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cfortunato, Attorney
Category: Bankruptcy Law
Satisfied Customers: 8023
Experience:  Bankruptcy professor.
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Can a discharged (March 2011) Chapter 7 B/R case be reopened

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Can a discharged (March 2011) Chapter 7 B/R case be reopened purely to insert a mortgage reaffirmation & then closed again? This reaffirmation is absolutely necessary in order to refinance my home. My mortgage lender listed as a creditor, was never meant by me, to be part of the B/R & has received my never-late payments, yet lender insists he cannot remove bad credit notation on my credit reports until this (court approved) reaffirmation takes place. My B/R attorney says discharged B/Rs cannot be reopened.

To date I have found no mortgage lender who will touch me.

cfortunato : Hi - my name is XXXXX XXXXX I'm a Bankruptcy attorney here to assist you.
cfortunato : What your attorney told you is correct.
cfortunato : A reaffirmation absolutely must be executed and filed with the Bankruptcy court before a debtor receives a discharge. This rule is provided for in the Bankruptcy Code.
cfortunato : Once a debtor receives a discharge, it is too late to file a re-affirmation agreement.
cfortunato : (In general, a closed Bankruptcy case can be re-opened, but not because the debtor wants to file a re-affirmation agreement.)
Customer: 1. My attorney dropped the ball. We told him a number of times that we wanted to keep the house & that this was only because of credit cards.
Customer: 2. Mortgage lender sent non-requested reaffirmation papers to attorney dated one day after the discharge. Even murder cases can be reopened. A mistake was made, is there no recourse?
Customer: Any advice as to what to do next?
cfortunato : It is rarely a good idea to re-affirm a mortgage. Saving a few points by re-financing is not worth the risk that something happens and the debtor is not able to pay the mortgage. Because re-affirmation means the lender can get a judgment for the balance of the mortgage if something happens and the debtor is not able to continue to pay the mortgage. This judgment could be used to attach assets the debtor owns, and can be used to garnish the debtor's earnings.
cfortunato : In any event, and unfortunately, even if you wanted to re-affirm in spite of the risks, there is no recourse - even though the papers were sent shortly after the discharge.
cfortunato : But if you are not convinced, you can certainly go to the clerk at the Bankruptcy court, and ask to file a motion to re-open your case.
cfortunato : The worst that could happen is your motion would be denied (the case would not be re-opened).
Customer: To someone on a fixed income, a few points is over $500 per month, this lender has already sent me my perfect payment record since purchase 5 yrs ago this month. I'll try that, thank you!
cfortunato : You would then be able to convince your mortgage company that you are not able to re-affirm your mortgage, in spite of the fact that you did try.
cfortunato : This would be a "good-faith" gesture on your part to try to comply with their request.
Customer: Ok, Thanks
cfortunato : You're welcome!
cfortunato : And I do hope everything works out for the best for you!
cfortunato and other Bankruptcy Law Specialists are ready to help you