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Should bank be reporting payment s to credit b after chapter 7 ?

Beaverton, OR |
Filed under: Chapter 7 bankruptcy

time but the bank is not reporting the payments to the credit bureau . the credit report say i owe o and that is was a bankruptcy discharge.My home was exempt shouldn't they have to report my home as current? after 1 year I'm still getting bankrupt statements with no due date or info.

I have been in my home for 16 years and never missed a payment or ever been late.I filed bankrupcy for my credit cards.My home was exempt and i am continuing to make payments on time but the bank isn't reporting them to credit bureau.I 'm still getting bankrupcy statements with no information or due dates on them. My credit report is showing o balance and bankrupcy discharge. There was no reaffirmation agreement because judges in oregon won't sign them . The bank is refusing to report any thing or to give current statements without the reaffirmation ageement. How do I get the bank to report ot credit bureau and is this legal for the banks to do?

Attorney Answers 6

  1. File a "complaint" with all 3 credit bureaus advising them that you are current on the mortgage payments. But, technically, you have no legal obligation to make payments; therefore, the balance is zero.

    Be sure to designate "best answer." If you live in Oregon, you may call me for more detailed advice, 503-650-9662. Please be aware that each answer on this website is based upon the facts, or lack thereof, provided in the question. To be sure you get complete and comprehensive answers, based upon the totality of your situation, contact a local attorney who specializes in the area of law that involves your legal problem. Diane L. Gruber has been practicing law in Oregon for 26 years, specializing in family law, bankruptcy, estate planning and probate. Note: Diane L. Gruber does not represent you until a written fee agreement has been signed by you and Diane L. Gruber, and the fee listed in the agreement has been paid.

  2. You wrote, "My credit report is showing [0] balance and bankrupcy discharge. There was no reaffirmation agreement. The bank is refusing to report any thing ... without the reaffirmation ageement. "

    A: The bank's actions appear proper.

  3. Here is what happened and it's pretty common. The creditor is afraid of violating the automatic stay. Even though you can continue to buy your house and make payments the lender can't force you to do that because the bankruptcy severed their rights to enforce the debt. Similarly the credit reporting agencies are correctly reporting that because of the bankruptcy you have zero liability to pay your mortgage. What still exists is that the lender still is obligated to their side of the loan contract which is essentially if you make all your payments they will turn the house over to you and as long as you make the payments they can't foreclose the loan. The bankruptcy judges are correctly reluctant to sign a reaffirmation agreement that really doesn't gain you anything and puts you back in financial harms way.

    I have worked with my clients in the past to make arrangements so that the lender is re-asurred that they can send billing statements to my client without getting into trouble for violating the automatic bankruptcy stay. I haven't done it for a while so I don't know if I could do it now, but it does seem that with the help of an attorney you might be able to sign some type of release or waiver that gives the creditor reassurance that merely sending a reminder for you payment won't land them in court being sued.

    As for the credit reporting agencies, understand what they really are. They are private businesses subject to some regulation that creditors pay a lot of money to so that the creditors can report your good and bad credit behavior and use that for making decisions about issuing credit. The credit reporting agency is not required to report everything. Now that your lender can't do anything that would appear like they are pressuring you to pay a debt that was discharged, they probably aren't reporting the payments or the account to the credit reporting agency.

    You can go to the FTC website and learn more about your rights and your credit report. You should have the right to post comments on your credit report that will be visible when your credit report is pulled - possible an explanation that you are voluntarily paying your mortgage. You may want to consult with an attorney about this and there may be some other ways to update this in positive way. But the lender is correct in not posting any more reports and the credit reporting agency will have only posted the bankruptcy and updated all pre-bankruptcy debts to show that they are no longer owed which is technically correct.

    The comments by this author to questions posted on Avvo are designed to foster a general understanding of what might be the law governing the area of the legal problem stated and suggest what might be the approach to finding a legal solution. Under no circumstances is this author acting as the attorney for the party who posted the question or as the attorney for subsequent readers to the question or response and no attorney client relationship is being formed. This attorney's comments are not intended to be a substitute for getting legal advice from a licensed attorney. A reader of this author's comments should never act on the information provided in these comments as though these comments were legal advice and should always seek legal advice in a personal consultation with an attorney in their jurisdiction before taking action. The information provided here is not intended to cover every situation with similar facts. Please remember that the law varies between states and other countries and is always changing through actions of the courts and the Legislature.

  4. Recently there has been a discussion among bankruptcy attorneys regarding the potential benefits of reaffirming a mortgage in a bankruptcy case. One difference with other reaffirmation agreements is that the judge will not need to approve a reaffirmation of a mortgage in a bankruptcy case. Thus, the reaffirmation will be valid after it is signed by the debtor and creditor and then filed with the court. Some lenders are refusing to refinance mortgages for debtors who have gone through a bankruptcy and not reaffirmed their mortgage. Also, lenders will not normally report post bankruptcy mortgage payments to the credit reporting bureaus if there was not a reaffirmation. Are these two reasons, good reasons to go against what has been traditionally recommended by bankruptcy attorneys in Portland regarding not reaffirming a mortgage?

    Remember, reaffirming the mortgage will mean that the debtor is still liable on the note (in addition to the lien being valid, of course). Is there a risk of a deficiency lawsuit against a bankruptcy debtor who reaffirmed a mortgage? If the house remained the debtor’s residence, then the foreclosing bank cannot sue for a deficiency balance, even if the debtor did not file a bankruptcy. But if there are multiple mortgages on the house, the second mortgage would be able to sue the debtor for a deficiency (unless the second mortgage was owned by the same bank as the first mortgage and it was used to purchase the house). Thus, if a debtor in a bankruptcy reaffirmed both mortgages in a bankruptcy and then subsequent to the bankruptcy the house was foreclosed, then the debtor could be sued for a deficiency on the second mortgage. Hence, it is usually a really bad idea to reaffirm a second mortgage. One potential risk of a deficiency on the first mortgage would be if the house becomes a rental house at some point in the future and then the debtor defaults and the bank files a judicial foreclosure lawsuit. In that scenario, there would be a possibility of a deficiency against the debtor if the debtor had reaffirmed the first mortgage in the bankruptcy. Another risk of reaffirming the first and/or second mortgages would be if there was a post-bankruptcy short sale of the property and the bank(s) did not waive their deficiency rights.

    Additionally, there are potential tax implications of reaffirming a mortgage in the bankruptcy if post-bankruptcy there is a write off of some or all of the liability associated with the mortgage by the bank in a short sale. If the mortgage was not reaffirmed in the bankruptcy, then there would never be any danger of cancellation of debt tax liability based on that mortgage. Thus, does it make sense to reaffirm a mortgage for the potential benefit of a future loan refinance and post-bankruptcy reporting of payments to the credit bureaus? Indeed it is important to reestablish credit after a bankruptcy filing, but there are other ways to do this then having the post-bankruptcy mortgage payments reported to the credit reporting bureaus (e.g., I recommend that all of my bankruptcy clients obtain secured credit cards from their bank or credit union to start rebuilding their credit).

    The potential future loan refinance that might not be available to a debtor who has not reaffirmed their mortgage in their bankruptcy may be a valid reason to consider reaffirming a first mortgage (I would never advise reaffirming a second mortgage). But the truth is that the bankruptcy discharge of the mortgage note, without a reaffirmation, does not prevent the bank from refinancing the mortgage post-bankruptcy. Nonetheless, the banks seem to be currently operating on this premise. Thus, it is a valid consideration for a debtor with a mortgage who files a bankruptcy.

  5. The attorneys are correct; the bank is reporting accurate information -- which is what they are required to do under the Fair Credit Reporting Act. Either report accurately or make no report. Bankruptcy judges in Oregon probably wouldn't have signed a reaffirmation agreement, so the mortgage company is just being stubborn. HOWEVER, there is nothing stopping YOU from reporting that you made your payments on a timely basis to the three biggest credit reporting agencies: Equifax, Experian, Transunion. This is a relatively new theory and it may not be successful, but on the other hand, it may work!

  6. In this case you and your lender must NOT have executed and filed a reaffirmation agreement. If that is the case then your debt was technically discharged in the bankruptcy and the bank will not report you payments to the credit bureaus. However, in most cases, as long as you keep your payments current, the lender will continue to accept your payments and apply them to you loan balance..

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