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Reaffirming a home, the good and the bad. A bit of advice?

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  • Reaffirming a home, the good and the bad. A bit of advice?

    I swear I came across a stickied post on this very topic around here but I can not find it. So hopefully you guys would be willing to answer a few questions on the topic?

    At the moment I am not sure on what chapter I will be qualifying for. Of course I am shooting for a Ch7, but my home equity may be way too high. I kind of touched off on this situation earlier but I have a few reasons I do not want to walk away from my current home. First of all I need to keep my kids in the same schools, they are both special needs and the major change would cause them a huge amount of stress. Secondly my mortgage payment is cheaper (by a few hundred) than rental homes in my area. Even if we downsize by nearly 1k sq/ft and drop a bedroom. So from a financial standpoint it won't really help.

    Anyhow you guys obviously know what I am going to ask. I read on here somewhere that reaffirmation isn't always a good idea (well usually). However I am worried about the lack of security. I obviously do not want to get randomly tossed on the street. I keep thinking IF I was late a week or something at a point (any point even years down the road) the foreclosure proceedings would begin. Not to mention the loss of payment reporting, and being able to sell and cash out on it once my kids are done with school (9 years for my youngest).

    I also have heard that the courts don't always even approve a reaffirmation.

    So what do you guys think?

  • #2
    Here you go!


    • #3
      Just remember, reaffirmation doesn't keep you from getting kicked out onto the street. What it does do is sign you back up for liability to pay. It's as simple as that.
      Chapter 7 (No Asset/Non-Consumer) Filed (Pro Se) 7/08 (converted from Chapter 13 - 2/10)
      Status: (Auto) Discharged and Closed! 5/10
      Visit My BKForum Blog: justbroke's Blog

      I am not an attorney. Any advice provided is not legal advice.


      • #4
        Now my thoughts.

        You are not going to get kicked out on the street if your payment is one week late.

        Everyone, in almost every post you see here will tell you not to reaffirm. That includes the attorney who posts here, and who started that sticky thread that I posted for you.

        There are some who choose to go ahead and reaffirm for various reasons. The main reason I see is because they want the good credit reporting.

        Our attorney told us that Wells Fargo would probably not even send reaffirmation paperwork. She said they (the attorneys) almost never recommend reaffirming. Then we did get paperwork. After evaluating our situation, she told us it would be a low risk because we do have equity and a small payment. And my husband was feeling better and able to get back to work. So at that point she did recommend going ahead and signing the reaffirmation.

        We debated. We went back-and-forth. It sat here for a while. Finally, I was tired of hearing my husband question me about it, and I was just like whatever. We signed the paperwork and sent it in, not knowing whether it would make the deadline or not.

        It has been a few months now, and there has been no update on our credit reports. The attorney said that we did get it there in time, and that it was filed with the court. But Wells Fargo has not updated our information at all. It is just sitting there with the same balance from July.

        I sent an email to Wells Fargo, asking them why this was not updating. They replied and said that I had to call the 1-800 number. I have not done that. I'm honestly not sure whether our mortgage is reaffirmed or not. If it is, I'm not sure if they are ever going to report our payments -- which have never been late. In 15 years.

        I tell you all of this so that you know, it could be possible to reaffirm your mortgage and still not have the good credit reporting. Then you are tied into the responsibility again -- and for what?

        If I had it to do over again, that paperwork would still be sitting on my desk. We are only a few months out and our credit scores are fine without it.

        Another reason we decided to reaffirm is that we are still confused about what happens down the road, if we did decide that we needed to get a second mortgage for some reason or refinance. I still don't understand how that works. If your credit has not updated, I guess we still have statements showing that we have made these payments and that our balance is going down. Don't do like we did, don't sign something just because you are confused and under pressure. Read through the posts here, know your options, and make an educated decision that will be best for your future.


        • #5
          Thanks Chrysalis, that was the thread I remembered. I didn't look in the Ch7 area (obviously). There is SO much in there posted however and things got a bit "back and forth".

          I am glad you shared your story as it brought up a few things I didn't know about. I don't really care about my credit, it's destroyed. And technically I did not plan on moving for many years. Also as mentioned my payments are reasonable, as well as my interest rate (refinanced 2 years ago). I also have a lot of equity and my area is still blowing up (second fasted growing city in state). But as I said I wouldn't be doing it for my score but for security reasons. People are saying that you can save up a ton of money due to the foreclosure process taking so long. But obviously I couldn't buy a new home for a long time. But having a nest egg would be fantastic. And I assume the mortgage company could not come after that if it wasn't reaffirmed? I also suppose I could save up a decent deposit and rent in order to move into something 1-2 years in the future.

          BUT again it's really tough for us, our situation is a bit sensitive due to our kids. Not to mention my wife is back in school and should be able to work in about 1 1/2 years. So I wonder what should voluntarily be best in our case? I also gather from the link that you are safe if the payments are made. Is this due to some legality, or just at the mercy of the bank? AND are you able to sell the home, or does that no longer become an option? I wasn't sure if you built enough equity if they would want the house.

          So not reaffirming takes the responsibility off of you if your foreclosed on. Which gives you the ability to walk away at any time? And reaffirming pretty much does nothing positive or add a layer of protection outside of re-building credit?


          • #6
            You got it. If you do not reaffirm, that debt is discharged. You can walk away at any time, and you are not responsible for another dime.

            I hope someone will answer your more specific questions. I'm short on time right now and CLEARLY I do not have all the answers. I'll be back later to see. ;)


            • #7
              Thank you for squeezing in an answer Chrysalis!

              I guess my second main question(s) is on the security and if it's possible to sell in the future? Or if I no long "own" the home. I assume my lawyer hopefully can give the best advice (see a new on Wed). But I value everyone's opinion!


              • #8
                If you do not reaffirm a mortgage loan, nothing happens other than you may not have any reporting of the payments (from the time of filing bankruptcy). You can sell the property, refinance the property and literally do whatever you would normally do. The bankruptcy itself may affect your ability to obtain certain types of mortgages in the future (although 2-4 years cures almost every single issue), but, again, nothing would stop you from selling your property.

                A bankruptcy simply doesn't change ownership of property. Your property rights remain.
                Chapter 7 (No Asset/Non-Consumer) Filed (Pro Se) 7/08 (converted from Chapter 13 - 2/10)
                Status: (Auto) Discharged and Closed! 5/10
                Visit My BKForum Blog: justbroke's Blog

                I am not an attorney. Any advice provided is not legal advice.


                • #9
                  JB that takes care of all of my concerns. So the best advice for everyone is NOT to reaffirm. I noticed someone mentioned being behind on payments when filing though. I am not sure how that works into the equation. I don't have any "missed" payments, but I am paying about 25 days late each month due to shuffling crap around. However when my settlement comes in I was going to make sure I was a month ahead before filing (same with auto). This is pretty exciting really, I have some settling issues going on with the foundation. So I wasn't sure on how bad it could end up down the road. And if it did (prob wont), I could walk away instead of coming up with like 20k or more to fix it. That would be a huge piece of mind!

                  Thank you very much!


                  • #10
                    I was in a Chapter 13 and had arrears from the house when I converted to Chapter 7. I immediately negotiated a modification upon converting to Chapter 7. The bank (no names, but they were "of America") did a modification by placing all the arrears into the note and re-amortizing the note. I had no trial period. Another person under the same circumstances may not receive the same treatment as I received from my bank.
                    Chapter 7 (No Asset/Non-Consumer) Filed (Pro Se) 7/08 (converted from Chapter 13 - 2/10)
                    Status: (Auto) Discharged and Closed! 5/10
                    Visit My BKForum Blog: justbroke's Blog

                    I am not an attorney. Any advice provided is not legal advice.


                    • #11
                      Just wanted to give an update that you all might find interesting, since I talked about it here on this thread.

                      My husband finally called and talked to Wells Fargo today and the lady said that our mortgage is showing both discharged and reaffirmed. She said repeatedly that we need to talk to our attorney. I said, we do not need to talk to our attorney, which is it? They are either showing that we are responsible for the loan balance or we are not!

                      The lady really wanted to get off the phone but when she realized that he was not going to hang up just yet, she said she would go and talk to their attorneys. She came back and said that the attorneys refused to talk to her about it, that our attorney has to call and talk to their attorneys. She said that this was the first time she had ever seen a loan showing both reaffirmed and discharged.

                      I got on pacer for the first time ever, and it is showing that our reaffirmation was filed on October 9 and we did not receive our discharge until October 24. So I don't know what the problem is. I did email the attorney to ask her about it. Because we got absolutely nowhere on the phone with Wells Fargo. And yes it was the bankruptcy department.


                      • #12
                        Well, no idea what that was about, but I got a response from the paralegal saying that they talked to WF and the "release" to update our credit report should take about a week. O-k.


                        • #13
                          If you're paralegal/attorney responded and things are happening; that's great. Unfortunately not all reps know what's happening and you end up getting info that isn't accurate. Good luck going forward; sounds like you're on the track!
                          Filed Chapter 13 - 07/20/12
                          Discharged 8/2/16


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