Filling out the agreement
The official forms for a reaffirmation agreement can be confusing, and there may be additional local forms required in your area. Your attorney or the lender will usually provide you with a copy of the required forms and an explanation of the areas you need to complete. If you are representing yourself, you should take your time and go through the agreement slowly to make sure you fill in all of the required information. You should complete all of the information requested on the cover sheet if it is provided. However, you will not sign under the filer's certification because this is signed by the person actually filing the form with the court, which is usually the lender.
Deadline for filing
If you decide to reaffirm, you will sign a reaffirmation agreement and usually you or your attorney will forward the agreement to the creditor for their signature and filing with the court. A reaffirmation agreement must be filed within 60 days of the first date set for the meeting of creditors. Therefore, it is important to return the agreement to your attorney or the creditor within plenty of time for the creditor to process and file it if you want to make sure it is valid. We usually recommend that reaffirmation agreements are returned to our office 20 days prior to the deadline for filing with the court.
Hearing on the reaffirmation
You may or may not have to attend a hearing on the reaffirmation depending on local practice and whether your attorney can sign the reaffirmation agreement. If you are representing yourself you will usually need to attend a hearing where the judge will approve or deny the reaffirmation. The judge will primarily be concerned with whether you understand the significance of the reaffirmation agreement and whether you can afford the payments without creating an undue hardship.
Getting out of the agreement after it is signed
You can rescind or revoke a reaffirmation agreement, but you must do so quickly! You rescind by giving notice of rescission to the creditor before your discharge is entered or within 60 days of filing the agreement with the court, whichever is later.
Please note that although this legal guide may provide information concerning potential legal issues, it is not a substitute for legal advice from qualified counsel. You should consult an attorney for individual advice regarding your own situation. Providing this legal guide does not create any attorney-client relationship between you and Kelly Zinser, Shareholder at Olenicoff & Zinser, PC in Irvine, California. For more information on bankruptcy, please see our website.