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Why reaffirming a mortgage is a very, very bad idea.

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    Originally posted by TRfromillino View Post
    Ok, I have to have an answer on this tonite! I keep reading about don't reaffirm, just keep paying and staying, if i want to. Well if you don't check reaffirm, than what do you check??? I tried to push past checking the 'other' box for retaining, stay and pay, but my lawyer informed me today that this option was not for real property and was not applicable in Illinois. So once again, I'm back to only being able to check reaffirm or surrender. I read that if I surrender, that automatically lifts the stay and they can take the house after discharge. I don't want that! But I'm so confused sometimes and I feel sometimes like I know more than my lawyer. But I have to go sign the papers tomorrow and they want to know what I'm going to do. And I don't know.
    Ask your attorney about checking "reaffirm", but then not following through by executing a reaffirmation agreement.
    LadyInTheRed is in the black!
    Filed Chap 13 April 2010. Discharged May 2015.
    $143,000 in debt discharged for $36,500, including attorneys fees. Money well spent!

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      Honestly, I believe I will just do that. And actually I'm just about done asking him anything. There's no strategy with the guy, it's all cut and dried. This or that. His secretary is worth more than he is. Thanks so much for answering!

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        Thanks Des for the feedback.

        I agree with everything you said. Bottom-line I will not be reaffirming either my 1st or 2nd. Will "try" to redeem the 2nd, but I too cannot find anything that supports real property redemption in my TX district. Both my BK attorney and a prepaid legal service said this can "sometimes" be done in my district but could not / did not tell me specifically Why it could be done.

        "IF" I do get the redemption, I'll post back and let everyone know.

        Thanks all!

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          We are in Colorado and have a second mortgage - home equity line with Fifth Third Bank. That we DID NOT reaffirm after the Chapter 7 Discharge. We just keep struggling to pay the payment. Our mortgage is in the Bankruptcy Department who is very difficult to deal with. They do not send monthly statements or end-of-year Interest 1098.

          They report on our Credit "Debit included in or discharged through Bankuptcy Chapter 7: Balance Amount -0-: Closed Account Closed at Credit Grantor's Request" on Experian and Equifax.

          Does this mean that have written-off the debt and would not be able to foreclose if we stopped paying? I would love an attorney answer or the contact for a Colorado BK attorney to talk to. Thanks for any help.
          Lauren

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            Originally posted by ColoFiler View Post
            We are in Colorado and have a second mortgage - home equity line with Fifth Third Bank. That we DID NOT reaffirm after the Chapter 7 Discharge. We just keep struggling to pay the payment. Our mortgage is in the Bankruptcy Department who is very difficult to deal with. They do not send monthly statements or end-of-year Interest 1098.
            I am pretty sure they are required by the IRS to send you Form 1098 if you are making interest payments. Have you specifically asked them to send you a 1098? Most lenders will send informational statements after you are discharged. Have you asked them to do that?

            Originally posted by ColoFiler View Post
            They report on our Credit "Debit included in or discharged through Bankuptcy Chapter 7: Balance Amount -0-: Closed Account Closed at Credit Grantor's Request" on Experian and Equifax.

            Does this mean that have written-off the debt and would not be able to foreclose if we stopped paying?
            No. They still have a lien on the home and can foreclose if you stop paying. But, they cannot sue you for a deficiency because the discharge relieved you of personal liability. If you can't afford to keep the home, stop making payments and live in the house for free until they sell the home at a foreclosure sale.

            Originally posted by ColoFiler View Post
            I would love an attorney answer or the contact for a Colorado BK attorney to talk to. Thanks for any help.
            Lauren
            I'm not an attorney, but the effects of a discharge of a mortgage are pretty straight forward. You can Google "discharge of mortgage in Chapter 7" for confirmation. BKforum members are not allowed to recommend an attorney in a public forum, only by PM. I don't think you have enough posts to receive PMs.
            LadyInTheRed is in the black!
            Filed Chap 13 April 2010. Discharged May 2015.
            $143,000 in debt discharged for $36,500, including attorneys fees. Money well spent!

            Comment


              Thanks, LadyintheRed,

              I am not concerned about the 1098 except in conjunction with the fact that they are showing it as ZERO balance and CLOSED on two credit bureaus, plus not sending me any statements. Seems to indicate they have written it off their books.

              The house was upside down at the time of the discharge and they verbally indicated they had no interest in having it since they would get "taken out" by the first mortgage.

              Seems to me if they wrote the balance off of their books, that is a legal action resulting in them have nothing to collect upon???

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                I was asked to sign a reaffirmation form also, but I said no, because at my age if I went in the hospital for some reason and couldn't continue payments, I figured they would take everything. Where would I go if I ever got out of the hospital!? When I talked to people at the bank about it, I was told they wouldn't send confirmation to the credit agencies that I was making payments, and they wouldn't send me statements. Well, my credit is already ruined, and the statement has the same things on it that the receipt I receive has when I make my payments. Except for a couple of auto-pays I'm a cash only person now. That reaffirmation locks you in and if something drastic happens, what then?

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                  Originally posted by ColoFiler View Post
                  Thanks, LadyintheRed,

                  I am not concerned about the 1098 except in conjunction with the fact that they are showing it as ZERO balance and CLOSED on two credit bureaus, plus not sending me any statements. Seems to indicate they have written it off their books.

                  The house was upside down at the time of the discharge and they verbally indicated they had no interest in having it since they would get "taken out" by the first mortgage.

                  Seems to me if they wrote the balance off of their books, that is a legal action resulting in them have nothing to collect upon???
                  ColoFiler this is the first time I saw your follow up question. Sorry for missing it before.

                  They show it as zero balance and closed on your credit report because the debt is discharged, so you have no legal obligation to pay it. Your credit report is a record of debt you are required to pay. Reporting a discharged debt would be inaccurate because you are not required to pay it. The debt no longer exists. What exists is a lien on your property and you must make payments according to the original contract to prevent the bank from foreclosing on that lien. Reporting a zero balance and closed on your credit report has nothing to do with the status of their lien and their ability to foreclose if you default and they decide it is worth while to do so.

                  They don't send you statements because they don't want to risk being accused of trying to collect a discharged debt. If you call them and ask them to send informational statements, they might do that. But, they might not. They do not have to send you statements to maintain their right to foreclose.
                  Last edited by LadyInTheRed; 08-21-2016, 04:37 PM.
                  LadyInTheRed is in the black!
                  Filed Chap 13 April 2010. Discharged May 2015.
                  $143,000 in debt discharged for $36,500, including attorneys fees. Money well spent!

                  Comment


                    Originally posted by stella123 View Post
                    I was asked to sign a reaffirmation form also, but I said no, because at my age if I went in the hospital for some reason and couldn't continue payments, I figured they would take everything. Where would I go if I ever got out of the hospital!? When I talked to people at the bank about it, I was told they wouldn't send confirmation to the credit agencies that I was making payments, and they wouldn't send me statements. Well, my credit is already ruined, and the statement has the same things on it that the receipt I receive has when I make my payments. Except for a couple of auto-pays I'm a cash only person now. That reaffirmation locks you in and if something drastic happens, what then?
                    Exactly!
                    LadyInTheRed is in the black!
                    Filed Chap 13 April 2010. Discharged May 2015.
                    $143,000 in debt discharged for $36,500, including attorneys fees. Money well spent!

                    Comment


                      Ok so I have done my due diligence on this topic and my attorney did not provide any advice in either regard and left it up to me. The reason I decided to re-affirm was because I have nearly 22% equity in the home ($115k home with a $90k balance). In the event I cannot pay the mortgage, I can always sell this home below FMV and still recoup most of the equity without a problem. This home is in an area that isn't very bubbly and grows slowly; even in 2008 the home price did not drop more than 5%. My personal preference in this case is that my equity will secure my home enough that even if I had to foreclose I would not have a deficiency. A home in this neighborhood foreclosed a few years ago and sold very quickly at foreclosure for $98k. I am taking my risk here that even in the worst case scenario I would not be deficient. The home is over-insured so I am not concerned with any catastrophic loss scenarios.

                      Now personally I am planning on moving out in the next year and turning this into a rental home. Obviously this is a topic not for this forum and I have researched it extensively. For me reaffirmation was a mental re-start; the Ch 7 was due to a business endeavor (if you can call it that) that did not work out and the mortgage was never underwater and I have always been able to pay it. Like I said, if in the event I cannot rent the place (very unlikely in our market) and have to foreclose, my equity gives me a safety net that I would not fear a deficiency. And yes I am doing this primarily for the credit history (Might be misunderstanding but if I reaffirm I believe I keep my good history for the mortgage from before I filed as well vs having a Included-In-Bankruptcy). For me it is more of a mental state of mind, knowing I can start over and keep the mortgage which I feel was a good deal (3.25% rate locked for 30 years in a home that has a hot rental market of which I have 22% equity). I understand I can keep the home without reaffirmation, but as another poster said here, I will always feel like I am in limbo with unfinished business from the bankruptcy.

                      I still have a few more weeks left to "rescind" my reaffirmation agreement, but at this time I haven't seen a convincing reason for me to do that? If anyone can advise please let me know why you think this wouldn't be a good idea...

                      Comment


                        I am filing individually, but husband is a co-signer. We owe way more than the house is worth with a high interest rate. I do not want to reaffirm. Should I reaffirm or should my husband try to negotiate for a better interest rate since his credit score is in the 700's?

                        Comment


                          Originally posted by Vonny12 View Post
                          I am filing individually, but husband is a co-signer. We owe way more than the house is worth with a high interest rate. I do not want to reaffirm. Should I reaffirm or should my husband try to negotiate for a better interest rate since his credit score is in the 700's?
                          "We owe way more than the house is worth with a high interest rate"

                          That's reason enough to NOT re-affirm. The credit benefit does not outweigh the potential risk if you are underwater again in the future and end up not being able to foreclose. Just keep paying the bills and you'll be fine living in the home but this is one situation I feel is not worth re-affirming

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                            Thanks knowledge101.

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                              So if I don't reaffirm ( I'm in Ca) and I make all my payments lets say for 3 more years and then sell the house, I still get all the profits from my equity correct?

                              Comment


                                Originally posted by ipounder67 View Post
                                So if I don't reaffirm ( I'm in Ca) and I make all my payments lets say for 3 more years and then sell the house, I still get all the profits from my equity correct?
                                Assuming your bankruptcy case is closed, you must pay off all liens and encumbrances that are attached to the home, closing costs, commission etc - just like the rest of us. You then get to keep the net-net profit.

                                Des.

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