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TJ, Esq.
TJ, Esq., Attorney
Category: Bankruptcy Law
Satisfied Customers: 12250
Experience:  JD, MBA
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I filed ch 7 bankruptcy almost five years ago and all debt

Resolved Question:

I filed ch 7 bankruptcy almost five years ago and all debt was discharged. I surrendered the house I was living in, which has been vacant for years and in need of repair. Since there was no foreclosure on the property and I have been told that I own the house, can I get a lien release to have repairs made on the property so I can live the house?
Submitted: 8 years ago.
Category: Bankruptcy Law
Expert:  TJ, Esq. replied 8 years ago.

Hello and thank you for allowing me to address your legal question.

Yes, you can live in the house since you are still the owner of record. However, your fears are well-founded: The lienholder would be within its rights to foreclose on the house after you move back and make repairs since liens survive bankruptcy. You cannot legally force the lienholder to release the lien, so at this point putting money into the property may not be worth the risk. Perhaps a better strategy would be to negotiate with the lienholder. For example, you may be able to work out a deal whereby you will repay part of the original loan in exchange for a release of the lien (i.e. offer to sign a new note).

If the information that I provided was helpful, please remember to ACCEPT my post as that is the only way I will receive credit and compensation for my answer. Thank you and good luck!

DISCLAIMER: Please understand that the complexities of most legal problems cannot be sufficiently addressed in this setting. Accordingly, my post is intended as general information only, and should neither be construed as specific legal advice, nor as an adequate substitute for the retention of legal counsel.

Customer: replied 8 years ago.
What if the lien holders won't accept an agreement? I've talked to them.
Expert:  TJ, Esq. replied 8 years ago.
You can't force the lienholders to make a deal. If they won't deal, then you should not proceed with the repairs unless you are willing to accept the risk of a future foreclosure.
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