office of Darren Aronow, PC
    The Law Office of Darren Aronow, PC | Darren Aronow
    The house is in your name because you are on the deed.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 6/25/2014
    Porter Law Network | Karen Porter
    You cannot reopen a bankruptcy case to fix a failure to reaffirm a mortgage. A debt has to be reaffirmed before the discharge is granted. You will need a brand new mortgage company to give you a brand new mortgage. Your existing mortgage company can refuse to refinance a mortgage that you did not reaffirm.
    Answer Applies to: Illinois
    Replied: 6/25/2014
    Hoang & Tran PLLC | Adam Tran
    Generally, the mortgage company may take your home (ie. it was surrendered to the mortgage company) if the mortgage debt was not re-affirmed. All is not lost though. You may be able to save it. If you filed with a bankruptcy attorney, that attorney can provide you information and direction on your specific situation.
    Answer Applies to: Texas
    Replied: 6/25/2014
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