How do I surrender my house in a bankruptcy? 11 Answers as of June 11, 2013

My house was included in my bankruptcy 2 years ago but I've maintained payments. How do I go about surrendering the house? Do I just write a letter referencing the bankruptcy and include the keys? Also, does being behind in payments affect this process? I may not be able to make any more payments. Will that be a factor a couple months from now?

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Janet A. Lawson Bankruptcy Attorney
Janet A. Lawson Bankruptcy Attorney | Janet Lawson
You can just quit making the payments. You can live there until the lender forecloses, which may take awhile. The bankruptcy wiped out your personal obligation to make the payments. (I hope you did NOT sign a reaffirmation agreement. Those are not required for real property).
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 4/22/2011
Indianapolis Bankruptcy Law Office of Eric C. Lewis
Indianapolis Bankruptcy Law Office of Eric C. Lewis | Eric Lewis
If you surrendered your house in bankruptcy two years ago, why are you making payments on it?
Answer Applies to: Indiana
Replied: 6/11/2013
Carballo Law Offices
Carballo Law Offices | Tony E. Carballo
You cannot surrender your house. You just stop paying and wait for them to take it by foreclosure. You can ask the bank if they will accept a deed in lieu of foreclosure but most banks will not. However, no harm asking if you really don't want to have a foreclosure. You might want to try a short sale which might give you more time to live at the house without paying and might avoid having the foreclosure. It will be at least six months before the bank can foreclose if they have not yet given you the notice of default (90-day notice). After that they can give you notice of trustee's sale but there are always delays so you might still be able to stay at the house for months.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 4/22/2011
Burnham & Associates
Burnham & Associates | Stephanie K. Burnham
If you "surrendered" your home in the Bankruptcy and did NOT reaffirm the debt, you can simply stop making payments and move out of the home. Once you stop making payments, the Mortgage Company will have to take steps to foreclose on the property and you will have a good idea of how long you have left before you must move out of the property. If you reaffirmed the debt you will need to take steps to sell the property as you are still legally responsible for the mortgage.
Answer Applies to: New Hampshire
Replied: 4/21/2011
Ferguson & Ferguson
Ferguson & Ferguson | Randy W. Ferguson
You should contact your bankruptcy attorney on the case. If you kept the house you can't just send them the keys. They can tell you your options.
Answer Applies to: Alabama
Replied: 4/22/2011
    The Law Office of Mark J. Markus
    The Law Office of Mark J. Markus | Mark Markus
    You should request that your mortgage company give you a "deed in lieu of foreclosure". Otherwise, you simply need to stop making payments and eventually they will foreclose. I'm not sure why you continued making payments if you wanted to surrender the property, but obviously the mortgage lenders won't (and can't) take any action on the property if you are current with payments. The only other option you have is to try to sell the property.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 4/21/2011
    The Shakoori Law Group
    The Shakoori Law Group | Rachelle Shakoori
    If you had listed the house in bankruptcy you should have stopped making payments. Once you stop making payments the bank will file a notice of default and initiate foreclosure process.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 4/21/2011
    The Davies Law Firm, P.A.
    The Davies Law Firm, P.A. | Robert F. Davies, Esq.
    Can I suggest that before you do all of this, that you talk to a lawyer and get some advice? You have made payments for 2 years, but now can not, and you went through bankruptcy, correct? There is a lot to talk about, and you may be able to do a lot better than just abandoning the house.

    Give me a call, make an appointment to come see me, and 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: 4/21/2011
    Bankruptcy Law Office of Robert Weed
    Bankruptcy Law Office of Robert Weed | Robert Weed
    Call your lender and ask them what they want. How they handle it will depend on state laws. How long it takes depends on factors in each state, too.
    Answer Applies to: Virginia
    Replied: 4/21/2011
    Greifendorff Law Offices, PC
    Greifendorff Law Offices, PC | Christine Wilton
    You can short sell, deed in lieu of foreclsoure, or foreclosure. Contact the bank and let them know you're intent is to surrender the home.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 4/21/2011
    Law Office of Harry L Styron
    Law Office of Harry L Styron | Harry L Styron
    You need to contact your lender and arrange a deed in lieu of foreclosure if you really want to abandon the home. The fact that you listed your house as an asset, and the mortgage as a secured debt, in the bankruptcy has no effect on your relationship with the lender, because secured debts cannot be discharged. As long as you have maintained the payments the lender has no right to obtain possession. You should consult with an attorney who deals with real property issues.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 4/21/2011
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