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cfortunato, Attorney
Category: Bankruptcy Law
Satisfied Customers: 8023
Experience:  Bankruptcy professor.
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I have surrendered my house in chapter 7 in Florida. The Chapter

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I have surrendered my house in chapter 7 in Florida. The Chapter 7 was discharged 3 months ago and I am still living in the house. No word from the bank.

1. How long do I have to stay in the house before the bank evicts me and do they have to give me 30 days notice to move out? Is there a statute of limitations where if the bank does not follow through on the sale of the property after a certain time period, it becomes my property free and clear?

2. What if I sell the house? Does that money have to go towards paying off the loan even though it has been discharged?
Has the title to the house been signed over to the bank?
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
No, the title is still in my name. The bank has not done anything to move forward on the process. The house is just sitting there and I am living in it.
1) You cannot be evicted until the bank actually goes through the foreclosure process, and eventually sells the house at auction. When the house is sold, the new owner has to evict you through a court procedure that requires notice and can take at least a few months. There are many persons - in a similar situation to yours - who are in their homes years after not paying the mortgage. (Yes, they are living rent-free for this long.) However, there is no Statute of Limitations limiting the possibility of foreclosure.
2) The obligation to pay the mortgage was discharged in the bankruptcy, but this did not take away the lender's right to the house, which secured the mortgage. In other words, the lender still has a lien on the house. The lien has to be paid off before you can sell the home, so yes, even though the loan was discharged, and even though you are no longer obligated to pay it, the loan would have to be paid off before you could sell the house.
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
Thank you. One last question, in the case that the bank takes years to go through the foreclosure process, can I rent the house out on a month to month basis (making sure the renters know the situation at the time they sign the lease agreement)? I am getting married and will be moving in with my new wife in a few months. That way I can make some money from rent payments instead of the house just sitting vacant.
Yes, you have every right to rent out the house - because you still own it, even though you are not paying the mortgage. You can rent it out until it is sold at auction.
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