I filed for bankruptcy but am still haing financial problems, what can I do? 18 Answers as of June 14, 2011

I filed bankruptcy in November 2009 and it was discharged in February 2010. I kept a truck and home but did not reaffirm these loans. I am currently three months behind in the mortgage and no longer can afford the home. Can you tell me my legal rights? Will I be responsible for this loan/any shortsales fees? What is the best thing to do in this situation? Thanks so much!

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Burnham & Associates
Burnham & Associates | Stephanie K. Burnham
The good news is that you did not reaffirm the mortgage. As long as you did not reaffirm the debt, if you need to, you can walk away from the home without being liable for any mortgage payments, late fees or attorneys' fees. Bear in mind that if you are part of a Home Owners Association, you can be held responsible for the association fees that are due so you may want to take more definite action like filing a deed in lieu, transferring the home to the mortgage company.
Answer Applies to: New Hampshire
Replied: 6/14/2011
David R. Fondren, Attorney at Law
David R. Fondren, Attorney at Law | David R. Fondren
If you have not signed a reaffirmation agreement, then the personal liability is discharged. The creditor still possesses a lien on the property and can exercise their rights regarding the property, but not against you. This is by no means exhaustive list of questions: Can you buy a clunker for 1-3k, use mass transit, borrow a car, get a scooter and save the house? Is the cost of the house over 40% of your income? (mortgage, taxes, insurance, utilities, repairs, etc). Can you increase your income with a part time job? Is there equity in the house so you can pay a realtor and sell it? Can you rent it out? take in a boarder? Have a place to move to? Are you single, have minor children? Owe child support? You have to decide what is best for you.
Answer Applies to: Missouri
Replied: 6/14/2011
Jackson White, PC
Jackson White, PC | Spencer Hale
If you did not sign a reaffirmation agreement on the loan, the discharge still applies and you will not be liable on the debts should you default on them. However, I wouldn't just walk away from the home. You still would be liable for the insurance and if there is an HOA where you live, you will need to keep paying that until the home is foreclosed. Remember you are still liable for any costs or charges that come up as the owner of the home. Also, if you walk away and the house gets ransacked you could be held liable to the bank for waste. I would stay in the house as long as you can and keep maintaining it, even if you can't make the mortgage payments.
Answer Applies to: Arizona
Replied: 6/13/2011
Bankruptcy Law office of Bill Rubendall
Bankruptcy Law office of Bill Rubendall | William M. Rubendall
When you filed chapter 7 bankruptcy you received a discharge of the mortgage loans. If you give up the property you will not have any personal liability on the loans.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 6/13/2011
Bankruptcy Law Office of Robert Weed
Bankruptcy Law Office of Robert Weed | Robert Weed
The bankruptcy still protects you if you give up the house. They cannot come after you if you let it foreclose or do a short sale. A shortsale would very slightly improve your ability to buy again sooner. But it may not be worth the work you'd have to put into it. up to you.
Answer Applies to: Virginia
Replied: 6/13/2011
    Saedi Law Group
    Saedi Law Group | Lorena Saedi
    If you received a discharge and did not sign a reaffirmation agreement then you can walk away from those debts. Those debts were discharged in the case so therefore you are not liable payment. If you owe any HOA fees since filing your case you would be required to pay those fees up until foreclosure.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 6/13/2011
    The Schreiber Law Firm
    The Schreiber Law Firm | Jeffrey D. Schreiber
    If the home loan creditor was listed in the bankruptcy, you do not have any legal liability for the debt if you stop making payments now. That debt would have been subject to your discharge.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/10/2011
    The Law Office of Mark J. Markus
    The Law Office of Mark J. Markus | Mark Markus
    If you did not reaffirm the loans, you have no further legal obligation on them and will not be responsible for any deficiencies after sale.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/10/2011
    Rosenberg & Press
    Rosenberg & Press | Max L. Rosenberg
    Because you did not reaffirm the mortgage, you will have no deficiency debt. This will also make a short sale much easier.
    Answer Applies to: Connecticut
    Replied: 6/10/2011
    Indianapolis Bankruptcy Law Office of Eric C. Lewis
    Indianapolis Bankruptcy Law Office of Eric C. Lewis | Eric Lewis
    If you are looking to keep the home, you may file a Chapter 13 bankruptcy. If not, you can walk away and not be responsible for the foreclosure as it was discharged in your prior bankruptcy.
    Answer Applies to: Indiana
    Replied: 6/10/2011
    Bird & VanDyke, Inc.
    Bird & VanDyke, Inc. | David VanDyke
    If you did not reaffirm the debts you will not be responsible for any deficiency upon repo or foreclosure.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/10/2011
    Ashman Law Office
    Ashman Law Office | Glen Edward Ashman
    If you did not reaffirm, you can usually walk from the car and home with no problems. Check with your lawyer from your bankruptcy as to how to notify the creditors to avoid confusion.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 6/10/2011
    Law Office of Maureen O' Malley
    Law Office of Maureen O' Malley | Maureen O'Malley
    You can give up the house without penalty if you choose. Stay there but don't pay the mortgage. They'll eventually foreclose (may take a year or more) and you'll have to leave once it sells. But you'll owe nothing more. You'll have to pay HOA dues if you have them, and keep it insured. You may also have to pay property taxes unless those become due bt the foreclosure buyer. As to your truck, you'll have to keep it up to date if you want to keep it. You may find a friend or relative willing to give away or sell something cheap to keep you going until you're back on your feet.
    Answer Applies to: Virginia
    Replied: 6/10/2011
    Daniel Hoarfrost, Attorney at Law
    Daniel Hoarfrost, Attorney at Law | Daniel Hoarfrost
    If you think there's a way to cure the mortgage arrears over 3 to 5 years, you can file a Ch 13.If not, you can either work with the lender toward a "short sale," or you can walk away from the home since the debt itself has already been discharged.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 6/10/2011
    Ellahie & Farooqui LLP
    Ellahie & Farooqui LLP | Javed Ellahie
    Bankruptcy helps in discharging debt obligation so you are no longer obligated personally on the home and the truck (since you did not reaffirm) and will not be even in the case of a short sale. The creditor, however, is secured by the home and the truck creditor by the truck, so if you do not pay them, they mortgage lender can foreclose on the home and the truck creditor can repossess the home. Subsequent to receiving a Chapter 7 discharge, you may still be able to file a Chapter 13 and keep your home, provided your Chapter 13 plan payments are such that they will cure all the arrears owed on the home, that you agree to keep the home post filing current (you may also want to look at loan modification options) and agree to pay the truck debt full. Recommend you consult an experience bk attorney. This procedure known as a Chapter 20 may not work in some courts so do talk to a local bankruptcy specialist.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/10/2011
    Janet A. Lawson Bankruptcy Attorney
    Janet A. Lawson Bankruptcy Attorney | Janet Lawson
    Stay in the house for as long as you can. Where else can you live for free? A short sale puts you out on the street.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/10/2011
    Financial Relief Law Center
    Financial Relief Law Center | Mark Alonso
    If you want to keep the home you should consider trying to modify the loan. If that does not create affordability you should consider short selling the property.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/10/2011
    Law Offices of Virginia E. Fortunato
    Law Offices of Virginia E. Fortunato | Virginia E. Fortunato
    If you did not reaffirm the debts then you are legally obligated on the debt because you received a discharge. Call the company that owns the truck and tell them to come pick it up. As for the house, if you are behind on the mortgage the mortgage company will need to foreclose on your home to get the property out of your name. Based on the information you provided it looks like you will be okay. This answer does not constitute legal advice. This answer is general information. I am admitted to practice law in the State of New Jersey. Although bankruptcy law is federal law how it is applied by Courts from state to state may vary and the general information in this answer is not an attempt to opine on matters of law that are not relevant to the Bankruptcy Court in New Jersey. Facts and laws change and these changes can affect the advice provided here. Consult an attorney in your locale before you act on any of this advice.
    Answer Applies to: New Jersey
    Replied: 6/10/2011
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