If we are walking away from our house and bankruptcy was discharged 4 years ago and house wasn't reaffirmed, do we inform the bank? 20 Answers as of July 01, 2014

Do we still have to pay taxes and homeowner's insurance? If so, for how long?

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Barnhart Law Office
Barnhart Law Office | Bruce C Barnhart
You should take steps to protect and weather proof the property. Including advising the mortgage company of your abandonment, so that it can take steps to protect the asset. Real Estate taxes are a senior lien on the property and will follow the property.You should keep insurance on the property, as long as the property is in your name.
Answer Applies to: Nebraska
Replied: 7/1/2014
Law Office of Marlin Branstetter
Law Office of Marlin Branstetter | Marlin Branstetter
You should continue to pay insurance as long as the house is in your name. If you do not and someone is injured on the property you could be held liable. Tax liability varies from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. In some cases the taxes go with the property in others you may be personally liable. Talk to your bank about a deed in lieu of foreclosure.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 6/30/2014
Ronald K. Nims LLC | Ronald K. Nims
Since you didn't reaffirm the mortgage, you have no liability to the bank on the mortgage. However, you're still the owner of the house as long as your name is on the deed. The taxes are just a lien against the property not against the owner, so you don't need bother to pay those. I'd recommend that you keep insurance on the property until the bank forecloses or your name otherwise gets off the deed. You would be liable if, for example, a child was playing in the vacant house and is injured. Since you just went through a bankruptcy four years ago, you could wind up having wages garnishments etc. Insurance on a vacant house is more expensive than homeowners' insurance and might not even be available. I would advise you to contact the bank and see if they are interested in having you turn over the property (unlikely) or if they'd be interested in a short sale.
Answer Applies to: Ohio
Replied: 6/26/2014
Eranthe Law Firm
Eranthe Law Firm | Cate Eranthe
To protect yourself from liability you will want to continue the property insurance until the title is transferred. I would not abandon the property. You can communicate with the bank and work something out. Just don't leave the house empty to be vandalized or become a nuisance to children and others. If you must leave perhaps a friend or relative can stay there and maintain it for you. You'll owe property tax but if there is any value in the house that will be paid before the mortgage(s) from a foreclosure sale.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 6/26/2014
Law Office of Peter M. Lively
Law Office of Peter M. Lively | Peter M. Lively
Yes, you might be able to deed the property to the lender or speed up a foreclosure sale. HOA dues are owed until you no longer have any type of ownership interest in the property (title, equitable, or possessory)see 11 USC Section 523(a)(16). No, property taxes run with the property as a statutory lien so the secured lender typically advances payment to prevent the eventual (after 5 years) tax auction by the county. No, secured lenders typically advance hazard insurance when you fail to provide proof of coverage.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 6/26/2014
    EDWARD P RUSSELL | EDWARD P RUSSELL
    You should inform the bank when you leave the house. You do not have to pay the real estate taxes and you should not need to pay the insurance on the property.
    Answer Applies to: Minnesota
    Replied: 6/26/2014
    Idaho Bankruptcy Law | Paul Ross
    It is nice to inform the bank so they can step in and secure the property. Depending on your state, you could be on the hook for HOA fees despite your bankruptcy. Typically other debts like property insurance or taxes are paid as part of the foreclosure.
    Answer Applies to: Idaho
    Replied: 6/26/2014
    Garner Law Office
    Garner Law Office | Daniel Garner
    It is a very good idea to inform the bank if you intend to surrender the house, especially because they might actually offer you "cash for keys" as an incentive to move. As the legal owner, you remain responsible for the property including taxes, and because of that you should keep insurance on it until it has been transferred out of your name. The bank will have to pay the taxes when the property changes hands. The timetable is entirely up to you and the bank.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 6/26/2014
    Rosenberg & Press
    Rosenberg & Press | Max L. Rosenberg
    You would be well advised to contact the bank and to see if you can either short sell the house or do a deed in lieu.
    Answer Applies to: Connecticut
    Replied: 6/26/2014
    A Fresh Start
    A Fresh Start | Dorothy G Bunce
    As long as your name is on the title to real estate, you are responsible for the taxes and you have liability for any injury that occurs on the property, so paying the ongoing taxes & insurance would be a smart idea. You can rent out the property to create an income until the mortgage company forecloses or you can attempt to sell the property, or you can contact the mortgage company to see if they will accept your voluntary return of the title via a deed in lieu of foreclosure. Don't be surprised if the mortgage company refuses to accept a deed in lieu of foreclosure. In any event, you have to personal responsibility to pay the mortgage.
    Answer Applies to: Nevada
    Replied: 6/26/2014
    The Law Office of Darren Aronow, PC
    The Law Office of Darren Aronow, PC | Darren Aronow
    Bank will pay the taxes and insurance usually. You are not required to tell them but you can. You may want to try a short sale first to sell it properly otherwise you could stay attached to the property for years while you wait to foreclose. The bank will not take ownership, since your name is still on the deed. So I would not recommend walking away.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 6/26/2014
    Janet A. Lawson Bankruptcy Attorney
    Janet A. Lawson Bankruptcy Attorney | Janet Lawson
    Stay in it until the foreclosure. Pay the insurance. Eventually the bank will figure it out. If you leave, still pay the insurance and a gardner. You could get a code enforcement ticket if the appearance deteriorates.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/26/2014
    Law Office of Lynnmarie A. Johnson
    Law Office of Lynnmarie A. Johnson | Lynnmarie Johnson
    I would certainly inform the mortgage company, not just call, but also in writing. You don't have to pay the property taxes, but you do have to keep insurance on it until the mortgage company forecloses or does a deed in lieu. If you are going to vacate the home before it is foreclosed, you will need to find a company that will insure a vacant home. You are also still responsible for lawn mowing etc. Nothing is worse than getting a citation and bill for your municipality mowing your lawn, so you need to do this until once again the mortgage company takes possession of the home.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 6/26/2014
    Berlin Patten, PLLC
    Berlin Patten, PLLC | Jessica Stewart
    If you surrender a home in bankruptcy, the title to the home still remains in your name until the bank forecloses its interest and the title transfers to the new owner. If you just leave the property, you could still be liable for code enforcement violations and utility fees for un-active accounts. Depending on whether a foreclosure suit is filed, and how far along it is, you may be able to enter into a consent with the bank for a faster sale date. Alternatively, sometimes it is best to short sale or request a deed in lieu of foreclosure to get the property out of your name if it does not appear that the bank will act on the foreclosure quickly.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 6/26/2014
    Law Office of Michael Johnson
    Law Office of Michael Johnson | Michael Johnson
    Until the bank takes the property you are still the legal owner and therefore are obligated to pay the taxes and insurance. Fortunately, if you don't pay there is not much personal liability for the taxes as the back taxes will be placed on the property, but if someone was to get hurt in your home you would have liability. I always recommend that you discuss a deed in lieu with the mortgage company if you are out of the home, if you are still there I would buy insurance.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 6/26/2014
    Steele, George, Schofield & Ramos, LLP
    Steele, George, Schofield & Ramos, LLP | Alan E. Ramos
    As long as you are on title to the property, you have liability for what happens on the property and you have an obligation to pay homeowner's association assessments. You should maintain insurance on the property until it is sold or the lender forecloses. In California, property taxes run with the property and are not a personal liability of the owner. In my opinion, you should notify the lender. They can then secure and maintain the property.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/26/2014
    Goldsmith & Guymon
    Goldsmith & Guymon | Marjorie Guymon
    No, you do not owe the bank.
    Answer Applies to: Nevada
    Replied: 6/26/2014
    Law Office of Stuart M. Nachbar, P.C.
    Law Office of Stuart M. Nachbar, P.C. | Stuart M. Nachbar
    While I would presume that the mortgage company is paying the taxes, to protect their position. I would maintain a minimal homeowners policy just in case and do it until the foreclosure is finalized. Last thing you need is a slip a fall on the property when it is unoccupied and someone suing you.
    Answer Applies to: New Jersey
    Replied: 6/26/2014
    Stittleburg Law Office
    Stittleburg Law Office | Bernd Stittleburg
    You would have to continue to pay the taxes and insurance until the mortgage company actually forecloses on the property and takes possession.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 6/26/2014
    Law Office of Andrew Oostdyk
    Law Office of Andrew Oostdyk | Andrew Oostdyk
    It is a good idea to inform the bank of your intentions, which allows the bank to winterize the property and protect the home from damage. This also helps protect you from liability if the house should become damaged in some way. You do not have to continue to pay taxes on the property, but should keep insurance until you have received confirmation from the bank that they are aware that you are vacating the property and surrendering it back to the bank.
    Answer Applies to: Texas
    Replied: 6/26/2014
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