Who owns our house after bankruptcy? 12 Answers as of June 01, 2011

Mortgaged house in 2007, Mortgage company went belly up just prior to my filing of bankruptcy in 2009 (filed due to my daughters illness). Mortgage company never filed a lien on my property. I included the mortgage in my bankruptcy and was discharged properly. Deed still in my name all this time and no lien. A new mortgage company is calling me saying now they own the property as they bought the assets of prior mortgage company (but after my bankruptcy and its discharge). However, they want me to sign over the house to them? Is this house still legally mine since no one claimed it during the bankruptcy and I filed on the note with the original mortgage company and they never made a lien on the property? Thanks

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Dearbonn Law Offices
Dearbonn Law Offices | Ajibola Oluyemisi Oladapo
Note that in a bankruptcy, you can never discharge a debt secured with collateral such as real property for instance. So even if you file bankruptcy, your debt and your lien remains the same, and you may either re-affirm the debt by continuing to pay the mortgage or go delinquent and relinquish the house. It is not uncommon for loan owners to sell the loan to other companies as it has happened in your own case,. In any case, your name is still on the deed and the lenders are still your lien holders, your filing bankruptcy has not changed the ownership, even though the owners of the loan may have changed. all you need do is continue paying your mortgage and you will be sure to keep the house for as long as you are fulfilling this obligation.
Answer Applies to: Washington
Replied: 6/1/2011
Bankruptcy Law office of Bill Rubendall
Bankruptcy Law office of Bill Rubendall | William M. Rubendall
A discharge in bankruptcy means there no longer is personal liability on the mortgage. However, the lender retains the security interest in the property. This means that in order to keep the property the (discharged) loan must be fully paid per the contractual monthly payment. Although you are still the owner of the property ownership is subject to the secured interest of the lender until the security interest is paid.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 5/31/2011
Burnham & Associates
Burnham & Associates | Stephanie K. Burnham
You need to consult an attorney immediately. Do not sign anything without legal representation. Your rights depend on the state in which you live, and you need good advice to protect your legal rights.
Answer Applies to: New Hampshire
Replied: 5/31/2011
The Law Office of Mark J. Markus
The Law Office of Mark J. Markus | Mark Markus
A mortgage is a lien, unless they failed to record it, which is highly unlikely. The original mortgage company probably sold their rights to another company. Happens all the time. That doesn't change your obligation to make payments under the contract and doesn't change their right to foreclose under applicable state law if you default. You have no further personal liability on loan, but they have a right to come after the property if in fact they have a lien. Whether or not they have a lien is based on state law, not bankruptcy law. You need to consult with a real estate attorney in the area where the property is located.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 5/31/2011
Carballo Law Offices
Carballo Law Offices | Tony E. Carballo
A mortgage or deed of trust is a voluntary lien. Liens are not affected by Chapter 7. You do not owe the money personally anymore because of the bankruptcy discharge but the mortgage company can foreclose on your house to satisfy the balance of the loan. The house is security (collateral) for the loan. It is as if the house itself owed the money. The promissory note you signed when you got the loan is transferable and it was obviously transferred to another company that now owns it and can foreclose on your house. You legally still own the house (subject to the mortgage) so the bank has to foreclose and sell the house at at trustee's sale where the highest bidder gets to buy it and gets title to it. Most of the time the mortgage company buys the house since the debt is usually more than the value of the house. You do not need to sign the house over to the mortgage company. Just let them foreclose and sell it at a trustee's sale. The bank will probably end up being the buyer by offering the amount of the debt. You will then be asked to move and if you do not move you will have to be evicted just like tenants are evicted when they don't pay the rent. The buyer, most likely the bank, will probably offer you some money to leave quietly and fast. (Didn't your bankruptcy attorney explain all this to you?)
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 5/31/2011
    Law Offices of John J. Ferry, Jr.
    Law Offices of John J. Ferry, Jr. | John J. Ferry, Jr.
    There's some important details that you've left out. You should sit down with an attorney and discuss this in detail. However, I will make a few general comments. If the deed is in your name, you own the house. Don't make the mistake of thinking that "the bank owns my house" just because there's a mortgage. If the prior mortgage company never recorded the mortgage, they may have lost their lien position (versus other creditors), but it would be very rare for them to have lost their security interest. Again, there's not enough here to know if the mortgage was actually discharged by the bankruptcy. But I doubt it. My GUESS (and that's all it is - a guess) is that the mortgage is still valid and was properly sold to the new mortgage company. That doesn't mean you have to "sign over" the house to them. It just means they now hold the mortgage that needs to be paid if you want to keep the house. BUT, that's only a guess. You MUST have someone review all the pertinent documentation for you.
    Answer Applies to: Pennsylvania
    Replied: 5/31/2011
    The Schreiber Law Firm
    The Schreiber Law Firm | Jeffrey D. Schreiber
    When you got the loan, a lien was placed on the house. The lien is not affected by the bankruptcy and if no payments are made, the bank can take the house back. There is no requirement that they file anything in your bankruptcy to keep the lien.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 5/31/2011
    Indianapolis Bankruptcy Law Office of Eric C. Lewis
    Indianapolis Bankruptcy Law Office of Eric C. Lewis | Eric Lewis
    If a lien was not properly recorded, then you would own the home free and clear as your personal liability on the original mortgage note would be discharged.
    Answer Applies to: Indiana
    Replied: 5/31/2011
    Daniel Hoarfrost, Attorney at Law
    Daniel Hoarfrost, Attorney at Law | Daniel Hoarfrost
    The answer to your question is that you "own" your house after a bankruptcy, but I'm not sure you understand how liens work in bankruptcy.I doubt seriously that the prior mortgage co. "never filed a lien," but it bears checking out. It sounds like you haven't made any payments since 2009, so you're undoubtedly in default of the original mortgage, which has now been assigned.If there is, in fact, an active mortgage, the arrearage can be dealt with in a Ch 13. Feel free to call me at the office for a brief free phone consult if you have further questions.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 5/31/2011
    Janet A. Lawson Bankruptcy Attorney
    Janet A. Lawson Bankruptcy Attorney | Janet Lawson
    Go see a lawyer NOW..... don't sign anything. A title report needs to be run at a minimum.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 5/31/2011
    Ashman Law Office
    Ashman Law Office | Glen Edward Ashman
    I think you are confused. A mortgage IS a lien and it is not erased by bankruptcy. Your bankruptcy discharged the debt but did not erase any liens. Discuss this with the attorney who handled your bankruptcy.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 5/31/2011
    Bankruptcy Law Office of Robert Weed
    Bankruptcy Law Office of Robert Weed | Robert Weed
    You need to get someone who really knows real estate in your state to check and see if there really is no lien. In that case, you have a paid for house. (You also probably have an FDCPA violation against these people who are calling you; and you should talk to a lawyer who knows that area of the law, too. You might want to go to the National Association of Consumer Advocates to look for an FDCPA lawyer; most states only have a handful.)
    Answer Applies to: Virginia
    Replied: 5/31/2011
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