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I filed CH7. My petition states retained, reaffirm the debt. Can I walk away from the home?

Ellenwood, GA |

I have been making payments since my discharge in 2009. The bank has the loan listed as included in bankrupcty in my credit files. The bank is not reporting my payments. I disputed with all 3 bureaus and it still came back the same. The bank states the account is closed and was included in the bankruptcy. I did not sign a reaffirmation agreement nor went in front of a judge. I only went to the 341 meeting. Is my statement of intent legally binding without a signed agreement? Is my petition incorrect and can I walk away? Does this retained, reaffirm the debt on the petition hurt my chances of obtaining a new mortgage?

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Attorney answers 5


Generally, if you did not sign a reaffirmation agreement, the debt became subject to discharge in the bankruptcy. While I urge you to speak to a local bankruptcy attorney, it appears that you should be able to walk away from the home without having a deficiency. However, getting a mortgage may be difficult in view of your fairly recent bankruptcy filing. Please do not delay to speak with an attorney. Best of luck!

Legal disclaimer: The response given is not intended to create, nor does it create an ongoing duty to respond to questions. The response does not form an attorney-client relationship, nor is it intended to be anything other than the educated opinion of the author. It should not be relied upon as legal advice. The response given is based upon the limited facts provided by the person asking the question. To the extent additional or different facts exist, the response might possibly change. Attorney is licensed to practice law only in the State of Massachusetts. Responses are based solely on Massachusetts law unless stated otherwise.

Helene Thaissa W. Bergman

Helene Thaissa W. Bergman


Generally speaking, about two years after the discharge is when many mortgage companies will at least consider an application. Your best chance is probably an FHA insured loan.


The statement of intention you filed with the bankruptcy court is virtually meaningless. The principal reason for it is to give the secured creditor a "heads up" to seek a lift stay so that it can proceed with a foreclosure or repossession. Hope this perspective helps!


The Statement of Intention is not binding, so walking away has no financial consequences. However, if there is a subsequent foreclosure, it could be reported. If you want your payment history to be reported accurately, you should request a payment history from the lender, then submit it to the credit reporting agency. The bank cannot deny that the history it produced for you is not accurate when you dispute the non-reporting of you payments.

Helene Thaissa W. Bergman

Helene Thaissa W. Bergman


Aren't we clever. That is what maturity grants us: wisdom. I can use this tidbit in other areas. Thank you, Mr. Walton.


You can walk away if you did not sign and have filed a reaffirmation agreement with the lender

The DiGiulio Law Firm, LLC.

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First of all, 99.999% of the time, it would ne a HUGE mistake to reaffirm a mortgage. There is almost no upside and lots of downside. Retain and pay works with real estate, but lets you walk away at any time.

Regardless of the statement of intent, unless a reaffirmation is signed and filed, the debt was NOT reaffirmed. Your credit report properly should show the debt as included/discharged in bankruptcy, as your payments now are voluntary (they retain a lien and can foreclose if you stop paying; they simply cannot sue you). Your voluntary payments don't get reported, so your dispute was properly denied.

You can walk away without liability. The bankruptcy filing itself and the eventual foreclosure that will happen can impair you getting another mortgage.

These are all things your lawyer should have explained.

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