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I filed for bankrupcty in 2008 and it was discharged October 1, 2008. In the process, I was going to reaffirm my mortgage but I had a question regarding the terms. Before I knew it, the bankruptcy was discharged and I had no reaffirmation agreement. My lawyer says that Wells Fargo didn't get back to her but I believe it is the other way around. I have attempted to contact her with this question I am asking here but she hasn't returned my messages.

I am not concerned about my credit score. It is fine with other steps I have taken to rebuild it. It has now been 5 years since the discharge and I approached a bank about refinancing my mortgage into a locked/lower interest rate. My wife and I have continued to pay the mortgage on time and it is even indicated as such on my wife's credit report.

The bank, Quicken Loans, indicated they could not help me without a reaffirmation agreement. This troubles me because I was under the impression when I filed bankruptcy that a reaffirmation agreement wasn't required. Regardless, I was told by Quicken Loans and Wells Fargo that I could have my case reopened to file a reaffirmation agreement. My problem is I don't know how to do this and my lawyer will not call me back.

Questions: 1. Will I be able to ever sell my house or refinance it without a reaffirmation agreement? 2. Should I just contact a different bank? 3. If I do need the agreement, what steps should I take to get it done?

It amazes me that after 13 years of consistent payment of my mortgage that I would have this trouble, even with the bankruptcy. Am I just naive?

Thoughts?

  • Hire a (good) lawyer. Without a reaffirmation agreement your lender could choose to foreclose (against the note, not you). You want to get this fixed. Home values are rising, so the home could have substantial equity. – ChuckCottrill Dec 20 '13 at 0:20
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Speak to a better Bankruptcy Attorney. Good attorneys wouldn't dodge your calls. IANAL (I am not a lawyer) so I cannot answer the question related to selling your without the reaffirmation, but it is something that 100% needs an answer from an actual attorney in your state.

It amazes me that after 13 years of consistent payment of my mortgage that I would have this trouble, even with the bankruptcy. Am I just naive?

As someone who has worked front-line to back in the mortgage industry, I will state the bank doesn't care. Customer loyalty is a thing of the past to most of these institutions. They only care the mortgage and items related to it are paid.

If you have any further questions let me know and I'll edit my answer (can't respond to comments yet). While Bankruptcy is one of the areas I have the least amount of knowledge with, I've worked Collections, Modifications, Shortsale, DIL, FCL, and basically any resolution strategy available for retention and liquidation.

Anyways, best of luck with your current situation.

  • Thanks for the response Blake. With what you have said and what ChuckCottrill said above I do believe it is time for me to get this taken care of to prevent any future issues. – fkm71 Feb 3 '14 at 15:40
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As someone who filed for bankruptcy 'pro se' (without representation) I'm fairly certain that Wells Fargo probably didn't get back to them.

As part of the bankruptcy proceedings, the court (through your assigned trustee) sent a notice to all creditors inviting them to appear before a 'meeting of creditors' (sometimes called a '341 meeting'). Creditors are not required to appear before the court if they want to accept the default judgement.

Any secured debt you wish to keep MUST be affirmed, and the creditor actually has to agree to the reaffirmation (creditors don't have to reaffirm the debt, but they usually do -- because you're essentially stating that the debt can't be bankrupted).

Here's what I would do in your situation:

  • Check to see if the bankruptcy is still on your credit report. It most likely is, because not enough time has passed from your discharge. This will affect your options, so it's good to confirm this.
  • Contact the bank that holds your mortgage. They probably know about your bankruptcy already. I would just ask them what your options are.

Will I be able to ever sell my house or refinance it without a reaffirmation agreement?

Sell - most likely. After all, you'd be telling your bank "here, I have this money for you. It takes care of the debt. Please give me title to the house".

Refinance - probably not. You'd be telling the bank "I'm not sure where we stand in terms of our agreement, but please give me better terms".

Should I just contact a different bank?

I have a feeling you're going to be out of luck contacting another bank. Why would they want to deal with you if you're not sure what your standing is with the original debt that they would be paying off?

If I do need the agreement, what steps should I take to get it done?

  • Find out who your Bankruptcy trustee was and contact them. There is a good chance they will have information on debt affirmation you need.
  • Check the PACER system used by the US Courts to see if you can look up documentation for your case. You might be able to tell if your debt was affirmed in those court documents.
  • Thank you for this information and the suggestions. I am definitely going to follow several of them. – fkm71 Jul 3 '14 at 2:57

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