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Elizabeth Prentice
Elizabeth Prentice, Attorney
Category: Bankruptcy Law
Satisfied Customers: 174
Experience:  Managing Attorney for one of the largest consumer bankruptcy firms in America.
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This is for a work problem I am trying to get an educated answer

Customer Question

This is for a work problem I am trying to get an educated answer for.

If someone files Chapter 7 and reaffirms the mortgage, will the trustee enforce liquidation of the property if they are late on even one payment?
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Bankruptcy Law
Expert:  Elizabeth Prentice replied 4 years ago.
I am a bankruptcy attorney and I would be happy to assist you. The Chapter 7 trustee will not enforce the reaffirmation agreement or attempt to collect the mortgage payment. Only the creditor (the mortgage company) will be able to enforce their rights per the reaffirmation agreement. The following is a summary to explain reaffirmation agreement of mortgages for you.

If you decide to sign a reaffirmation agreement, you would be taking on the personal liability for the payment of the entire debt as listed in the agreement. If at some point in the future you are not able to continue the payments required by the agreement, the creditor could not only foreclose on the property, but they could get a judgment against you to collect the money. Such a judgment could lead to a garnishment of wages or other collection action by the creditor.

If you chose not to sign the reaffirmation agreement, it is likely that the creditor would still allow you to keep the real estate so long as you continue to make the payments. This is because in order to take the real estate away from you, the creditor would have to file a foreclosure lawsuit against you in your local state court. This is a long and very expensive process. A creditor would not go through all that expense if you are current with your payments. Most local attorneys typically advise their clients not to sign any reaffirmation agreement for real estate unless the creditor is offering you a significantly discounted interest rate or other modification of terms that is very beneficial to you. The only other benefits to reaffirming a mortgage loan are that the creditor will report your monthly payments to the credit bureaus, and that the mortgage company may be more willing to renegotiate your terms down the road if you should fall behind. But these benefits are not much compared to the risk you take on by reaffirming and putting your signature back on the loan and taking on the personal liability to continue to make the payments even if you can’t afford them.

I hope my answer has assisted you and that you will leave me a positive rating! Please feel free to ask for me by name in future questions, should you need more assistance.