Why hasn't my attorney filed the paperwork yet? 14 Answers as of July 02, 2012

I filed a chapter 7 bankruptcy in 2010 and reaffirmed my home and car. My lawyer told me that due to my timely payments my credit would be rebuilt in 2 years. Here we are 2 years down the road and I checked my credit report. Unfortunately, both show as discharged because my lawyer, who is now disbarred, never filed my signed reaffirmation documents. Now I have been paying the last 2 years with nothing to show for it. My credit shows nothing! What now? How can I get my credit to accurately reflect that I did not discharge these 2 loans and that I have been paying on them as agreed? I was told to refinance and that "reactivates" the loan. With the way my credit stands now, I could not get the same interest rate and will end up paying more. Why didn't this lawyer file my documents?

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Indianapolis Bankruptcy Law Office of Eric C. Lewis
Indianapolis Bankruptcy Law Office of Eric C. Lewis | Eric Lewis
I think you answered your own question as to why he did not file (disbarred). Unfortunately, without a timely filed reaffirmation agreement, the debts were in fact discharged and cannot now be reaffirmed. Because of your lawyer, you are without remedy, other than suing him/her for malpractice.
Answer Applies to: Indiana
Replied: 7/2/2012
Attorney At Law | Harry D. Roth
He didn't file your documents for the same reason he is disbarred. He is incompetent or dishonest or lazy or some combination. You can write to the creditors and do some substantial whining. You can go into a prospective creditor and show them the signed reaffirmation agreement that your (stupid, dishonest, thieving) attorney didn't file and here are all my check showing I have been paying for the past 2 years, etc, and see if they stand up and salute or just laugh and move on to the next poor sucker. You can also call the car lenders, send them a copy of the unfiled reaffirmation agreement and see if you can get them to change the credit entries. Sometimes, if you are working with lender #2, the loan officer can call her friend at lender #1, the old car loan bank, and do a little lobbying for you. Getting an insider, especially one whose commission is based on getting you the loan you want, can be of some help. I am sorry this has happened to you. It shouldn't happen to bad people and you are good people and just trying to get by, but it has happened and the best bet is to work around it, attack it head on, but not worry about the why's. It really makes me angry, and I am a good bankruptcy lawyer who tries hard to take care of clients, to see a client get the short stick like you did from a bad lawyer. It gives us good lawyers a bad name we don't deserve. That said, I want you to take a really deep breath here and remember that it's just a credit score. It is not going to get you into heaven or send you to hell. It is not going to save your life or wreck your good marriage. It is just a credit score. You have your education, your skills, your health, your friends and family. Take care of yourself and take care of them and the credit score will some day come home, wagging its tail behind them.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 6/29/2012
The Stockman Law Office | Mary Stockman Esq.
If the lawyer was disbarred, he/she can do no more. It is possible that the creditors, in spite of a reaffirmation would choose not to file any report with the credit bureau. So, it would likely be best to establish some new credit to help your credit score increase.
Answer Applies to: Florida
Replied: 6/28/2012
Janet A. Lawson Bankruptcy Attorney
Janet A. Lawson Bankruptcy Attorney | Janet Lawson
Well, he is disbarred, so obviously he was not a good lawyer. I am sorry that happened to you. Lawyers like that give all of a black eye. Unfortunately I do not know of any way to fix your problem. The Bankruptcy code is very clear that those agreements have to filed within a certain time frame. Plus, it now 2 years later so other possible avenues of getting them filed will not help you.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 6/28/2012
Ross Smith, Attorney at Law
Ross Smith, Attorney at Law | Charles Ross Smith III
It's probably a good thing that your attorney did not reaffirm your mortgage. If they had, you would be personally responsible for the note on the house. As it stands now, you owe NOTHING on your home. That's right, nothing. An excellent result. Be happy. OK, so the mortgage is still sitting on the home like a big, soggy blanket. But at least you are no longer chained by debt to the home. You can walk away at any time and owe nothing. Or, you can complete the payments and get clear title. Not a bad deal. And it's all your choice. By the way, the bank will not choose to foreclose as long as you pay the mortgage timely and keep the home insured. They have enough losses from foreclosures already. Yeah, you're right, the payments are not reported to the credit reporting agencies and your credit score might be higher if they were reported. But maybe not. Most people cannot sell their homes for enough to cover what they owe on their home. Can you really sell your home today for enough to cover the mortgages and the costs of sale. If the answer is only, "maybe," then you did well not to reaffirm. If you had reaffirmed on the mortgage loans, your credit would show a lot of debt and maybe not enough asset to liquidate that debt. That can hurt you. I suspect that either your attorney chose well not to file the reaffirmations, or the judge denied the reaffirmation because it was a bad deal. It is also possible that the bank's attorney failed to timely file your reaffirmation. Bank attorneys often fail to file timely. Your attorney may have been a stinker, but maybe you don't have a reason to be unhappy.
Answer Applies to: Ohio
Replied: 6/28/2012
    Law Office of D.L. Drain, P.A.
    Law Office of D.L. Drain, P.A. | Diane L. Drain
    I cannot answer why an attorney did not do something, but I can offer this suggestion as to your credit. File a statement (perhaps called a dispute) with the credit reporting agencies. State that you have been paying as agreed from the filing of the bankruptcy.
    Answer Applies to: Arizona
    Replied: 6/28/2012
    Diefer Law Group, P.C.
    Diefer Law Group, P.C. | Abel Fernandez
    I do not know why the attorney did not file the documents. You could file a motion to reopen your case and to file the reaffirmation agreements.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/28/2012
    Carballo Law Offices
    Carballo Law Offices | Tony E. Carballo
    You are a little confused as to what reaffirmation means. The personal liability for those debts is discharged even if you reaffirm. It does create a new non-dischargeable debt if you do reaffirm. Real estate loans are not reaffirmed in cases filed in California. It is not required that such debts be reaffirmed and the courts will typically not do approve real estate loan reaffirmations in California cases since it is unnecessary for complicated legal reasons. Vehicle loans can be reaffirmed but it is not a good idea in most cases to reaffirm anyway. Rebuilding your credit history takes time and depends on how you handle it after the bankrutpcy and your income and other factors. It does take several years but the bankruptcy is in your credit history for 10 years so it will continue to affect your credit score for that many years. The reaffirmation is not shown in the credit report anyway. The banks do not report the payments if you do not reaffirm a vehicle loan and that is the downside to not reaffirming but there are benefits to not reaffirming also. The history of all the payments not made before the bankruptcy does not disappear from your credit report and will also affect your credit for a long time. You can not reaffirm a debt after the bankruptcy case closes.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/28/2012
    Steven Alpers | Steven Alpers
    You are going to have to get in touch with your finance company. The creditors should not have accepted payments if the debts were unsecured credit card debts which were discharged. Or they should have refunded those to you. If these were secured debts, like for a car, you had to pay to keep your car. You could try 2 other options. One is suing the lawyer for malpractice and the second is to file a claim with the state bar. Problems like this is probably why he was disbarred.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/28/2012
    R. Jason de Groot, P.A
    R. Jason de Groot, P.A | R. Jason de Groot
    No one can tell you why the attorney did not file the affirmation agreements. As that relates to the mortgage the debt was discharged, thus taking it off of your shoulders. You can contact the credit reporting agencies and see whether you have the ability to get them to recognize that you have paid for the last two years. It may take contacting the lender in order to get them to correctly reflect the payments you have made.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 6/28/2012
    The Law Offices of Kristy Qiu
    The Law Offices of Kristy Qiu | Mengjun Qiu
    Both the car loan and the mortgage are secured debts. As long as ypu kept paying, and you keep paying, they have to convey and free and clear title to you, you didn't need to sign the reaffirmation agreement, as long as you keep record of your payments, you're okay. The reaffirmation is only for the benefit of the creditors. Had you signed those agreements, your personal liability would remain, meaning that if you didn't keep your payments current, aside from foreclosing or repossessing the collaterals, your creditors could go after your other personal assets or garnish your wages in order to satisfy the defficiency. By not signing it, that obligation is gone along with your other unsecured debts.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 6/28/2012
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