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May 2011

File bankruptcy? Stop paying? Don’t leave that house!

Posted by / in After Bankruptcy / 405 comments

File bankruptcy? Stop paying? Don’t leave that house!

Here’s a quiz.  You’ve decided to file bankruptcy to get rid of that big mortgage payment.  When is the right time to move out of the house?

1.  When you know you can’t afford it?

2.  When you fall three months behind?

3.  When the bank tells you your house will go to foreclosure?

4.  Right before you file bankruptcy?

5.  Right after you file bankruptcy?

6.  None of the above.

The answer is none of the above.  Leaving the house before you have to, can be a very expensive mistake.  Especially if you have a home owner or condo association.

When you move out–even if you file bankruptcy–you still own the house.  You are responsible.  You are responsible if there’s an accident.  You are responsible for zoning.  You are responsible for paying the association.

Bankruptcy lawyer Robert Weed

Virginia Bankruptcy Lawyer Robert Weed

The bankruptcy court for sure isn’t paying your home owner association fees.  And, if you aren’t paying the mortgage company, they aren’t paying the association, either.  That leaves you.

Those after bankruptcy association payments are after bankruptcy debts.  That means, they are yours.

I’m seeing people who stop paying and file bankruptcy with me; and four months later the bank has foreclosed them.  I’m also seeing a few people who stopped paying and filed bankruptcy with me in 2009 and the bank still has not foreclosed.

If you are still living there, two years for free (except for the association) is a good thing.  If you move out and pay rent somewhere, two years of  still paying that home owner association–that’s a real headache.

When people talk to me about filing bankruptcy and giving up the house, I tell them, don’t move out!  If you have already moved out, rent it!

Before the crisis mortgage companies were quick to foreclose.  (At least in Virginia, where foreclosures are easy.)  Five months after you stopped paying, you were foreclosed.   In the sixth month, if you hadn’t moved out, you would be evicted.  Filing bankruptcy right before the foreclosure would get you three more months, but that’s all.

That still happens–a lot.  But a lot of times it doesn’t.  There’s no way to predict–except that houses with big association fees often sit much longer.

Some of the reasons foreclosures are slow have been in the news.  The whole loan modification thing; paperwork problems; the fact that the foreclosure lawyers can’t keep up with the volume.

Some delay is just an investment decision by the mortgage companies.

Suppose there are thirty houses in a little neighborhood and ten of those had mortgages with a bank I’ll call Bank of the Galaxy.  Two of those ten have already filed bankruptcy and gone to foreclosure.  Galaxy fixed one up and sold it; the other is sitting empty.  Seven are current; and the last one is yours–you just filed bankruptcy and you are five months behind.

You and your eight neighbors owe $225,000 on the mortgage and the last house Galaxy fixed up and actually sold went for $110,000.  The best offer they have on the one sitting empty was $101,000 and they figure if they have to sell your house too they’d be lucky to get $95,000.

Well, $95,000 is better than nothing, right?  Not necessarily.  Galaxy is worried about your seven neighbors who are still paying.  Those families ask themselves, every month or maybe every week, why are we still paying a $225,000 mortgage on a $110,000 house?

When your house sells for $95,000, Bank of the Galaxy figures one of your seven neighbors will say, that’s it!  That neighbor stops paying, files bankruptcy, and now they have another house on their hands.

Bank of the Galaxy would rather have you sit in your house, for a while, then tell everyone in the neighborhood that the houses they thought were worth $110,000 have now dropped down to $95,000.  (Here’s a scary article about how foreclosures have knocked three TRILLION dollars off the vlaues of people in the neighborhood.)

Now I said at the beginning, you should not move out until there has been a foreclosure.  As your bankruptcy lawyer, that’s easy for me to say; it’s harder for you to do.  Because you need to have a place to live lined up.

Nobody much has built either houses or apartments in the last few years.  So rents are high, and places to rent are scarce.  And it is harder to rent if you have bad credit or have a bankruptcy on your credit report.  You need to have a place to live lined up.   But if you panic and move out before you have to, you could end up paying the association on an empty house for another six months or a year.


Update:  After filing bankruptcy don’t leave that house

I’m writing in Falls Church Virginia in March 2014–our fifth snow storm this year.  Stephanie (not her real name) emailed me that she has taken a job next school year teaching in the U. S. Virgin Islands.  Doesn’t pay that well, but the weather is great.

Chapter 7 bankruptcy to stop foreclosure

Stephanie filed Chapter 7 bankruptcy to stop foreclosure in August 2010. In March 2014, she’s been offered a job in the Virgin Islands. She hasn’t made a house payment in three and a half years.

You probably don’t have a job offer in the Islands.  But here’s how Stephanie’s story affects you.

Stephanie filed Chapter 7 bankruptcy with me to stop a foreclosure in August 2010.  She’s lived in her house in Ashburn for three and a half years, without paying either the first or second mortgage.  Now that’s very unusual.  But it makes my point.  Until they throw you out, don’t leave that house.

Cary Ann: Don’t leave that house.

Cary Ann filed bankruptcy with me in August 2013.  She immediately stopped making mortgage payments. Four years later, in August 2017, her mortgage company approved her for a “short sale.”

As part of that short sale, they gave her a $10,000 relocation bonus.  So after her Chapter 7 bankruptcy in 2013, Cary Ann lived in the house for four years without making a house payment. And then got $10,000 reward for moving out!

This is very rare; very rare. But it makes my point. Just because you stopped paying and filed bankruptcy, that does NOT mean your mortgage company is going to quickly foreclose on your house. Usually they do, but sometimes they don’t. My advice, and I know this can be hard to do in reality, be ready to move out, but don’t leave that house.



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Robert Weed has helped fifteen thousand people file bankruptcy in Northern Virginia. Robert Weed is a frequent panelist and speaker at the meetings of the National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys. He is one of Northern Virginia’s most experienced personal bankruptcy lawyers. As an expert on changing consumer bankruptcy laws, Robert Weed has been interviewed on local and national TV and quoted in newspapers across the country.

  • Robert Weed

    May 31, 2011, pm31 12:33 PM

    Sad to say, I saw some people today who filed bankruptcy with me in 2008 and moved out of the house. The house still isn’t foreclosed.

    Except for the home owners association, which they still have to pay anyway, they could have been living for free.

    I do know most houses get foreclosed within six or seven months of the bankruptcy–some as short as three. And I know that some houses just sit for a year or two or, like this one, for three. I don’t know why.

    Hard as it is, get packed, be ready to move, line up a place, but, until they foreclose, don’t move out.

    • Jennifer

      June 13, 2014, pm30 9:17 PM

      Our mortgage was sold from Chase to Portfolio Recovery, We are 6 months behind with Chase, Now it will be 7 with Portfolio. We have a $350k mortgage, Out house has not been updated in 22 years, not even painted. The assestment of our house is about $220k. It is a raised ranch. Downstairs is uninhabitable. It is full of mold, see Black mold, my husband sees Green. At this point we want out, What should we do ?

      • Robert Weed

        June 14, 2014, am30 2:39 AM

        Jennifer: Talk to a bankruptcy lawyer where you live. Make plans to file bankruptcy and move out. Talk to your lawyer about whether there are zoning issues in your community that you need to watch out for.

  • Robert Weed

    May 31, 2011, pm31 3:03 PM

    Had another lady in the same situation come to see me just today. She filed bankruptcy in May 2008–and just now got foreclosure notice for June 10, 2011.

  • Robert Weed

    July 6, 2011, am31 6:22 AM

    Article in yesterdays Washington Post talks about this problem. Some cities are trying to pass laws making the mortgage company responsible for taking care of the house after the home owner is gone. (Not because they care about the home owner, exactly. But they want someone with deep pockets to pay the association and take care of the property.) There’s no way that’s going to happen in Virginia. So the burden is sitll on you. http://www.washingtonpost.com/business/economy/complex-system-leaves-thousands-of-bank-owned-properties-to-become-eyesores/2011/06/28/AG0EFDsH_story.html

  • Robert Weed

    July 14, 2011, pm31 12:07 PM

    Just talked to one of my clients, Scott, who filed bankruptcy with me in August 2009. Like many of these cases, had a $300 a month condo fee. Bank of America still hasn’t foreclosed.

    Scott said he followed my advice and rented the place for $600 a month–double the condo fee–to a friend of his. Working out so far great for both. Friend has a cheap place to live; Scott is able to pay the condo fee and is making a little money on it.

    So, just because you are filing bankruptcy does not mean you should move out. If you move out, rent it,

    • Jackie

      July 15, 2014, pm31 8:02 PM

      What about a roommate that was supposed to leave two weeks after me it was my villa I did a Bankruptcy Filled in Jan Court in Feb and it is done I have been dismissed and she is still living there she was supposed to pay me rent and since I came from Florida to MS she changed her number or blocked me, she did not send me my mail she was supposed to.
      She said I did not get anything…. I did not change address till 2 weeks later.
      If she is not paying rent or association can I some how make her pay that money almost $2000.00 since I left can I sue her for not paying me or the association
      lease need your help.Jackie

      • Robert Weed

        July 15, 2014, pm31 10:45 PM


        Wow! I’m glad I don’t do landlord tenant law. Sorry.

  • maria

    August 10, 2011, pm31 1:23 PM

    We are currently having the same problem. Chase didn’t want to help, and my husband was unemployed. We had to leave CA to get a job in TX almost 2 yrs. ago. The house has been sitting empty and just got served today for a $12K bill. We’ve been waiting to file thinking the bank would foreclose. Nada, zip, found out last month our home was taken off the list of homes to be foreclosed on. We’re just stuck both ways ….

  • Robert Weed

    August 24, 2011, pm31 2:26 PM

    Saw this clipping that home owner associations in Florida are now having some luck going after the mortgage companies who don’t foreclose. http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-08-24/homeowner-associations-in-need-of-cash-sue-lenders-to-force-foreclosures.html.

    My initial reaction is that this does not help the homeowner. My comments still apply. File bankruptcy? Stop paying? Still pay the HOA and don’t leave the house!

  • Kenneth

    August 25, 2011, am31 12:54 AM

    Great information Mr. Weed. I’m staying put because of my $225 a month HOA. I’ve been in my place for 11 months after filing chapter 7, just paying the HOA and saving for a downpayment . Your information lets me know I’m not alone. I live in Wa state and have a feeling I’ll be in my place for awhile.

  • len

    August 25, 2011, am31 5:40 AM

    we are pretty much on the same situation. stopped paying for our home since early 2009. filed chaoter 7 including our house and got discharged on March 2010. still waiting for our foreclosure , paying HOA , and living in the house for free. feel guilty 🙁 .. is this pretty normal for a bank to not proceed a foreclosure after 2 years of not paying a loan. getting a little confuse . need some advice.

    • Robert Weed

      August 25, 2011, am31 6:37 AM

      Can’t say that it’s normal, but it happens a lot. Like Kenneth commented earlier today, you are not alone.

    • Robert Weed

      August 26, 2011, am31 10:06 AM

      I don’t know what to say about normal, but it happens a lot. I know it seems strange, but free is good.

      • Maria Gallegos

        July 1, 2013, pm31 4:14 PM

        I filed Chapter 7 in Oct of 2008. My house was NOT included in the Chapter 7. My bankruptsy lawyer sent a notice to the mortgage company about the Chapter 7 filing and to re-affirm the debt but my lawyer nor I ever got a response on it from my mortgage company.
        Today I found out that since 2008 my morgtage payments have NOT been getting reported to the 3 Credit bureaus. I believe this is affecting my credit and I am trying to improve my credit ..am I right?
        Also what happens if I quit paying on the mortgage? How long do I have before they kick me out? I live in colorado and my home is a townhome and I do pay HOA dues.
        What happens if NOW they want to reaffirm the debt? Should I do it or am I better off not doing so?

        • Robert Weed

          July 1, 2013, pm31 4:23 PM


          Nearly everybody who’s not a lawyer makes the mistake you are making.

          If you filed chapter 7 bankrutpcy in 2008, your house WAS INCLUDED. You don’t pick what’s included, the law does that.

          YOU pick what you want to still pay–and you’ve continued to pay the mortgage. Your house payments are not showing on your credit report. And I think that’s RIGHT. I explain that here. https://robertweed.com/2011/05/16/after-bankruptcy-my-house-payments-dont-show-on-my-credit-report/.

          Your credit would be better if they did, but there it is.

          Once the bankruptcy is over, you cannot reaffirm the debt. It’s legally impossible.

          Because you did NOT reaffirm the debt, you can stop paying. They can kick you out of your house, but they can’t make you pay anymore. (Make sure you keep paying the HOA.)

          How long will it take to kick you out? In Virginia it would be five or six or maybe seven months. In most other places it’s longer, but I don’t know ANYTHING about Colorado.

          • Donna

            April 25, 2014, pm30 5:16 PM

            filed chap 7 in 2009. Did not reaffirm my house, but did get a loan modification right after the bankruptcy. My payments do not show on my credit report as a mortgage. I have been paying my mortgage ever since. I am thinking of leaving since I am way upside down. I am in Florida. Any idea how long I can go without paying and still stay in the house? Does it matter that they did a loan mod?

          • Robert Weed

            April 25, 2014, pm30 5:40 PM


            I know it would be longer than it would be in Virginia. That’s NOT very specific, but it’s all I know.

          • Gina

            July 8, 2014, pm31 7:23 PM

            Would you happen to know anything about Illinois by chance? About how long you’d have before they actually put you out of the home (for foreclosures)? My situation is pretty much like everyone else. I’ve filed BK, am behind in payments and am trying to determine whether or not I keep pulling my teeth out to try and make ends meet with this mortgage or just let it go (of course continuing the monthly assessments and still residing there). I understand that my credit will only reflect the BK even if the home goes into Foreclosure after the fact, however does the same apply if I were to do a short sale?

          • Robert Weed

            July 9, 2014, pm31 7:38 PM


            Sorry, I know nothing about how long it takes them to foreclose you in Illinois.

            Credit report will be the same whether it eventually forecloses or goes to shortsale. The advantage of a short sale is you can get approved again for a mortgage after two years; for foreclosure it’s three. Disadvantage, probably if you wait for a foreclosure you get to live there longer. (But again I don’t know how long Illinois foreclosures take.)

  • Kenneth

    September 6, 2011, am30 4:25 AM

    Mr. Weed, It is my understanding that a foreclosure will not show up on a credit report just the bankruptcy if you did not reaffirm your house. Is that correct? I filed chapter 7, my bankruptcy was discharged and my mortgage was included and is now at zero balance.

  • Tara

    October 30, 2011, pm31 6:01 PM

    I wished my attorney had advised me of this when I filed a chapter 7 bankruptcy. I was not aware that you could stay in the home until it actually foreclosed. I moved out 30 days after filing my bankruptcy, thinking I would be evicted by the mortgage company in 30-90 days. Now, the bank keeps sending me information to try and modify the mortgage loan and I was advised that I will still have to pay insurance for the home and taxes, as well as responsible for short selling the house if I no longer want to live in it. I’m in an apartment now with a lease, so I don’t want to break it and move back to the house to be kicked out. Sincerely, in a catch 22.

  • sreph

    November 13, 2011, pm30 4:42 PM

    I filed bankruptcy 3 yrs ago and no foreclosure. I stopped
    Paying taxes per my attorney so im behind and nonow a friend wants to rent it-should I have them pay taxes or wait for city to foreclose for non payment? Do I add full homeowners insurance back on as I have a liability rider on our other home, I just want to be covered if someone getd as hurt not necessarily worrie
    About repayment to bank if something.happens to home and I was told cant put homeowners on it because im not livving in UT

    • Robert Weed

      November 14, 2011, am30 6:42 AM

      I think you should rent it and I am sure you need to get insurance. If you can’t get homeowners insurance you need to get landlord insurance. Some cities move a lot faster than others on those taxes–I have no idea how fast they’d come after you where you are. Or how long your friends needs it.

  • Kate

    November 14, 2011, pm30 10:23 PM

    Well sreph, I am in the same position. I filed Chapter 7 and included my house and have not lived in the house for over a year. I had to move because of my childcare business, I had no idea when Chase would make me move. Now Chase is telling me that I have to get homeowners insurance. I stopped it when I move out of the house. The city has sent me a bill for over $300 for abatement fees. I can’t pay either one of those bills. I guess I’ll get home owners insurance tomorrow and make payment arrangements with the city. Chase has finally started the foreclosure maybe a week ago. I have too hire a gardener too that I can’t afford.

  • Sunny Hwang

    November 22, 2011, am30 2:29 AM

    Hi! Mr. Weed
    I filed chapter 7 bankruptcy alomost two years ago. I got first mortgage loan modification since last June. I am making first mortgage payments regulary.
    about my second mortgage I made payment of little less than 1/3 untill last December 2010. Ater that I didn’t make any second mortgage payment nor did get any papers from them. I had loan modification through broker, he said he will negotiate with second lender but I don’t hear any thing from him. I would like to know exactly what will happen to my second mortgage.
    Thank you

  • Monique

    December 28, 2011, pm31 9:24 PM

    Hi Mr. Weed,
    I filed an individual chapter 7, which was discharged in November 2010. I did not reaffirm the mortgage. My husband and I are both on the mortgage, however he did not file. We are now seperated and I can not afford to pay the mortgage alone. I have decided not to try, since it was discharged in my bankruptcy and the value is underwater. He is also in agreement. Since he did not file bankruptcy I assume the foreclosure will show up on his credit report, but I am not sure about mine. Am I protected against any negative reports through my bankruptcy discharge?Approximately, how long can I stay without paying, seeing that I was discharged? Does the foreclosure process change because I have the bankruptcy protection or do they still have to go through the same foreclosure process as if I didn’t have the bankruptcy? I would like to save money for moving expense. I live in NYS and have been told by a friend that she has not paid for over 11months and is still in the house and have not been foreclosed. Any advice would be helpful.

    • Robert Weed

      December 30, 2011, pm31 3:46 PM

      It sometimes takes eleven months to get foreclosed here in Virginia, and we have one of the easiest foreclosure processes in the country. So it might be standard in New York. They do have to go through all the regular steps to foreclose you; the bankruptcy does not speed them up. Your credit report SHOULD only show bankruptcy, not foreclosure. You are protected from any after bankruptcy further bad credit reporting. However, his should show foreclosure and in most states they can come after him for the money they don’t get. So your separated husband definitely needs to talk to a bankruptcy lawyer if you are thinking of giving up on the house. And you need to make sure you don’t promise to keep paying as part of the divorce.

  • Monique

    December 31, 2011, am31 10:49 AM

    I would like to stay in the house, but I do not want to reaffirm unless they are going to make it affordable for my income only. If they offer me any type of modification that is affordable for me alone, does me signing off on any documents for modification null and void my discharge? Will that mean I have reaffirmed the mortgage? Does it make since for me to even try any workouts with the bank? Or is moving on my best choice, since I have been discharge from the loan and the home is underwater?

    Also, I have been told that after 2 years providing I have altleast a 620 credit score I can apply for FHA Loan for a new purchase. My ultimate goal if i can not stay hear is to purchase a house or condo. Is that correct?

    Thank you, Mr. Weed for your help. Having this sight has been a blessing for me.

  • Monique

    December 31, 2011, pm31 9:15 PM

    Please forgive my spelling errors. I did not proof read before pressing submit.

  • Carol

    December 31, 2011, pm31 11:33 PM

    Hello Mr. Weed, My husband and I filed for bk in Oct. 08 with a discharged in Feb. 09. Our medical bills just overwhelmed us, and we even had insurance! We bought our home in 2004 in a depressed market in a rural river front town. It was a fixer upper and we have completed most of the most expensive repairs such as the kitchen and master bath remodels. The home is zoned commercial and is a 3600 sq ft victorian we purchased with a conventional mortage (20% down) . We have considerable equity in the property (more than $56,000). Here are my questions: If we sell our home what happens to the equity? Do we lose the $35,000 we put down on the house? Can we pay off the mortgage at closing? Will the satisfied mortgage show up on our credit report as a positive, or not at all?

    Since our property is zoned commercial, could we open a B&B? Would we have to notify the mortgage company that we were running a business in the home? If we sell the home as a B&B could the mortgage company be uncooperative with the sale?

    • Robert Weed

      January 1, 2012, am31 11:06 AM

      First, I don’t know anything about zoning and B&B law even in Virginia, where I am, much less where you are. Once you are through with the bankruptcy and it’s discharged, if you can sell the house and make money the equity is yours.

  • Michele

    January 17, 2012, am31 8:53 AM

    My husband and I had our BK discharged in March 2011. We are still in the home. Should I be paying property taxes and homeowners insurance . The house was put in the Bk.

    • Robert Weed

      January 18, 2012, am31 10:13 AM

      Well, lawyers are paid to be paranoid. I think you want insurance on the house–so if the mortgage company is not paying it, I think you should. As to real estate taxes–for years I told people don’t bother. the county will wait until the foreclosure to get paid then. But around here, the counties have started to garnish people. No idea how fast they are jumping on people wherever you are.

  • Sheena

    January 18, 2012, pm31 11:38 PM

    I originally bought my home in 2004 with my first husband. That marriage ended up in divorce and he got the property. After a few years he contacted me and let me know he could no longer pay the bill and was going to claim bankruptcy. I was remarried by then, was finishing a remodel on our new home, and just had a baby. In an attempt to save my credit my husband and I paid on both properties for 7 months while selling our newly remodeled home since the other one was in bad condition. We refinanced to get out from under the debt right before the economic crisis hit Utah. Then, it hit. My husbands work slowed down and daycare expenses hurt us as well not to mention the expensive repairs that needed to be done to make the home in livable condition. A month and a half after we refinanced (ex husband lucky sucker got off scott free! arg!) the property value dropped from being worth $205,000 to $129,000. We tried to do a shortsale and got an offer of $140,000. We submitted the offer to Chase May 2008 and the process was lost from there. We were told that Chase would not even consider an offer unless we were behind on our payment for at least 90 days so we stopped paying the bill. Not knowing what we were doing we moved out of the property the same month we got the offer. Every time we contacted the bank to check the status of the offer I would find out it got re-assigned to a new negotiator. 7 negotiators later…we lost the buyer…this was 15 months later. October 2009 we told our realtor to take it off the market to persue a chapter 7 bankruptcy. We initiated the bankruptcy process November 2009 and were discharged February 2010. Once that was done we took home owners insurance off the property. We got a notice that if we didn’t give Chase proof of insurance they would put their own on it, which they did. Soon after we got our discharge papers the bank sent us a letter stating that as of that date everything on the property is theirs. I started to get bills in the mail for the maintenance fee for water and found out through the city that until my name is off the deed that the bill was my responsibility. I contacted Chase on 1/10/12 after asking my BK lawyer what to do about this and they had said to see if the bank will do a deed in lieu of foreclosure. When I contacted the bank, they told me that in order to do that I would have to have the property put up for shortsale for at least 90 days, fill out another hardship letter, and complete some additional documentation. I refuse to waste my time or anyone elses. They moved my situation to their joke of an escalation department and was told I would get a response in 3 days. A week later I called and asked about it and they told me that the request to do a deed in lieu without the documentation was denied. I was supposed to receive a call and still haven’t heard anything. I called them again…they sent another escalation…still no word. I also contacted Chase’s lawyers to find out what the hold up is on the foreclosure and they said they were still waiting for a ‘substitution of trustee form’ but they refused to tell me how long they have been waiting for it or what department they need it from. I also learned that Chase’s preservation or loss mitigation department changed the locks in October 2010. What kind of legal action can they take if I move back in? How long do they have to give you to evict you in this process? If they evicted us, after we moved back in, can they take all of our belongings? Would we be able to request cash for keys even if they know we moved out and moved back in? If we did move back in are we responsible to pay the property tax? I’ve read that in this situation it is more ideal to rent it but in the house’s condition that would be more of a liability than an option. We just don’t know what to do. Is it true that even after you have filed a chapter 7 bankruptcy you have a 2 year waiting period to be able to buy again…but if the house hasn’t foreclosed then the waiting period turns into 2-3 years after that process is completed?

    • Robert Weed

      January 19, 2012, am31 7:15 AM

      Your story is pretty common. That’s why I (now) know to tell people–don’t move out! (I also tell people–do NOT cancel the insurance.) Your guess is as good as mine about how long you could live there if you moved back in. No one, not you, not me, not Chase, can give you a straight answer on that. I also don’t know anything about the Utah eviction law (I’m in Virginia)–but you certainly know dozens of people who have been foreclosed there–since it’s one of the foreclosure centers of the universe. I’d expect you would have heard about it if the mortgage company took all there stuff. I do know that you probably can’t buy a house until two or three years after this house has been foreclosed.

  • Robert Weed

    January 20, 2012, pm31 4:28 PM

    Got an email today from a woman who moved out of her condo and filed bankruptcy with me in 2008. (Before I knew to tell everyone Don’t Move Out.) She moved back in last summer. (She had to break in because the mortgage company had changed the locks, even though they never foreclosed.) Today she got an express letter from the mortgage company asking her to apply for a loan modification! she may be able to keep her place.

    At least here in Virginia, this is very unusual. But it’s one reason I tell people, until there’s an actual foreclosure sale, don’t move out!

  • Monique

    January 25, 2012, am31 11:24 AM

    I was discharge in chapter 7 back in 2010. I would like to stay in the house, but I do not want to reaffirm unless they are going to make it affordable for my income only, since my spouse and I have separated. If they offer me any type of modification that is affordable for me alone, does my signing off on any documents for modification null and void my discharge protection? Will that mean I have reaffirmed the mortgage? Does it make since for me to even try any workouts with the bank or is moving my best choice, since I have been discharge from the loan and the home is 100k+ underwater? I have not paid Dec 2011 or Jan. 2012 mortgage payments with hopes that they will try to workout a mortgage payment based soley on my income. However, I am afraid signing loan modification documents with terminate my discharge protection. Also, does a quitclaim deed release my soon to be ex spouse obligation from the property alone or the loan as well?

  • Cynthia Licharowicz

    January 26, 2012, pm31 4:51 PM

    I filed for Chapter 7 in march 2005. Discharged in july 2005. My house was not reaffirmed. I kept paying and we modified the loan in 2007. We modified because we had a Hurricane and they didnt pay escrowed insurance payments and my insurance lapsed 4 days before hurrican Ivan (cat 4) hit us in Florida. Damages to the house were covered but only under their lender force placed insurance plan and didnt cover all the damages. They kept my insurance money for the dmamges from 2004-2007 and only returned it because I made it a condition of the modification. They earned interest I never saw. My escrow is messed up every year, even though they collect over what I owe out in payments to taxes and insurance I am always deficit and require more money which raises my house payment every year. They also took out money for an insurance disbursment in 2008 for a homeowners policy that I paid cash for. I have never seen that money again. When I questioned it over and over, they sold my loan to another company. Acqura Loans Services. These people state I was behind one payment when they bought the loan even though I sent a copy of every payment I paid. They also said I had over 800 in late fees but i showed them my statements and there were no late fees showing on any of them from 2007 until the loan was transferred. It is a qwagmire i cant fix. I sent all my paperwork in to the State Office of Financial Regulation but they said the company isnt at fault. I am at a loss of what my fights are, I know they have mismanaged my escrow, stole some cash and are contacting me daily with both calls and letters even though the house was discaharged through bankruptcy. I did ask for statements though cause I have no idea of how they are distrubting my payments on the house and escrow.

    To make matters worse, ee lost our jobs 3 years ago and recently went back to work but are under-employed. I used to make 840 a week, I now make 375 & my husband used to make 1000 a week, he makes 480. We are 3 months behind on the house payment at this point and owe about 1150 in late fees. We went through the Floridas Hardist hit program and were approved but it has done little to help so far. They are only paying 155 a month on my loan. I pay the remaining 595 a month. My first payment is due on feb 5th.

    Last evening a friend was telling us we are still not responsible and can walk away from the house because I did not reaffirm. I read this on your website. This house does not show up on my credit report as bing paid, it shows discharged thru the bankruptcy. We have one mortgage, a second for ship funds (that is cancelled in 2013 if I stay in the house).

    I go back and forth with wanting to walkaway but am terrified of what will happen to me financially. Can they come after me? The one good thing is my house is in my name only because I bought the house before I was married. Husbands credit is perfect so we can get another house if we want. One that is more affordable and in better condition.

    Can you offer me any advice?

    Cynthia Licharowicz

    • Robert Weed

      January 26, 2012, pm31 5:20 PM

      The bankruptcy still protects from the first mortgage if you move out. They cannot come after you. So that argues for moving sometime. BUT you mention this SHIP second mortgage. Did that have something to do with the hurricane–AFTER the bankruptcy. If that was after the bankruptcy, then you would still be on the hook for that. You said that’s cancelled some time in 2013 if you stay in the house. That argues for trying to hold on until that loan is cancelled and then telling the first good-by.

      You have rights under RESPA to write the the mortgage servicer and ask them about your loan. Call that a qualified written request. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Real_Estate_Settlement_Procedures_Act If they don’t answer your questions, you can sue them. They have forever and a day to answer though, but you should do it. (Sixty working days–twelve weeks or more if there are holidays.)

      Obama has that deadline shortened quite a bit, but they shorter deadlines only take effect when the Consumer Protection Bureau sets up regulations. That’s one of the big fights in Congress. The Republicans are doing everything to block that Consumer Protection Bureau. They think it is unfair to allow the mortgage companies only a month to answer questions like, “how come you say I’m behind when I have all my cancelled checks” or “explain to me where my escrow money is going.”

      (Good job on trying to fight with them about the insurance coverage. It shows you have a fighting spirit.)

  • cynthia licharowicz

    January 26, 2012, pm31 10:44 PM

    Mr. Weed,

    The ship funds are part of the original mortgage docs from 1998. They expire August 28, 2013 (which is 15 years after I bought the house). So I think I am good there. Plus because it is ship and I have an extreme hardship they will forgive it. Since it is almost time to forgive anyway I would owe them very little because it is on a sliding scale, it would cost em more to come after it then it is worth.

    I did write letter after letter. The IGNORED me and sold my loan when I insisted they do an amortization. I never got that resolved because the new company tried to say I had no escrow and oops didn’t pay my HO Insurance either.

    I have fought since 2004 to resolve these issues, I filed bankruptcy as a last resort to stave off foreclosure. I have had it with these people. Thing is we cant afford an attorney and I just don’t know what I am doing enough to sue them. I would love to keep my house. It isn’t worth alot but it is worth what I paid. Once we are back on our feet it will be easier but I keep getting sold to low life mortgage servicers and they are CROOKS.

    Is there anything else I can do, other then what you have already said?

  • maureen

    January 28, 2012, pm31 6:38 PM

    Mr Weed,
    Your Blog is WONDERFUL! Thank you for spending your time helping so many. I have a question regarding our impending bankruptcy. Our home is underwater by at least $25K or more. We were hit by lightning about 5 years ago. We ended up having to gut the entire home and rebuild it mostly on our own! We are emotionally and physically exhausted. Since we’ve been back in our home we really haven’t done any further work to complete it. We have drained all our savings and can’t keep up with our payments to our creditors, hence the bankruptcy. If we were to keep the house, we would be paying $1600 per month and due to the distance from my job and my daughters school we are spending upwards of $800 in gasoline. We found a house to rent that is 5 minutes from my job and my daughters commute is reduced to half of what she is presently driving. We found a home that requires no security, what appears to be wonderful landlords who will accept ALL of our dogs and cats with not problem. They also offered to sell it to us sometime in the future if we are interested. The location and property are perfect. The house needs work but is livable. The way I figure, we will save $300 on the mortgage payment and at least $600 monthly on gas. We are filing our bankruptcy on February 7, 2012. Our lawyer advised us to continue to pay on the house because not paying would give us extra money and the bankruptcy may not go through. If we had to pay rent (and we didn’t pay the mortgage) would we have a problem with the bankruptcy being granted? It is also a life change. I live 25 miles from my job and work a split shift. It is too expensive to come home so I end up napping in my car. I leave the house at 5AM and return around 5:30PM. Renting this house I would be able to be home in between my shifts! It would also reduce my commute from 30 minutes each way to 5. What would you advice.

    Thanks so much,

    • Robert Weed

      January 28, 2012, pm31 8:32 PM

      Maureen, listen to your lawyer. Depending on your income, you may need that house payment to qualify for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy. And any sign that you are giving up the house, might trigger the enforcement people to try to block your bankruptcy case. So listen to your lawyer.

      Now once your bankruptcy is discharged, then do you want to move? Well, that’s up to you. Maybe the place you like won’t be available, but you can take your time until you find another good deal and move then. (I had some people who moved out of the house a few years go when to told them “Do NOT move out of the house.” They said they put down a deposit and didn’t want to lose the new lease. That cost them about $80,000 when the enforcement people at the Justice Department saw what they were doing and blocked approval of their Chapter 7 bankruptcy.)

      Your lawyer sounds like they are being careful. That’s a good thing.

      You don’t want to start running for the end zone before you have actually caught the pass.

  • Margorie

    January 30, 2012, pm31 9:37 PM

    Mr. Weed
    I been a identity theft victim my credit cards bills are more them $100,000 because of this, my bank accts . were emptied , and I own 3 properties 2 investments and the one that I live, I want to file bk I stopped paying one of the properties but I’m collecting rent a year ago and it hasn’t go in a foreclosure , I spoke to the back and told them that I don’t wanted any more they send me some papers to fill out and I did with the most ridiculous numbers and believe or not they gave me a modification, I guess not even they want the property, the 2nd one I didn’t pay it for two years and I request a modification and it came out the 3 one the one were I live didn’t pay for more them a year this is with chase I request a modification as well it came out a year ago. this year they increased my payment for $370 more, I own $348,000 the house in the corner is for sale at $119,000, I’m not going to accept the modification for the 1st one. I’m up to date on the other two but I’m going to let go the house were I live and planning to live here as much time I can, I don’t know what to do with the 3d one that one is not under water but is right on the market price, I have no doubt that I have to file bk cause I have all this bank on top of me and I already have judgments with some credit card banks, I have the person who took my identity but is been back and forth with the court for her sentence and I’m emotionally and physically exhausted, all this while i was single I got married 2 years ago my husband has good credit but his salary is very low , I am working to but in the same boat not a good salary, we live Illinois what do you think about this mess?
    thank you for any advice.

    • Robert Weed

      January 31, 2012, am31 6:43 AM

      I think you need to see a good bankruptcy lawyer in Illinois, who can help you through parts of this. One of the jobs of your lawyer is to understand your situation and work out a way to help you through it, using the tools that the law gives to fix things.

  • frank

    January 31, 2012, pm31 7:46 PM

    Mr. Weed

    when is a good time to file bk ? I know all situations are different but I been reading the cases, and you keep on saying not to move out of the house until foreclosure is over, but can I file before the house goes foreclosure or I have to wait?
    thank you

    • Robert Weed

      January 31, 2012, pm31 7:53 PM

      You will often want to file bankruptcy before the foreclosure. Usually, not always. But usually want to stay in the house after the bankruptcy, until there’s an actual foreclosure.

  • Gail

    February 3, 2012, pm29 6:02 PM

    We got notice of our property in Florida going into foreclosure just over 2 years ago. At about the same time we filed a chapter 13 where we stated we were giving the house up. We stayed in the house for 8 months after we got the notice and then moved to another state. The house is still in foreclosure, and we are still getting notices about them insuring the property and also tax notices. Our bankruptcy is still active. Is there anything we can do to hurry up the process?

    • Robert Weed

      February 3, 2012, pm29 6:22 PM

      A lot of people ask me that and I wish I knew. That’s why I (now know) to tell people, don’t move out.

  • Kim Kite

    February 10, 2012, am29 10:22 AM

    Dear Mr. Weed:
    I purchased my my home in 2005 – April and lived in it for two years. At that time my ex-husband came to the area and we have been working on reconciliation. We purchased a home to live in together and another to rent out. At that point I rented out my house to a friend. As not to get in trouble with the IRS I claimed the income on my taxes. In 2008 – April I filed Chapter 13 Bankruptcy I was able to list my primary home that was not rented out and my credit card expenses. All other items that affected my ex-husband were paid for “outside of the plan”. Regions Bank decided not to allow the home in the bankruptcy – so they decided to foreclose. Now in 2011 Regions Bank finally foreclosed in May 2011 – I owed $55,665 on the balance of the mortgage…they put the house up for auction and bought it themselves at $70,000. So I now received an 1099 – A showing the balance of $55,665 and $70,000 as the fair market value (this is what they spent on the mortgage, insurance, etc.) on the home. I apparently now have to claim this as income. I never had a profit from renting my home – I had not claimed it the last two years. The paperwork I had from the bank stated I would be responsible for $0. The sickening part is that they have now turned around and sold the home through Caldwell Bank for $30,000. They never offered me any options.
    Do I need a tax attorney??? Apparently I cannot claim anything I put into the home which was over $17,000 for rennovating bathroom, kitchen, basement, yard.
    As I understand the foreclosure cannot be treated like a “sale”. This seems as thought the bank wins twice – once on the difference between the write off for me and then the write off for the reduced place they sold the house for.

    Also – where is the responsibility of my attorney and my trustee – I was told I should foreclose for my best interest and financial situation and was never told of the tax implications?

    • Robert Weed

      February 10, 2012, pm29 5:25 PM

      Yes you need a tax attorney. With the multiple investment properties, you probably needed one before.

  • Anthony

    February 10, 2012, pm29 1:54 PM

    My wife and I are about to shut down our business due to bad economic times and since I am constantly borrowing from my other job to keep it afloat. We also have a lot of debt reaching 100,000 in unsecured debt, 58K in secured debt, a house payment of 3600 a month and about 70K in back taxes. On top of that, I might be losing my job. We have started processes to protect out money prior to filing bankruptcy chapter 7 based on our lawyer’s advice such as moving our business money and personal accounts to banks that we owe nothing to. I have over 158000 in retirement account at my job and we have over 50K in 401K we saved from our business. Even though we made 178K last year , the lawyer said we can do chapter 7. We are in desperate need to cash out the 50K in 401K to cover payroll since we are going shutdown / and / or if I loose my job during / after we file chapter 7. Wondering if the 50K might mess up our bankruptcy case. We plan on getting the chapter 7 discharged , then cash out all retirement money from my job, payoff the IRS taxes and buy a house for cash in Georgia. Dont wanna cash out the retirement but I gotta pay the employees and have some money to live off of if my job goes away. Thanks

    • Robert Weed

      February 10, 2012, pm29 5:19 PM

      You definitely need to ask your lawyer that, not me. I’m way too far away and know not nearly enough about your situation to give you the right answer.

  • Mary

    February 12, 2012, pm29 4:37 PM

    Dear Mr. Weed,

    I recently got a divorce and has moved out of our home. Its now over 2 years now since I filed bankruptcy. I have been currently renting for two years, but my home is still sitting. I am thinking about moving back because its hard paying rent on one salary, and being a single mother. The question is, should I move back? My house is in Howard County ,Maryland. Also, while I was married, we tried to modify our loan with The Hope Program. Well, instead of us paying almost 3,000 per month, the modification would have made it 2850. Now, how the heck that’s supposed to help.
    When we purchased our home in 2007, we paid 420,000. Now, it’s worth about 280,000. I’m so confused because I regret moving out. I just couldn’t sleep at night knowing that time was ticking. I was so afraid that one day when I returned home, there would be locks on my door.

    • Robert Weed

      February 13, 2012, am29 6:06 AM

      I don’t know what to tell you. The settlement that was in the news between the states and the mortgage companies last week will affect you. But I don’t know good or bad. For some people, it will mean foreclosures will start again very quickly. For others, you might get offered a loan mod that would mean you could keep the house. I don’t know enough to guess. Maryland lawyers would have a better idea than I do how soon Maryland foreclosures will start back up.

  • Jeff H

    February 13, 2012, pm29 12:36 PM

    Hello Mr. Weed,
    First I want to tank you for all the great resources you provide for people considering and for those that have previously filed. I had I question that I couldn’t find the answer to. I filed Chapter 7 three years ago. My house’s 1st and 2nd mortgage was included. I’ve stayed current on both and I haven’t reaffirmed and don’t plan to. I do plan to stop paying for the home within the next 6 months. I’m not leaving until the house is foreclosed on. I’m upside down by over $50000. I understand that i need to continue paying the association but what else will I be responsible to pay? I heard something about receiving a random personal property tax bill that would be quite costly. Any light that you could shed would be greatly appreciated.

    • Robert Weed

      February 13, 2012, pm29 12:51 PM

      Was the real estate taxes escrowed in your first mortgage payment? If it was, then you can pretty well count on them to pay it, even if you stop paying them.

      I don’t know what state you are in or how long it will take them to foreclose you. If the real estate taxes are not escrowed, I have SOMETIMES seen the first mortgage pay them and sometimes not. They should pay because they don’t want the county to foreclose the property and cut them off. A very few times, I’ve seen the counties go after the homeowner rather than go after the property. Here’s my blog on that. https://robertweed.com/blog/virginia-bankruptcy/bankruptcy-and-real-estate-taxes-counties-are-desperate/.

      I’m not totally sure how often this is happening, even in the counties where I am. So I don’t even have a guess where you are. Here’s all I can say: Six months ago I was telling people they had nothing to worry about. Now, I’m not completely sure.

      Sorry I can’t be more specific than that.

  • aj jenkins

    February 13, 2012, pm29 2:59 PM

    Mr. Weed
    we were discharged on a chapter 7 in October 2010.We did not move out and kept the insurance paid.In July 2011 we suffered a house fire and then in September of that same year the bank foreclosed on the house. Now they are saying that the insurance payment for the house should go to them although they had a full sale foreclose. What can we do?

    • Robert Weed

      February 13, 2012, pm29 3:07 PM

      Don’t know. That’s not really a bankruptcy question. My GUESS is that money for damage to the house goes to the mortgage company; money for damage to your furniture and stuff like that belongs to you.

      I’m not sure what kind of lawyer you should ask. Sorry.

  • Russell S

    February 16, 2012, pm29 11:55 PM

    Mr. Weed, This has been very helpful, I filed Bk-7 in 2009 I live in Ma.? My 1st wells Fargo & 2nd BofA were discharged Im married but my current wife was not part of the Bk7 or part of my house.OK here goes my house is a lottery house I can only make 61% of fair market value so between both loans I’m about 80,000 under water so things changed my wife’s parents needed a place to live I stopped paying my mortgage and my wife and mother-inlaw bought a house in the same town and I also left my house and moved in . Now my house I pay association dues(I haven’t been paying for a year)we have shared. andgleeching field so while I’ve been gone they put a new one in at the neighborhood. Cost 2000$ I don’t have homeowners ins. And I cant rent because its a lottery house wells Fargo did give me a modification in Jan 20101987 from 330,000 to 267,000 but still left me 80,000 underwater I do have my 24house year old son staying there to watch over the house and I haven’t heard from Wells Fargo in 7 months and now I was told I need to come up with another 1500$ because another leeching field failed Mr. Weed what do I do. I cant rent because the house is lottery should I contact EFFECT or should I hang back..last thing also the town doesn’t want to lose the lottery house because its a affordable low income house.please help I’m desperate thank you.

    • Robert Weed

      February 17, 2012, pm29 5:50 PM

      Your question is way to Massachusetts specific for me to shed any light. For example, I have no idea what a lottery house is. Sorry, I just can’t advise on something I don’t understand.

  • mary shepard

    February 25, 2012, pm29 2:01 PM

    Hi I am going through a divorce. My first mortgage is 2260 my second 350 . My husband and I filed for bankruptcy and got discharged 2 years ago. My dad has been paying the first mortgage and I pay the second. I need to leave this house it is beyond my means and we owe more on it than I believe it would sell for. the first mortgage is only in my husbands name and second in both of ours. He moved in with the woman next door and t is unbearable emotionally and financially for me to stay here. do I just stop making mortgage payments save money and move out? I have 2 sons 9 and 12 . I receive no support from my husband and take home 672 a week (920 before taxes and hi deduction) I live in Massachusetts.both my mortgage statements say they are for informational purposes and should I want to make a payment…
    what now can I just stop paying and walk away?

    • Robert Weed

      February 25, 2012, pm29 2:05 PM

      Mary: Yes, that’s exactly right. You can just stop paying and walk away. But do NOT actually move out until the foreclosure process is completed. You may be able to live there for free for five or six months or maybe a lot more. (Obviously I’m only guessing about Mass. since I’m in Virginia. Virginia would be five or six month, or sometimes more.)

  • Jean

    February 25, 2012, pm29 5:40 PM

    We are unable to find any other housing, so we will be homeless, sooner or later. The realtor who searched for a rental for us, said as much. Waiting until our credit is trashed, through non-payment is definitely not be a good idea. Also, since we’re unable to pay our bills, not paying the mortgage does not mean we have a bunch of cash sitting around, with which to rent something. It simply means we paid other bills instead. Unless you have somewhere to go, move before your credit is south!

    Also – must we declare bankruptcy, officially? Will the bank definitely have the right to garnish wages if we simply write a letter, and mail in the keys?

    • Robert Weed

      February 26, 2012, am29 8:37 AM

      Jean: I’m sorry your situation is so bad.

      I’m not clear what you mean when you said you were paying other bills. Were you keeping the electric on and making the car payment? Obviously you need to do that. Did you keep paying the credit cards after you stopped paying the house? That’s not so smart.

      Three reasons to consider bankruptcy before the foreclosure. First, your credit will be a little better. You will still have trouble renting for a while, but your credit will still be somewhat better. Right now your credit report tells everybody that sooner or later you have to file bankruptcy, and they would rather deal with you AFTER the bankruptcy then before.

      Second, if you file bankruptcy right before the foreclosure, you stop them. For how long? Around here, at least three months, usually four or five. some times more. This time you can use those months to start saving a rent deposit. (And also, if it stretches out a little, make the first baby steps back to better credit.)

      Third it protects you against the mortgage companies possibly coming after you to garnish you later. Whether they will do that depends first on the law of your state (some places they can; some they can’t) and also their policy and whether it would be worth the trouble.

      The big reason is number two. If you really have no where to go, you need to file chapter 7 bankruptcy right before the foreclosure, to stop them and give you some months to save money and get a plan together. (Also, and this you can’t count on, now that the economy is A LITTLE better, maybe you can pick up some more income, so your apartment applications look a little stronger on the income side.)

  • M.S.

    February 26, 2012, am29 6:50 AM

    We included our hom in bk7 and was discharged in 2010. We moved out and the house is vacant. We just discovered that the bank of our 1st mortgage is walking away from the house and has opted not to foreclose.
    Where does that leave us? Can we sell the home?
    Can they change their mind in 10 years? Is there some type of statue of limitations in Florida for this?
    We would love to file a lawsuit of some type to force them to foreclose.
    If not – wipe the loan clean so we can get on with our lives.
    It doesn’t seem fair that they can leave us in limbo…

    • Robert Weed

      February 26, 2012, am29 8:51 AM

      M. S.

      As long as your name is still on that house, it is about impossible for you to ever buy again–so I can see why your want this over. It’s not fair.

      No you can’t sell the home–not without paying them what they want, anyway. One solution is to list it for a shortsale, and see if you can make them an offer that they will accept.

      I don’t know of any way you can force them to foreclose. Now you are in Florida and I’m in Virginia, so you should check around with someone who knows about Florida law.

      I usually tell people, “move back in.” When the lease runs out where you are, move back in. There would still be uncertainty hanging over your head, but living for free is a good thing.

  • ricardo c

    February 27, 2012, pm29 3:22 PM

    Robert Weed
    I live in California, Back in 2008 Indy Mac Bank started a process of foreclosure, I filed Bk 7 in Jan 2009 and I notified to the bank that I surrendered the property, they were trying to convince me but I said NO. In july 2009 my bk was dismissed and the property was included, one more time I called the bank and advised that my was finalized and they told me they will continue with the foreclosure.
    In July 2010 I received a citation from the City of Victorville, Calif that I owe $1,200.00 for removing concrete, cleaning etc, I called the City and County and they told me that my name was still in the title.
    I called the bank and they told me that they stopped the process of foreclosure because it wasn’t worth it to foreclosure the property. I asked why nobody send me something stating that they closed the foreclosure process!!!
    Since then 7 months after the bank is not doing anything, they told me that they are going to pay the citations and see how they can release my name from the title.
    On February 2012, the California Tax Revenue intercepted my State Income Tax Refund due to this citation.
    What legal accion could I take against the bank, they neglect to notify me.
    Please advise

    • Robert Weed

      February 27, 2012, pm29 3:41 PM

      Darn! I get stories like this from all around the country. That’s why I tell people, don’t move out. Don’t know anything about California law, but nobody around here has corm up with any good ideas. Sorry.

  • Angel

    February 28, 2012, am29 2:16 AM

    Dear Mr. Weed,
    We were offered a “special program” from our lender since we were struggling to pay our mortgage. A 3 month waiver of mortgage payments to allow us time to pay other bills off or just take a break. It wouldn’t affect our credit, it would be added to the principal, and it would carry no negativity. We accepted. After 3 months, we receive a call from another rep saying that our old rep no longer works there and she is now handling our case. Case?? She informed us that the other rep misinformed us and that the bottom line is we now owe $9000. in mortgage payments and that even tho its in arrears now, she wanted to know what our plan was to pay it back. Stunned…we said hey, if we were struggling to make our $1931.payment in the first place, how do you think we are able to pay $9k! She apologized but said-this is what we owe. So we are currently 1 month behind-cause the other rep told us not to make the payment and enter into the 3 month program.
    My neighbors did this program, shortly after the 3 months-they received a letter of foreclosure, forcing them into a chapter 13. They r in need of a lawyer too! lol Anyway, at this point, we r considering a foreclosure-but don’t want to be left with a tax bill. We do not qualify for a modification.

    • Robert Weed

      February 28, 2012, pm29 8:46 PM

      Angel: Why do you say you don’t qualify for a modification? Making too much? Making too little? I think you should try to apply again. And again. And again

      Don’t know what state you are in, so i don’t know what the legal consequences of foreclosure would be. In some states they cannot come after you for a deficiency, in some they can but don’t. Second mortgages almost always do, almost everywhere.

  • Anthony

    February 29, 2012, pm29 6:44 PM

    Thanks for your response,

    We are stabilizing with the job issues and working on keeping business open and cutting costs which is good. Still got the tax issue…and want to pay it off as indicated below:

    We want to do chapter 7 but have like 70k in back taxes. We still own the business but decided to shut down the 401k plan benefits to lower overhead. Since we owe so much in taxes we want to have the 401k company give all the money from our account (54k) to the IRS so that next years taxes will be alot less or even zero. The IRS might even apply it to our back taxes which is fine with us. We dont want the money to count as income and make chapter 7 impossible. If it would mess up the chapter 7 then we will wait till after the bankruptcy to send it the IRS. The 401k company said we can decide to give 100% of the disbursement to IRS if we want. I know we still have to calculate the 10% penalty I think. Since we giving it all to them straight from the 401k company I would think the penalty and other taxes associated with the 401k termination are covered. thanks again

  • SK

    March 1, 2012, am31 9:01 AM

    I realize that you’re pretty specific to the eastern states but I figured I’d ask anyway. I live in Kansas. We just got our Chapter 7 bankruptcy discharged. We opted to surrender our house but we’re still living here. There are some income tax issues that are making our foreclosure process drag out. Once we get served the papers, in KS you have 90 days from the sale to vacate the property. It actually hasn’t even begun even though the bankruptcy has discharged our loan. I have 2 questions and I don’t know if you can help me.

    #1: Now that it’s discharged, are we still responsible for paying the property tax and insurance?
    #2: We have some hail damage from a storm that happened 1 day after the discharge. Is it now our responsibility still to make a claim with the insurance since we technically don’t own the house anymore?

    I appreciate your insight!

    • Robert Weed

      March 1, 2012, am31 10:17 AM


      You do “technically still own the house” which controls my answers.

      You are responsible for paying the property tax and insurance. Now if you don’t pay the tax (even though you are responsible) what will happen? That I don’t know the answer to. until recently the counties are around here were slow to go after the homeowners, figuring they’d get their money at the foreclosure. Recently, they have started to change that policy. In Kansas, I have no idea.

      Reporting the hail damage will get the damage repaired. It’s the right thing to do–and who knows how long you’ll still be in the house. Might as well get it fixed if it’s not too much trouble.

  • jennifer

    March 7, 2012, pm31 8:22 PM

    Mr. Weed,
    I have been learning a lot from your articles. I see that in many situations you advise not leaving the house.
    My mom lives in ky and is having really bad financial problems. We have consulted a lawyer who says she can stay and keep making payments or she can just leave. The house is falling down around her and she owes more than it is worth, so she really should leave. What wouldyour advice be on when she should leave? After bankruptcy? Before,during? She will have to rent something. Also, do u think she should quit paying mortgage payments at any time?

    • Robert Weed

      March 8, 2012, am31 6:52 AM


      If she doesn’t want to stay in the house long term, she should think about stopping to pay NOW.

      Not sure what you mean by “falling down around her.” If it’s getting dangerous, then you probably want to move her real soon. If you just mean, it’s in bad condition, my usual advice is live for free as long as you can and don’t move.

      Now how the timing of the bankruptcy and the timing of not paying work out–I’d need her complete financial picture and family picture to answer that, as well as your state laws. (You told me KY, but I don’t know the laws there.)

      If she lives there without paying for say a year (I’m just guessing here) would save she a bunch of money? Would it be enough that the bankruptcy court would take it from her? Are there things she needs to spend it on? Are there places she could legally protect it in your state? That’s the kind of thing she needs to go over with a lawyer there in KY to plan.

      (Unless you mean really FALLING DOWN. Don’t want her living an extra day in a place that’s not safe.)

  • Delia

    March 11, 2012, pm31 5:54 PM

    I stopped paying my mortgage in march 2010. I filed chapt 7 was completed jan 2012. I included the property in the bankruptcy & have mkt been foreclosed yet. I live in new jersey. I’m regretting not trying to keep the house. Is there anyway to try at this point or is it too late? Will contacting the mortgage co bring my property to their attention & fast forward the foreclosure?

    • Robert Weed

      March 12, 2012, am31 6:15 AM

      Delia: I’ve seen two people move back in more than a year after the property was vacant, and successfully get a loan mod. So I can’t say it’s too late.

      Good luck.

  • Pat Morgan

    March 13, 2012, pm31 8:54 PM

    Robert Weed:

    I live in So. California and filed Bk7 in 10/2010. I didn’t realize then that the house
    had been included and continued living and making my payments as usual. This week
    I was made aware through my credit report that the house is also part of the BK7, so
    my question is what do you recommend I do? I don’t have the money unless I stop
    making payments for moving, deposits etc. so should I stay in the property without paying? and if so for how long? Should I wait for foreclosure?

    • Robert Weed

      March 15, 2012, pm31 7:46 PM

      Well, the decision to stop paying the the decision to move out are two separate decisions. First, you did not say exactly that you are tired of the house. So you still have the option to keep paying and stay there.

      If you want to give it up, then stop paying. Here in Virginia you’d probably be able to live without paying the mortgage for five or six months–that would be plenty of time to get together money for movers and a rent down payment. Most states would be longer–but I can’t say about California. My advice is don’t move out until they put you out. Some people live for free for a long time.

  • Michelle

    March 21, 2012, am31 8:23 AM

    I am going through a Divorce and have received foreclosure papers over a year and a half ago. The mortgage has not been paid for2 years this May, but I continue to make my credit cards payments. Now my divorce attorney has volunteered himself to sell the house with a realtor known to him. I don’t trust him, but want to get the divorce over. (the house is valued more than we owed). What is your intake on that? Should I just file bankrupcy? orfollow my attorney adviceand sell with the help of his friend? We have a second mortgage on the house. My husband filed bankrupcy 2 years ago not including the marital home; although he had several other properties
    Is bankrupcy my best bet? and should my divorce attorney be handling the sell of the property?

    • Robert Weed

      March 21, 2012, pm31 7:44 PM


      If we got together in person, it would take at least an hour to know enough about your situation to say what’s the best way to go. Your divorce lawyer should know an awful lot about you, so you should be getting well informed, good advice there. But you say you don’t trust your lawyer. I’m not sure what to say about that.

      (I have all this info about me and the way I see things here on the internet. So my clients–I hope–do feel they can trust me. My clients also trust me because I spend a long time getting to understand their situation, so I can give advice specific to them.)

  • sarahj

    March 27, 2012, pm31 1:55 PM

    We moved out of our house 2 years ago. We had to relocate 5 hrs away for our jobs. No one lives there now (too high a mortgage to rent) and we are still trying to sell. Can you give us any advice about house insurance? We had been paying $155/ month since we moved out and if there is a way to reduce or stop it, that would be very budget-helpful!

    • Robert Weed

      March 28, 2012, am31 10:51 AM

      Sara J:

      If you can’t sell the house and can’t rent it, I think it’s time to talk to a bankruptcy lawyer. Other than that, as long as you are the owner of the house, it’s certainly a lot safer to pay the insurance.

  • keith davis

    March 29, 2012, pm31 4:12 PM

    Hi Robert,

    I live in New Jersey where I have a condo that has become unaffordable. The association is accessing every year for capital improvement and therefore raising my maintenance fees tremendously every year. It is very hard for me to sell because of the maitenance fees and i cannot get enough rent to cover mortgage, maintenance, and taxes. Consequently, I am considering filing bankruptcy to rid myself of this obligation.I have spoken to 3 different lawyers and found 3 different answers when in came to the maintenance. My question to you is how do I wipe my hands of the property without having to incur further debt?

    • Robert Weed

      March 29, 2012, pm31 4:23 PM


      We’d go through almost two hours of consultation if you were my client–before we figured out what you should do. But here’s the key point. Filing BK will NOT get rid of the condo association starting the day after the bankruptcy.

      So, stop paying the mortgage–you want them to foreclose you, eventually. Pay the association and probably the taxes. (I have no idea how patient your county would be if you stopped paying; and I have no idea whether they would foreclose–what you want–or sue you; what you don’t want.)

      Live relatively cheap until they get around to foreclosing you.

      ISSUE. Depending on your income and other factors, you might lose bankruptcy eligibility when there’s a foreclosure. In that case, you need to file bankruptcy now, and then same thing–keep paying the association but don’t pay the mortgage and see how long you can live there before they foreclose you.

  • Larry F

    March 31, 2012, am31 2:14 AM

    My home was foreclosed on. I have a $100,000 2nd mortgage with a bank, different from mortgage holder. Bank holding 2nd mortgage called a few times right after the foreclosure. Wanted money. I laughed, said if I had $100,000 I would not have been foreclosed on. I have lost everything. Spent all my retirement accounts trying to avoid bankruptcy and foreclosure. Yes, I know how stupid that was. I am 64, in bad health (heart), living in a rental house. Bank has not contacted me in 6 months or more. What should I do? What can they do?

    • Robert Weed

      March 31, 2012, pm31 8:02 PM


      So you drained your saving, still lost your house to foreclosure, and now the second mortgage is bothering you for payment. I think sooner or later the second is going to sue you and force you to file bankruptcy.

      But maybe not. If all you have is social security, they can’t garnish that. I HOPE you have some small retirement left, though. You need to talk to a lawyer in your state to go over your situation carefully and see if there’s anything they can get if you keep on ignoring them. Most people in your situation should file bankruptcy–but you need to go over your situation in denial to see if you do.

      I do tell a couple people a month that there’s no need to file–they’ve already lost everything.

  • Richard H

    April 2, 2012, pm30 7:21 PM

    We are 3 months behind in our mortgage in Pennsylvania. We recieved a foreclosure letter from Chase on March 28th unless we can pay 7k which obviously I cannot. Feb we contacted Chase and told them our plan to get current and asked the rep if there was any threat it could go into foreclosure which she assured us it would not. We have been paying monthly for the past 8 mo since our finacial situation is better and have tried the loan modification 4 times. They told us since we have bought prior to 2010 that it is much more likely that we will be denied our modification which makes no sense to me? I do not have 7k, the repayment plan is 3600 down and 2700 for months which obviously we cannot do.. i have an opperntunity to rent a nice house close to this neighborhood but a short time frame to get into it. Do I just let it foreclose? File bankruptcy? Pa they can garnish my wages.. Why would the Bank not work with me? They charged me another 1000 for lawyer fees from the foreclosure process on top of it which this was sort of a flank in my eyes. You would think they would just put what I owe on the end of the loan.. We can afford to live here now but cannot afford 7k to continue living here. We are scared and lost…..

    • Robert Weed

      April 3, 2012, pm30 1:18 PM

      Richard: You definitely need to talk to a bankruptcy lawyer–if for no other reason, it would buy you more time to move, if you end up losing the house.

      Sometimes people get approved for mods after filing bankruptcy that they could not get before. (Your debt to income ration is better, for one thing.)
      (I don’t know anything about a before or after 2010 rule, either way.)

      You should also talk to a lawyer about Chapter 13, which would get you five years to catch up the three payments you are behind. Sounds like you should be able to do that. You don’t need to be scared and lost. The purpose of bankruptcy is to help you.

  • Mellisa Taylor

    April 3, 2012, pm30 8:39 PM

    Hello we own a rental condo in NJ. We filed chapter 7 and will be discharged soon. We did not reaffirm the debt. We planned to continue to rent it and then short sell or foreclose.
    We planned to continue to rent it out for a few months, save the money not pay the mortgage and then try to short sell it. Do we have to turn over all rental income to the trustee or can we keep it without him finding out? Also I read that the 1099 waiver does not even apply to a rental.

    My question is if we did not reaffirm the debt and do not let it go in BK can we stop paying the mortgage now even before discharge save that money and then try to short sell it or foreclose without being responsible for taxes on a 1099? Doesn’t the bk protect us from that?

    Thank you!

    • Robert Weed

      April 4, 2012, am30 7:02 AM


      Thanks for your question. I can tell you what happens here. The bankruptcy trustee asks, are you using the rent to pay the mortgage? If the answer is yes, then you can keep it–and use it to pay the mortgage. If the answer is no, the trustee says, send the rent to me.

      From what you say, I guess the trustee didn’t ask you that. So I guess that means you can do what you want. (But I sure think you should ask a lawyer you knows your trustee and your judge–like maybe your own lawyer–rather than a lawyer, like me, who knows the trustees and judges in Virginia.)

      As to the 1099 debt cancellation income–bankruptcy protects you. (There’s another 1099 waiver–for the housing crisis–that only applies to your residence. But the bankruptcy 1099 waiver applies to all property in bankruptcy.) The answer to that question is the same everywhere.

  • mary

    April 4, 2012, pm30 9:03 PM

    I moved out of my house that was in the middle of foreclosure and the mortgage co winterized the property and locked the house. Id like to move back in, but I am locked out. My husband has to mow every week as the city still see us as the owners. I understand the bank had a right to protect their investment and lock the property, but after repeated attempts in emails and calls with messages to property preservation, they wont return calls or give me the key access code so i can access my own house.

    Since we arent able to get any response, how on earth do we get back in? i do not want to destroy their locks even through they’re on my property. If i was to “jimmy” a window, and unscrew their locks and neatly set them in good condition in a box on my front porch are there legal ramifications to that? I know this sounds absurd, but they just wont budge with giving me the keys to their locks. Thank you.

    • Robert Weed

      April 6, 2012, am30 9:54 AM


      I can’t say for sure what the law is in your state–but a know several people who called a locksmith–and others who just broke in.

  • Debbie

    April 5, 2012, pm30 6:34 PM

    Hello. My ex-husband and I filed for bankruptcy in 2007. In that bankruptcy was included my mobile home. I was living in this home since before we filed and I have been paying the mortgage company since then. I have missed the last two months payments due to finacial problems. I do not want to keep the house and I have been looking for an apartment. I recieved a call at my job today, a number that I never gave, and was told “we will do what we have to do and stop playing games”. And was hung up on. I am in Colorado.

    So my question is, can I just walk away from this home? Or am I still responsible for it?

    • Robert Weed

      April 6, 2012, pm30 4:07 PM


      First, the threatening phone call is a violation of the bankruptcy discharge–and also of the Colorado version of the FDCPA (which covers original creditors in addition to debt collectors. I just happen to know that because I sued a company that was in Colorado for something they did to one of my clients here in Virginia.)

      So, you should go on and sue them, to cut down on that kind of illegal stuff–maybe make a little money. (Look for a lawyer in Colorado at NACA.net.)

      Second, no you are not responsible; yes you can walk away. EXCEPT–with mobile homes, you have to worry about the lot rent. (Are you in as mobile home park where you have to pay lot rent?) As long as its still sitting there, and in your name, you still owe the lot rent. So, if you just move out, you need to plan on that.

      If you decide to sue the mobile home mortgage company for the consumer violation, that would also open up discussion of getting them to “foreclose” it, so you don’t have to worry about the lot rent. (Maybe where you live, the lot rent isn’t much and it does’t matter. Around here it is often higher than the payment on the home.)

  • margei mcghee

    April 6, 2012, am30 9:32 AM

    Mr. Weed, I live in a condo and currently it is worth about 55,000 – the same I paid for it 12 years ago. With the mortgage and fee, it’s about 1500, now it’s a small apartment and I’d rather have a townhouse. BoA has taken over 10 months and still no modification and they let the payment go down $40, (a whole lot), how can I get a townhouse and get out of this 50 year apartment?

    • Robert Weed

      April 6, 2012, pm30 4:10 PM


      You didn’t say anything about bankruptcy. In most of America if you just move out and don’t file bankruptcy, they can come after you. So that’s an issue. In a lot of places they can’t, so you need to talk to somebody who knows the laws in your state.

      Unless you can sell it, you are in for a long waiting period before you can get approved on a new mortgage. If you work on getting a shortsale, the waiting period is a little shorter. Talk to a real estate agent in your area who knows about shortsales.

  • David Macheel

    April 7, 2012, pm30 6:47 PM

    My question is I filed BK7 a few years ago and I have been making payments as normal, but on my credit report it says included in bankruptcy, I am not able to sell after the house has sit on the market and my mortage was sold to another company and they are reporting, so now how can I walk away? Is this legal for my mortgage company to sell my mortgage after a bankruptcy??

    • Robert Weed

      April 7, 2012, pm30 8:15 PM


      Sure it’s legal for them to sell the loan after the bankruptcy. BUT the bankruptcy sill covers it.

      That means two things: Yes, you can still walk away; and if you dispute the credit reporting they have to change it. (If they don’t fix it, you get to sue them.) It should still just show bankruptcy.

  • Amy

    April 9, 2012, pm30 12:56 PM

    I am in the process of separating from my husband and want him to move out. the house is only in my name and my credit is shot. We have not paid on the mortgage since October and I didn’t qualify for the modification, they said because our interest is already low. I want to just walk away from the mortgage but am so worried about all the trouble I will get into. Now it looks like I should just stay and work through the process of foreclosure. I am unsure of how it works and what to do after it happens. I thought a bankrupcy would take care of it but was reading up above that you are still responsible for paying back mortgage and taxes until that bankrupcy and or foreclosure goes through?? I think I am just mixing things up. I am a little overwhelmed with the house and pending divorce. Thank you.

    • Robert Weed

      April 9, 2012, pm30 2:44 PM


      No, I must not have explained very well. Because the reason you file bankruptcy is so you are NT responsible for paying back the mortgage, when you give up the house. That’s why you do it–assuming you are ready to give up the house.

      Stop paying, talk to a bankruptcy lawyer, live for free for as long as you can. (Not totally for free, because you still have to pay the association if there is one. And maybe the taxes if the mortgage company doesn’t pay them.)

  • Jennifer

    April 13, 2012, pm30 6:42 PM

    We recently filed chapter 7 (in Michigan) in August 2011. Our court date was in October and we got our discharge letter in December. We were current on our mortgage payments until August, when our attorney advised us to stop making payments. We live in a condo, so we are still making the association payments. I have 2 questions.
    1: At what point can we stop making the association payments? We plan on staying in the house as long as possible, since obviously, we are living there free of rent right now. Once we do get the foreclosure notice, is it at that point that the house belongs to the mortgage company? Do we just bring the notice to the association office or just stop paying?
    2: We are still getting our monthly statements from the mortgage company right now. They have lowered the payments a few times and right now, our payment is the same or almost less than it would cost us to rent somewhere else. We don’t want to call the mortgage company, because we are trying to “stay hidden” for as long as possible. Basically, we don’t want them to have us on their mind and speed up the foreclosure process. My question though, if we did make the payments, would that be considered rent and allow us to stay there longer or would the mortgage company see that as we decided to keep the house? We don’t want to stay…we just realize that our “new” mortage payment is lower than most rent payments we have found.

    • Robert Weed

      April 14, 2012, am30 7:56 AM


      Good questions.

      1. You should only stop making the association payments when the condo is actually foreclosed. That means the foreclosure process is COMPLETE. FINISHED. DONE. I don’t know what that is in Michigan, though, I’m sure it takes longer than it does in Virginia. One way to know for sure is the NEW OWNER tells you that you have to move out. (Your suggestion of taking the final notice of foreclosure to the condo association so they know you are off the hook–that’s a good idea.)

      2. The second question is a shot in the dark. If the current mortgage payment is something you like, should you send that in? Does that REMIND them how far behind you are? Or do they then put you on the back burner. My GUESS is the opposite of yours. I’d suggest you send it in. But that’s only a guess. (Make sure, though, before you even think about sending anything in, that you have enough money saved that you can pay for movers, put down a big rent deposit, and have a cushion for the unexpected. Do NOT drain down the cash you’ve saved since the bankruptcy.)

  • John

    April 14, 2012, pm30 7:59 PM

    I stopped making payments to both my home loans one being a Heloc. I also stopped making payments to the association at that time. I left the home that very week and have not returned. That home was under my name and I live with my wife in a home which was obtained after this situation in her name. I was told by a lawyer that in our state of Connecticut no one could go after my wife’s current property. I do not want my old home and the association is the only one that has contacted me over the years and are now beginning the process to sue for delinquent fees. So wondering if I should just wait until they forclose since the association could possibly motivate a sooner, or should I look into short sale, deed in lieu, or bankruptcy. I have no equity in the home, no interest in owning it and at the time the home was about 68,000 under water. I did a non verification loan and put nothing down just paid closing. I want to lose as little money in this whole process. What do you believe my next step might be?

    • Robert Weed

      April 15, 2012, am30 7:45 AM


      I don’t know the laws in Connecticut, but I think you need to talk to a bankruptcy lawyer. Sooner or later the heloc is going to sue you and a short sale or deed in lieu is not going to help with that. The association suing you is the action forcing event, but the heloc is the biggest issue.

      If your lawyer–with complete information–sees it the way do–then the bankruptcy will cut off what’s behind with the. But the next month will be another association bill, and that will be an after bankruptcy debt. Then you need to get the place out of your name, with a short sale or deed in lieu if the mortgage companies want to work with you.

      If you don’t get cooperation on the short sale or deed in lieu, then you need to rent the place in order to cover the association. (And make a little money, too.)

      Now a good lawyer will want to get complete information from you. That may change the approach, based on facts that I don’t know and the laws where you are.

  • Stephen

    April 14, 2012, pm30 8:58 PM

    We filed chapter 7 ( in Indiana ) a few years ago. Our house was included in it. We have been making payments untill last month. We never reaffirmed our mortage. We are behind by 60 days at the end of this month. We owe more than the house is worth. The mortage company is calling us every day and harassing us. They are not being nice either. I understand we are behind, but there is nothing we can do at this point. They are threatening to forclose next month. I offered full payment in June but they do not want to wait that long. How long can we stay in our home with out paying? Can they just come in and kick us out? Can we just walk away at any time?

    • Robert Weed

      April 16, 2012, am30 6:04 AM


      Well, let’s start with the easy questions. “Calling day and night and not being very nice” is a violation of the bankruptcy discharge. I see a lot of that. You should go back to your bankruptcy lawyer and ask for sanctions. You won’t make a lot of money but you’ll get some satisfaction.

      Now is the time to apply for a loan mod. Go to this mortgage companies website and see what they say about HAMP, HARP, help for home owners and that kind of thing. Hang on to the money you need to catch up but try to see if they will give you a mod. They do NOT want your house if you owe more than it’s worth. They want your current payment if they can scare you into it, but they’d rather get a slightly smaller payment than get the house.

      I don’t know how long you can stay in your house in Indiana without paying. In Virginia it’s usually five or six months; most other places it’s longer.

      Yes the bankruptcy still protects you if you decide to walk away at any time, but you could be throwing away six months or more of living for free–and you could be throwing away your chance at a loan mod that would help you keep it.

      Do NOT panic just when you start to get (illegal) nasty calls. Stay calm, think about what your goals are, and remember the bankruptcy gives you strong bargaining power against these guys.

  • Lisette

    April 18, 2012, pm30 4:09 PM

    Mr. Weed: This is our situation;
    We stopped paying our mortgage in april 2009 we received the notification of foreclosure later so we decided move out from the house and filed chapter 7 bk
    we was discharge in March 2010 we surrender the property in the bankruptcy.
    The property after almost 2 years still our name , Bank of america still send us like statement of “courtesy” they say. The foreclosure process we check in the country court have no change since March 2011. we are regret now looking all your comments not try to keep our home because many people told us that in the moment that we surrender the property we lose our rights. is there anyway to try at this point to keep the house and get a loan modification with Bank of America or is too late for that. Thank You in advance for your response

    • Robert Weed

      April 18, 2012, pm30 4:16 PM


      I know someone, a client of mine actually, who moved out after filing bankruptcy. (Before I was as clear as I am now that’s a bad idea.) She moved back in after almost three years–and got a loan mod form Bank of America. And that’s in Virginia where foreclosure can be very quick.

  • Vicky

    April 24, 2012, am30 6:49 AM

    Robert – thank you for your blog. I have a similar situation in Georgia. I Filed Chapter 7 in 2005 before the change in laws. I intended to reaffirm my mortgage and it was listed on the bankruptcy documents as intending to reaffirm. I contintued to pay my mortgage as normal for the past 7 years… my loan was sold a couple of times and BOA sold it to a loan servicer Oct 2011. I have continuously received letters from them telling me it was disharged and never reaffirmed. I pulled my credit reports and they show my payments but that the mortgage is now $0 balance and sold- Paid as agreed. I’m completely confused by this, I don’t remember reaffirming the mortgage and I don’t have any documentation that shows I did. My property is underwater and I have stopped making payments to the servicer. I have several questions – 1. Can they forclose and list it on my credit report when they are showing it discharged in bankruptcy? 2. Can I buy back my mortgage from the servicer for the current appraised value of the property? 3. Can I get another mortgage right now before they forclose without it being a problem? (the current servicer is not even listed on my credit report) 4. How long can I stay in the property before eviction in the state of Ga. ?
    The odd part to all of this is that my mortgage company never sent me a reaffirmation agreement and I just kept paying my loan…. now that the economy is so bad, I would be better off to ditch my house and buy another, morally I feel horrible about that, but according to the current loan servicer, I’m not obligated to pay the debt.
    Thanks for your suggestions!

    • Robert Weed

      April 24, 2012, pm30 4:08 PM


      You need to go back to your bankruptcy LAWYER and find out FOR SURE whether or not you reaffirmed the debt. Everything hinges on that. You can’t afford to just guess. If you can’t find the lawyer who did your bankruptcy, find some Georgia bankruptcy lawyer to look it up for you and pay them $100 or whatever. You need to KNOW that.

      1. Can they foreclose? Yes. Can they show it as foreclosed on your credit report? My answer is No. And I fight that for my clients. I’m obviously not in a position to fight it if they do it to you. You need to check around a locate a lawyer who does Fair Credit Reporting Law. You can go to naca.net.

      2. Can you “buy back” the mortgage at the current appraised value? there’s no law i know of that gives you that right, sorry.

      3. Can you get another mortgage now? That’s the BIG Question. I THINK that once you stopped making payments and actually got behind the answer to that is NO. But MAYBE your bankruptcy is old enough, that you can. The way to find out is to talk to a mortgage lender in Georgia. But my advice would have been, keep current until you close the loan on the new house.

      4. How long can you stay? I have NO IDEA how long it takes them to foreclose in Georgia. I’m in VIRGINIA and that kind of quesiotn needs to go to someone how knows about Georgia.

  • Angela Baker

    April 24, 2012, pm30 4:41 PM

    I am so thankful I found this page through hours of searching. Here is my situation. Husband is military and we filed bankruptcy back in 09 and included our home and it was discharged in 5/09. We came down on orders for Hawaii and moved out of the house. I got a letter saying the home was being foreclosed on along with the time and date of sale at the courthouse. I thought that was it. 3 years later apply for a home loan was approved until they did a title search and showed that we still owned the home in Ca. Called and found out that Chase stopped the foreclosure do to the SCRA. I also found out that Chase has been paying the property taxes of the home as well. I want them to foreclose but they said they won’t until my husband is no longer active duty.. actually they said not until a YEAR AFTER his ETS date. I told them that is not for another 5 years. They told me that means it will not be foreclosed on for 6 years then. ??? So since I own the home and they will not foreclose on my for another 6 years.. I want to rent it out. IS THIS LEGAL? Can I actually rent out this home.. not paying property tax or a mtg? I believe so. I know I will have to file the rented income on my taxes but other than that… is it legal? Kills me to know I could have been renting for the past 3 years.

    • Robert Weed

      April 26, 2012, am30 11:19 AM


      What I tell people is don’t move out–and if you have to move, rent it.

      I do sadly see situations like yours, where people get notified there’s a foreclosure sale coming–and there’s no notice that it doesn’t go through. Really hacks me off. some lawyers I know have kicked around whether there is any way to get back at them for that. Seems like there should be but I don’t have any good idea.

      Is it legal for your to rent it? Well, you are still the owner. You are still the owner. So, you can rent it the same way as it you moved out last week. That also means of course that you have to deal with zoning and all that. And you want to make sure that you are being honest wit your tenant–you can’t sign a year’s lease because you don’t know when they will foreclose–put in writing that it could foreclose at any time that’s why you are renting it cheap. It would be smart to talk to a lawyer who does landlord law work.

  • Angela Baker

    April 25, 2012, pm30 2:01 PM

    I need to add something to above that just until this very moment I wasn’t even thinking of. I have a heloc on the property. So I will not be able to short sale without the heloc lenders approval will I? Can the first mortgage lender even foreclose if there is a lien from a heloc? I hadn’t even been thinking about the second lien holder. This changes everything. HELP
    Fst morgage 179k
    Heloc 60k
    Home and property value combine 120k

    I am trying to get homeowner insurance but nobody wants to give me any cause I haven’t had it on the home in 3 years (lawyer told me I didn’t need to) and it’s vacant. This is a NIGHTMARE Please help!

    • Robert Weed

      April 26, 2012, am30 10:18 AM


      You’re right. It will be much harder to get a shortsale since there’s a HELOC on the house. Just like people SHOULD check the references and experience of their bankruptcy lawyer, you need a real estate agent who has good experience in shortsales to steer you through.

      Yes, it’s a nightmare. Everybody should know by now–don’t leave the house. and if you have to leave, rent it.

  • Michelle V

    May 3, 2012, pm31 1:56 PM

    Help! We filed for bankruptcy in 2008, we have 2 mortgages. We re-affirmed our first mortgage which is now $184,000, but we did not re-affirm our second mortgage which is around $45,000. We are now in a position where we need to get our of our house because the payments are just too much for us. Our house, which at one time was valued at $275,000 is now worth in the neighborhood of $222,000 (which means we may get an offer of $200,000 if we’re REALLY lucky) -We’ve had a lot of foreclosures in our area. Can we legally put our house up for sale for just above what we owe to our primary lender? Do I have to work this out with our second mortgage lender? FYI- since we didn’t re-affirm in the first place, they have already said they are not willing to work with us for refi. or modification, and we’re behind a couple of months on it, but current on our 1st mortgage. If we can do this, are we going to be liable to the second mortgage holder? Or will the people who buy our house have any problems with the second mortgage person saying that they still hold a lien? Who should I speak to about selling our home? Is a regular realtor going to be able to figure out the craziness in this situation?? Or should I find a certain type of attorney? Any help you can offer would be great!! Thanks!

    • Robert Weed

      May 4, 2012, pm31 2:30 PM


      You can’t shortsale without approval of the second mortgage. And they have leverage against you–you can’t just stop paying and let it go to foreclosure because you reaffirmed the first.

      There are at least a dozen people who have posted on my website that they reaffirmed mortgages. The only times–only time, I think it was only once–that I’ve let a client reaffirm a mortgage was in exchange for a major reduction in both principal and interest! I can imagine some other situaitons that it might make sense, but they are all very, very rare.

      You need to start by going back to your bankruptcy lawyer and say, did we really reaffirm that first mortgage? Why did you let me do that? What does your insurer think about that? If you really did, then you need a real estate agent who has enormous experience in shortsales (I know a few around here; but obviously none where you are) to try to negotiate your way out of that mess. (And I think there’s a good chance you can; but you gave up enormous negotiating power by reaffirming the first, if you actually did.)

  • Michael

    May 4, 2012, pm31 5:10 PM

    I filed bankruptcy a week ago, I have made payments on my back taxes from 08 and I am not sure if I still need to make payments. I filed pro se with a paperwork preparer.

    • Robert Weed

      May 4, 2012, pm31 5:23 PM


      So how much money do you have at stake on these 08 taxes–and how much did you save filing without a lawyer? Around here, more than 70% of pro se filings fail.

  • Shelly Lockler

    May 6, 2012, pm31 11:05 PM

    Hello Mr. Weed!

    I filed chapter 7 in 2008. My house still has not been foreclosed, and it shows on my credit report as a $0 balance… When can I buy another house? Three years after bankruptcy or 3 years after the bank decides to foreclose my home? And, how is it that I haven’t made a payment in 4 years, and there still is no sale date? Thanks so much for taking the time to read and respond!!

    • Robert Weed

      May 7, 2012, am31 11:51 AM


      My reading of the regulations is it’s three years after the bank finally gets around to foreclose. Why haven’t they foreclosed? Don’t know. all I can say is that’s why I tell people, don’t move out. https://robertweed.com/blog/after-bankruptcy/file-bankruptcy-stop-paying-dont-leave-that-house/. And if you have to move, rent it.

      (You should try to talk to a lender, and not just give up on my say, so. But you can also look at the other comments here.)

  • Victor

    May 7, 2012, am31 1:18 AM

    Robert-Thanks for your blog.My situation is I live in florida and found a property in construction phase thats was abandoned a few years ago I tracked down the owner thru prop appraiser office.and was informed by him that the bank owned the property upon research thru court records a final judgement was filed and an auction date sale was posted which took place in 06/11/09 shortly there after on 6/23/09 a satisfaction of mortgage was filed on the banks behalf.now its 2012 and the property is still under the owner or borrowers name.and am interested in purchasing it to finish it .but dont know what to do next.Please Help Thank you so much

    • Robert Weed

      May 7, 2012, am31 11:56 AM


      I have NO IDEA. But you should talk to a REAL ESTATE LAWYER there in Florida to take a look at what you found out. Maybe there’s a paid for property just sitting there. You should follow up with someone who understands Florida real estate law–not me. I wouldn’t let any more “years” ago buy without seeing if you are on to something.

  • tara

    May 9, 2012, am31 3:51 AM


    Thank you for having this informative blog for people to utilize.

    We recently had to file chapter 7 bankruptcy, it was just disharged in March 2012. We had to stop making our mortgage payments in December of 2011 because it’s too much of a payment for us now, we cannot afford the amount. We had tried to apply for a modification program through our lender, BOA, prior to filing , but they denied us because of our “back end debt”. Then we filed chapter 7 and we reapplied for the modification program, then we got a letter stating we had been denied that modification program because we qualified for a different program. That was well over a month ago now, probably close to two, and we haven’t heard anything from them since. I’ve called BOA and spoken with the gentlemen who is assigned to our account and I get a bit of a run around each time, he never really gives me any information about what is happening with our mortgage and our application for modification. We still occupy our home, it’s our primary and only residence. We don’t want to lose our home, we are trying to keep it, which is part of why we applied for a modification. We are in Wyoming. It’s an FHA loan. Based upon this info and your knowledge, do you think we will be able to keep our home? Or will we automatically be foreclosed on because we had to file chapter 7 bankruptcy? Should I stop calling our lender and haggling for answers? We have not been able to make payments since December 2011, and continue to not be able to. I don’t know what the other modification program is that they said we qualified for because we haven’t had communication with them since, they haven’t called or sent any documentation to us. Is it possible that we will be granted a modification in which our monthly payment is lowered to an amount we can afford to pay? Or are we just being given the run around until they decide to or can foreclose on us?

    Thank you so much for sharing your knowledge.

    • Robert Weed

      May 9, 2012, am31 6:55 AM


      Thanks for your kind words, but my knowledge is limited.

      I do NOT know if you will be able to keep your house.

      But I do KNOW that you will NOT be automatically foreclosed because you filed Chapter 7. Chapter 7 can improve your eligibility in two ways. First because they are required to consider (not approve, just consider) you for a loan mod. Second, because your debt to income ratio is a lot better. Your “back end debt” is a lot lower, so you can afford a bigger payment on the house.

      I also do know that you should keep up calling your lender. Don’t know about haggling, but keep letting them know you are ready to send in anything they need from you and you want to keep the house. Sometimes they will look at your bankruptcy papers as your mod application, so they need less from you. But keep letting them know you are ready to send in whatever they need.

      Good luck.

  • Beverly in VA

    May 9, 2012, pm31 2:24 PM

    Thanks so much for all you’re doing!

    My husband and I filed Ch13 in December of 2009 and will finish this December, 2012. We surrendered our home in the bankruptcy after trying for a short sale. We moved out in October 2009. Shortly after that, we found lock boxes on the doors, with no idea who put them there. (1st or 2nd mortgage holder). So far, BoA has not foreclosed. We’re concerned that our BK discharge will be final in December and we will still “own” the house. I asked our lawyer who is clueless. He suggested contacting BoA about a Deed in Lieu. Shouldn’t he be the one to do that? We have also been paying someone to cut the grass, but how long do we do that? We filed in order to get out from under all this, and now it looks like we will still have the house hanging over our heads even after completing our bankruptcy! Do you have any advice for us? Thank you.

    • Robert Weed

      May 9, 2012, pm31 2:34 PM


      You have two issues. The first is whether the house is discharged. Did your Chapter 13 START with the plan of giving up the house? (You say you had already moved out, so I assume so.) I’m asking that because if you were giving up the house, why were you in Chapter 13? Doesn’t make a lot of sense to me, so I’m not sure what’s going on. You need to make sure with your “clueless” lawyer that your mortgages are in fact discharged.

      Second, the house isn’t foreclosed and you don’t know what to do. I don’t either. That’s why I tell people–Don’t Move Out. Looks like you could have been living there for free for three years.

      There are plenty of good lawyers here in Virginia–sorry that you got one who has not been helpful.

  • Chris

    May 11, 2012, pm31 4:53 PM

    Wow, great posts! You are more knowledgeable on your blog than our lawyers were during the year and half we worked with them.
    My wife and I filed for CH7 this year and have been discharged. We did not try to keep anything, but, are now wondering if it is possible to renegatiate our 1st mortgage with our primary residence (with BOA). This home had a first, a 2nd, AND a HELOC. Since we claimed Chapter 7 I am wondering, if we are able to reaffirm or renegatiate our 1st with BOA, would the 2nd and HELOC still be unenforceable under our Chapter 7 filing? We have not paid in over 7 months per our attorney and have not received notice of foreclosure yet. We live in CO.


    • Robert Weed

      May 11, 2012, pm31 5:14 PM


      Thanks for your kind words. There is plenty of reason to hope you can get a loan mod on the first, that would possibly lower your payment and put what is behind on the end. Don’t know the details of your situation and have no idea what your chances are, but a lot of people get approved, so you should try.

      The second the HELOC cannot come after you for any money. They are still “enforceable” against your property. Whether they want to enforce it depends on whether they think they’d get anything at a foreclosure sale. If the house is worth less than you owe on the first, they are not going to try to foreclose any time soon. My general recommendation is give them a couple years experience getting nothing. Then if the house is a place you want to stay long term, make them a low ball offer to release the lien. Again I don’t know your details, and even if it did, I could not be very specific–that’s just a general approach.

  • Ray

    May 11, 2012, pm31 7:20 PM

    Mr. Weed
    I filed bankruptcy in 99. I was wondering since nothing shows on my credit report about the home what would happen if I walked away from it. I live in Virginia. I just recently divorced and want to relocate to get away. Will it show up as foreclosure? Thank you in advance for your advice.

    • Robert Weed

      May 12, 2012, pm31 1:31 PM


      Assuming you did NOT reaffirm the home (a breathtakingly bad idea that people sometimes stupidly do), then you can walk away and the foreclosure will not (legally) show on your credit report. There will still BE a foreclosure, though, and that impacts your ability to buy a house again for three years.

  • Tracy

    May 11, 2012, pm31 7:54 PM

    Hi Mr. Weed

    I live in Illinois and purchased my home in 2007. The following year and 1/2 my mortgage payment increased due to my property taxes increased. In addition my spouse lost his job. As a result of the increase to the property taxes my mortgage payment increased. I applied for a loan modification and received it in September of 2010. In March of 2011 we filed a chapter 13 not including our mortgage as we were current. My property is most definitely underwater to the tune of $50,000-$80,000. My husband is working again but took a huge reduction in pay. We have continued to pay our mortgage and chapter 13 though its a

    husband is currently working, but a serious reduction in salary. We have continued to struggle in paying our mortgage and chapter 13

    I have a few questions.

    If I stop paying my mortgage and continue to pay my chapter 13 what will happen?
    Do you think its possible for me to get another modification?
    Should I just walk away and cut my losses?

    • Robert Weed

      May 12, 2012, pm31 1:37 PM


      Chapter 13 is very technical and tricky. I don’t know what your Chapter 13 plan said, and I also don’t know why you are in Chapter 13 to begin with. So I can’t tell you what you happen if you stayed in Chapter 13 and stopped paying your mortgage. One of the disadvantages of Chapter 13 is the the mortgages usually are NOT discharged. You need to talk to your lawyer, starting with, why did we get into chapter 13? Does chapter 13 still make sense to us? Can we convert to Chapter 7? What would happen if we converted to Chapter 7?

      Whether just “walking away” cuts your losses or leaves you an enormous mess–all that depends on the details of your situation. Whether it’s a good idea–if you can do it at all–depends on your long term goals.

      Here’s one thing I can tell you. It’s at least possible that you can get a new modification. New programs are being announced all the time.

  • Ray

    May 13, 2012, am31 8:53 AM

    Thank you Mr. Weed for your advice, but forgive me not understanding your reply. Not legally showing up on my credit report, but there will still be a foreclosure. I just really don’t know what I should do. Thanks again for your knowledge and advice.

  • Ray

    May 13, 2012, am31 8:55 AM

    Thank you Mr. Weed for your advice, but forgive me not understanding your reply. Not legally showing up on my credit report, but there will still be a foreclosure. I just really don’t know what I should do. Thanks again for your knowledge and advice.

    Ray in Virginia

  • pat

    May 17, 2012, pm31 10:44 PM

    Very informative information, and I have a question for you that falls in the gray area…
    We purchased our home in 2008. Filed for BK a year later and both have been discharged for 32 months…never reaffirmed the mortgage…now we want to get approved for a mortgage on a new home.
    1) We have been preapproved for a mortgage, and will likely go the USDA route for rural property in NJ. ($0 down).
    2) Our home value is equal to or slightly more the current mortgage payoff. However, we are trying to move quickly. All mortgage payments have been made on time and our credit scores are actually very good. If we find our “dream home,” can we actually get a new mortgage on a new home regardless of whether or not we can sell our current home? Since it was discharged in chapter 7, would a lender require the contingency that our new home purchase hinges on the sale of our current home, even though we are not technically liable for the current debt?
    Thanks in advance!

    • Robert Weed

      May 18, 2012, am31 6:08 AM


      You are right–that’s the gray area that nobody, including me, seems to know the answer to. The right answer may be affected by the new loan being USDA. Where I am, in the Washington suburbs, I pretty much NEVER see USDA loans, so my ignorance is total. Sorry.

  • Jeff

    May 18, 2012, am31 10:16 AM

    Here’s some advise my attorney didn’t know of. I filed bankrupcty in august 2008, discharged November 2008. My attorney advised me to keep paying the mortgage without reaffirming and I could stay there as long as I paid. Well, 3 years later, my house is furhter upside down. Now I’m ready to leave and the bank is ready to foreclose. I’ve rebuilt my credit, up to 720 FICO, I make 150K annual and I find out I can’t get a mortgage loan because of a law that says there is a waiting period of 2 to 3 years after a foreclosure depending on the type of loan (2 for VA, 3 for FHA). Had I known this in 2008, I would have let the house go back then and wouldn’t have to wait another 2 years for a total of 5 years now to get loan. No wonder the economy is so messed up! So stop advising your clients to stay in a home that they can’t or don’t plan on keeping. Move out ASAP so the bank can foreclose and in a few years you have no obstacles to purchase a new home.

    • Robert Weed

      May 19, 2012, am31 9:19 AM


      You’re right–I don’t know how many of us knew in 2008 what the regulations would be in 2012. But we should all know it now. If you keep current and stay in your house after, you can get good credit scores, get good car loans, but you can’t get approved for a new mortgage. (There are TWO people on my blogs who say they GOT a mortgage on a new house, doing that. Lots of other people have gotten preliminary approval, but then the deal has fallen apart.) There’s a three year lock out after the foreclosure: it’s not about credit, it’s just a punishment. And if the foreclosure hasn’t happened yet, then the three years hasn’t even started.

      Now some people, unlike you, Jeff, do want to keep the house for just a few years–for example until the kids are out of high school. Then stop paying, move out when they foreclose, and yes, you have to RENT for three years under the currents regulations before you can buy again.

      There’s a one place where we’re seeing things differently, Jeff You are saying, if you don’t want to keep the house, “move out ASAP.” If you don’t want the house, you should STOP PAYING ASAP, but that does not mean you should MOVE OUT.

      At least here in Virginia, Virginia is all I know about, moving out does NOT make them foreclose any faster. If the house is going to sit there six months or a year or more before there’s a foreclosure (and that happens pretty often), you might as well be living for free. Your three year lock out before you can buy again doesn’t start until foreclose, so at least you should get some benefit by living for free.

  • Michelle

    May 23, 2012, pm31 12:01 PM

    I am currently in Ohio, going through a divorce as well as in the process of filing for bankruptcy my soon to be ex is not filing. We have not come to any agreement, and have not had any hearings as of yet. My bankruptcy has not been filed because my atty is telling me the trustee will take over the negotiations in my divorce and I will lose any say. My divorce atty says this is not the case. I am really confused, and I don’t know who to believe.

    • Robert Weed

      May 23, 2012, pm31 12:17 PM


      If you have two lawyers in Ohio that know the details of your situation, and know Ohio law–there’s nothing I could add to that from here. Sorry.

  • Jennifer M

    May 23, 2012, pm31 2:20 PM

    We filed Chapter 13 in June 2010, and as part the 2nd mortgage was considered unsecured & we did a lien strip. We are in Virginia. We were 1 month behind on the 1st mortgage, so that was also included in the BK plan. We were above the median family income at the time of filing, so were put into a 60 month plan. Now 2 years in, and spouse has lost his job. due to situation (he was self employed) he gets no severance, or no unemployment benefits. We have gone back to our attorney who basically have said we could convert to a Chapter 7 or as he recommends, try to stay with the 13 and possibly modify the payments lower once spouse gets a new job. Concern is with the economy we have no idea how long that could be. Considering converting now and looking to walk away. What timetable would we be looking to have to move? We would consider trying to work with the mortgage company to see if they would then work a loan mod (they always disapproved us before). But what about that 2nd mortgage, as a side note that company now went bankrupt too and the home is still way underwater.

    • Robert Weed

      May 23, 2012, pm31 5:05 PM


      Sorry to hear about your husband losing his job. Five years is a long time, and that’s why I generally recommend people in your situation file a Chapter 7 and just don’t pay the second mortgage, rather than get into a five year Chapter 13, and risk something going wrong and ending in the 7 anyway.

      I explain the Chapter 13 strategy, the one you took, at this website. http://robertweed-bankruptcy-and-second-mortgages.info/. And the just don’t pay (“nerves of steel”) strategy on this blog. https://robertweed.com/blog/chapter-7-bankruptcy/after-bankruptcy-what-if-i-dont-pay-my-second-mortgage/. Your husband’s job loss is now pushing you toward that one. One of the factors that I use to discuss the two choices, is how many years until the kids are out of school. You didn’t mention that either way. But I tend to think chapter 13 makes the most sense when the kids of eight and six and you want to see them out of high school. If they were 16 and 15 when you filed the chapter 13, well the youngest would graduate with his friends this year, and that makes it easier to move out.

      What about a loan mod? I don’t know–and you may not know either–why you got turned down for a mod before. (Did you try again while you were in the Chapter 13.) If it was because your debt to income ration was too high–well converting to Chapter 7 bankruptcy fixes that? Was it because your income was too high? Now it’s lower.)

      My rule on loan mods is–keeping applying.

      If you convert and don’t go for a loan mod, how much longer do you have in the house–well this blog, the one you commented on–tell you that I don’t know. At least three months, usually five or six, sometimes more. There’s no telling.

      Your own lawyers knows the details of your situation a lot better than I do. But my second mortgage relief website on chapter 13, and my blog on don’t pay the second mortgage–those two give you my general rules. something to discuss with your husband and maybe then go over again with your lawyer.

      Then you have to give it your best shot. It’s hard to plan for the future because we don’t know what will happen, but you want to plan as best you can around your goals and hopes.

  • Tracy

    May 23, 2012, pm31 8:22 PM

    Hello, good reading…. We actually filed chprtr 11 in 2011 after we had tried to work with GMAC to get a mod. They told us we had to be late on our payments to even get considered (2010 there as no law against that in WA state, now there is.).. and if we paid during the application period it could hurt the mod.. so we stopped paying mortgage in March of 2010, and that took about 3 mos. Anyway, the mod came back HIGHER than what we were paying!!.. they said if we pay , we accept, so we had to sit another 3 mos, they said they would look at it again.
    6 mos later, they slap a short sale notice on our house!!.. Ok we did not see that coming.. we thought they were WORKING with us..Big eye opener. We were told oh you can stay, pay all the back rent.. What? you told us not to pay.. and we would work something out? We were paying other bills off..
    We had a forensic Audit done, and say what one might, that did get the bank to back off till April of 2011, (they sent us a revised foreclosure letter for april 2011). We then decided our best bet in this mess was to file chpt 11. It certainly did not start out this way, but we managed to lose a house we spent 15 yrs rebuilding.. We offered all kinds of reasonable payments.. they wouldn’t budge..
    We stopped paying mortgage in March 2010, (remember they told us to, so we could apply for mod) . We are still sitting here, 2012.. we started to pack boxes then gave up.. we have not heard a peep from anyone yet? No new foreclusure letter (after we filed).. Oh i forgot to mention, we gave up our Home in the foreclosure with a 1st and 2nd mortgage.. we have lost about 300k in value, yes $300,000 in market value, so as you can imagine this house is seriously under water..
    Now we stay here, we take care of our home, we wait.. what are they doing behind the scenes? we don’t know, i can’t find anything on line or with state assessors.. the bank payed the taxes..
    i don’t know what you can really tell me, but i can 100% agree, do not move out! until they are at your door.. I have no reason to leave, and our hope (daydreaming) is that bank will come to us and say.. gee would you like to renegotiate?? Oh and the GMAC filed Bankruptcy this week, we just got a letter.. so now what does that mean.. another layer of paperwork..
    We never expected the down hill slide we would end up on.. but financially at this time we are better off.. sad as that is.. we restructured our debt.. we are paying that off, we have jobs.. no rent at this time, so able to take care of elderly parents a little bit..save a little..

    • Robert Weed

      May 24, 2012, pm31 3:48 PM


      Thanks for sharing that story. It’s not typical–but it’s not that unusually either. You might as well live for free as long as you can.

      I don’t know what the mortgage company is doing–because THEY don’t know what they are doing. and, hey, maybe they will come back with a mod offer. i know a couple people who got good loan mods on houses that hadn’t been paid on for three years.

  • Eric

    May 24, 2012, pm31 12:57 PM

    My wife and I are upside down in our home and we are considering filing bankruptcy and we are considering relocating to another state. My income we decrease because of a schedule retirement and we are unsure if we should try a chapter 7 or 13 it all seems so confusing.

    • Robert Weed

      May 24, 2012, pm31 3:44 PM


      Right, it is confusing.

      From what you told me, I don’t see any reason to file a Chapter 13. BUT the job of your lawyer is to fully understand all your choices and your complete situation and help you make the decision that’s right for you. Can’t amek that decision based on an email.

  • Greg

    May 24, 2012, pm31 7:29 PM

    Hi Mr. Weed and think you for all the wonderful advise. My wife and I filed for chapter 7 bankruptcy two and 1/2 years ago and all our debts were discharged. we have been paying our mortgages, which were not reaffirmed, ever since on time. We are under water but not as bad as others are. According to zillow the house is worth $148,000 (however I doubt we can get that due to the terrible location of the home) and we owe $94,500 on the 1st and $63,500 on the 2nd ($158,000 total). Would it be possible/legal to attempt to buy a new home with a FHA loan and once the loan closes, just walk away from the old home? And what would the impact be to my slowly getting better credit?

    If that is not an option, could I stop making the payments on the 2nd and pocket that money? would the mortgage company be more likely to foreclose on me due to my more reasonable loan to value situation?

    Thank you in advance for the advise.

    • Robert Weed

      May 26, 2012, pm31 3:22 PM


      You can certainly attempt to buy a new house with an FHA loan while you are still living in and current on the house you lived in when you filed bankruptcy. And if your new loan closes, then you can move into the new place and just walk away from the old one. (As long as you did NOT reaffirm the old loan; which is usually a terrible idea that some lawyers sometimes allow clients to do.)

      It’s legal to apply, and several people on this blog have told me they have gotten preliminary approval, but then the deal always seems to fall apart. Here’s the reason: it’s the policy of the government to stick in you a three year lockout if you give up a house to foreclosure. This has nothing to do with your credit–it’s punishment for giving the house up.

      Now you have never had a foreclosure–so one way to look at it is that there should be no lockout. The other way is to say, well we know there will be a foreclosure, so the three years hasn’t even started yet. That’s the way it seems like it usually comes down. So, no reason not to try to get a loan, but don’t count on it.

      (Now if it worked, moving out should not affect your “credit”–meaning your credit score for buying a car and things like that. On your credit report, that mortgage should show bankruptcy 2009, and nothing since then. Nothing if you pay; nothing if you don’t pay.)

      Your other question, what if you stop paying on the second mortgage. Since the second mortgage has some equity to hold on to–although you say your house is actually worth less than Zillow says–well, they might try to foreclose you. I don’t know enough about the real estate market in your state to say any more than MAYBE.

  • Kimberly

    May 24, 2012, pm31 11:19 PM

    I am renting a condo from a landlord who was not upfront about her being or almost being in foreclosure. I started to receive notices in the mail saying that the place was being put up for auction. I asked her about it and she told me it was nothing and that they always send those notices. So one day I came home from work to see trustee sale notice on my door. When i asked her about she once again said it was nothing that she is fighting it. The notice said she had been in default since 2008 and i moved in in 2010 and she never told me anything. I called the number on the notice and it had the time and date of the auction. When the date came around i called the number again and it said it was still going to auction off and told me the starting bid, i called the number back again later in the afternoon to see if anything changed and it told me it was postponed due to bankruptcy and it was reschedule for the following month. I do not know what to do should i stay and pay or should i leave. I personally don’t think it is right for a owner to rent out their place if it is in the process of being foreclosed. I paying rent for the owner to catch up on her mortgage or am i paying for their personal expense? I know it might be wrong but i shouldn’t have to pay rent if i am going to come home one day and i am locked out of my place because my landlord failed to tell me they “might” be in going into foreclosure.

  • Shawn C

    May 28, 2012, am31 12:25 AM

    Hello Mr. Weed,
    I had filed bankruptcy two years ago (Illinois), ALL my debt was discharged including my first and second mortgage on my only home. I just received a large stack of court papers which is what I believe to be the final steps before the bank actually owns the home? (Affidavit for Judgement, Motion to Dismiss Unknown Owners and Non Record Claimants, Motion for Default, Motion to Appoint Selling Officer, Motion for Judgement, Affidavit for Judgment, and Affidavit for Attorneys Fees and Costs). A court date was given for all the above in the near future. My first question is do I need to attend this court date (it is not a subpoena)? My second question is, I had filed bankruptcy on both home loans (which was discharged), would I still be responsible for the attorney fees which this attorney is seeking. Thank you very much.

    • Robert Weed

      May 28, 2012, am31 6:26 AM


      All I know about is foreclosure law in VIRGINIA. (Where it’s real simple.) So I don’t know if it’s the “final steps” or not. And I hesitate to tell you that you don’t need to go.

      I would comment, as a matter of bankruptcy law, that it sure sounds like they should NOT be seeking attorneys fees for foreclosing you. You should get your bankruptcy lawyers to look at those court papers, so see if there’s something there that you and I are missing. And ALSO to see if you lawyer thinks you should go after them in the bankruptcy court for trying to collect those attorneys fees. Some judges would slap them and you might make a few hundred dollars (or in some states more). They should not be sending any papers that do not make it totally clear they are not and cannot go after you for money.

  • Shawn C

    May 28, 2012, pm31 6:11 PM

    Mr. Weed, Thanks for the advice and you are not kidding about things being complex here in Illinois (Where our governors make our license plates). I will contact the attorney who handled my bankruptcy.

  • Betty

    May 31, 2012, pm31 3:06 PM

    Mr. Weed! Help! I am very anxious. You say “don’t move out” but my attorney now tells me, after filing (a different story than before filing), that I will have NO notice and I could go home to my stuff on the street. Is there ANY way in which I can tell about when the mortgage company will boot me? Recordation at the county level or something?

    • Robert Weed

      May 31, 2012, pm31 3:46 PM


      I only know the procedure in Virginia. Most states give you more notice than we have here. But I don’t know the law where you are.

  • lori claire

    May 31, 2012, pm31 8:42 PM

    Hi Mr. Weed,
    My husband and I filed bankruptcy in CA hoping for a Chap 7 but we didn’t qualify per the means test. We got a loan mod on our condo and it is being confirmed thru the bk court (via a motion that was file by our attorney). I had always wanted to give up the house and file Ch 7 (upside down, depressed market) but it wasn’t to be. My husband and I are splitting up now and we want our own apartments and to give up the house. Our attorney said keep paying the trustee payments and the mortgage and let him know our new budget. BUDGET? How can we afford to get an apartment and pay the mortgage to keep bankrupcy in effect? We cannot. My question is…can I stop paying mortgage, get apartment, have my budget adjusted and file Ch 7 now, let my husband live in the house free until they take back house? My attorney just told me to let him know when one of us is out of house, like we intend to keep house. BUT WE DON’T!

    • Robert Weed

      June 1, 2012, pm30 12:03 PM


      Splitting up with your husband is definitely time to see if Chapter 7 now works better for you than Chapter 13. But the strategy for getting there depends on all your factors. I certainly am in no position to look over the shoulder of your bankruptcy lawyer. There are a lot of situations I can think of where it would work best if one of you moved out and one was still in the house. And depending on your income, and your judge, and your house payment, both of you moving out could be a big mistake. And it might matter which of you moved out, depending on who makes more and what the house payment is.

      So it sounds like your lawyer has a plan–you say he needs to know your new BUDGET. If I were your lawyer, I’d be asking for that, too.

  • Marie

    June 2, 2012, pm30 9:22 PM

    Hello Robert and thank you for your site, it is very helpful. Question for you, I filed for chpt 7 bankruptcy in 2010 and was discharged of all debt in Feb. 2011. I listed my house as wanting to keep it, was delinquent and in modification.
    I received the modification but did not reafirm the debt as there was a large second mortgage. I began paying the first via modification but still was deliqneunt on the second and the house is underwater by 150,000 becuase of the second as the first has just slighly negative 30,000. I was hounded for the second mortg. and my atty said to stop paying everything which I did as we did not reafirm anything.
    Now BOA sent a notice to foreclose letter to me and I responded saying that they can have the deed in lieu but I want the ten months of payments I made back.. as the debt was not reafirrmed and the house is severly underwater and the second mortgage is hounding me. Any change of that happening? To date no response back…..I occupy the home but am on nerved edge always wondering if they will foreclose. I stopped paying in Dec. and now it is June……

    • Robert Weed

      June 3, 2012, pm30 2:14 PM


      “Hounded for the second mortgage”? Instead of deciding not to pay the first, you and your lawyer should go after them for violation of the bankruptcy discharge. I see that a lot from Bank of America and the judges here are starting to get real tired of it. Your judge might just slap their hand, or maybe slap them hard, but that would get it stopped and get you a little money, maybe a little more.

      Now, clearing your head of the second mortgage….you started paying the first and now you stopped. Other than being mad, you didn’t give any reason. Do you still want to live there? If you do, rather than talk about deed in lieu, you ought to ask them for a loan mod. I don’t know what your chances are, but if you still want to live in your house, then a loan mod is what you want. Ask for what you want.

      You approached them about asking for your money back in exchange for a deed in lieu. I’ve never seen that where I am–maybe they do it where you are; I’ve never seen it.

      I also don’t know how long it takes to foreclose in your state. Even in Virginia, I really don’t know. Six months (where you are now) is typical, but sometimes it’s a lot longer. There’s no telling really.

      I can only tell you two things. Don’t move out early–you’ll kick yourself if you could have lived there for free for another year. And, don’t let their illegal “hounding” you about the second mortgage force you out of the house. If it would fit your plans to keep paying the first and stay there for another couple years, or more, go back to them about a loan mod and see if you can work that out.

      With all the foreclosed houses, they would rather get a payment than get your house–at least most of time. Can’t hurt to ask if that’s really what you want.

  • Cici

    June 3, 2012, pm30 12:42 PM

    Mr. Weed,
    I filed Bankruptcy over two years ago in Virginia. I have two mortgages on my home. I have been paying the first which is with Pentagon Federal Credit Union (PFCU), but not the second. I recently checked my credit report and PFCU is still reporting my payments and has not listed bankruptcy like my second mortgage has. If I stop making payments on this loan can they report this to the credit bureau and if I decide to foreclose can PFCU add foreclosure to my credit report? Also, can I short sale my home if I have not been paying the second mortgage? Thank you in advance for your hep.

    • Robert Weed

      June 3, 2012, pm30 2:19 PM


      You tell me that PFCU is reporting your house as current on the first mortgage, since you have been paying, even though you had it in your bankruptcy. (I’m assuming you did NOT reaffirm the mortgage–that’s almost always a terrible idea, but some lawyer let people do it. You need to be positive that you didn’t.)

      My view is that they should be reporting the first the same way they are reporting the second–bankruptcy and nothing after–even though you are paying. So if you decide to NOT pay, you can expect they will start to report you as late, even they they are not supposed to. So when you stop, you need to get your credit report from each of the three credit bureaus, do dispute letters, and if they keep reporting you as late after that, see a lawyer.

      (Let me know if you’d like my help on that.)

      Can you do a shortsale? Well, you can if both mortgages agree. The second mortgage is discharged as to you but it’s not releases as to the house. So they could hold up a shortsale if they want to.

  • Marty

    June 10, 2012, pm30 11:14 PM

    Dear Mr. Weed:

    I am so happy I found your site. I do live in Virginia, and I have questions about the attempts to collect on a formerly owned property. After several years of trying to get out of a sub-prime based mortgage on our home, which had a 2nd mortgage, we went into foreclosure after many failed attempts at a valid loan modification. (Sept. 2011). The loan was a conventional one with a private investor. The 2nd was with GMAC. After several attempts failed, we came to a brilliant realization. Both mortgages were only in my name. My husband was not listed on the debt. Therefore, we started shopping for a new home utilizing my husband’s credit. Within 45 days, we moved into a new home. The investor foreclosed on the 1st mortgage in Sept. I did not filed bankruptcy. We have not made any payments since then to GMAC. They have offered us several settlement packages since last year. We stopped paying them in early spring of 2011. We have not acknowledged any correspondence as their letters state if we are no longer responsible for the mortgage to ignore it. Yet —> GMAC is still trying to collect on the 2nd even while they are sending us paperwork acknowledging that they are themselves filing bankruptcy. Is it legal for them to continue to try to collect from us even though they filed for bankruptcy in May? We would like to know if they can be sued for pursuing our debt while in bankruptcy? We are in a debt management plan regarding our unsecured bills. Any help you can provide would be greatly appreciated.

    • Robert Weed

      June 11, 2012, pm30 3:43 PM


      Yes, GMAC can still come after you for the foreclosed second mortgage. And yes, they can do that even though they are in bankruptcy.

      I hope you are in a legit debt management plan, and not one of the scams. But an honest outfit should have told you that your second mortgage is still out there dragging down your credit and threatening to sue and garnish.

      You have a second mortgage company who has put charge off on your credit and is going to sue you sooner or later–and you have other debts (credit cards?) you could not pay and have now dinged your credit again with a debt management plan: I really think you need to talk to a bankruptcy lawyer. Most people get back to good credit a whole lot faster by filing bankruptcy than by going through the mess you have yourself in.

  • Mariella

    June 13, 2012, pm30 3:02 PM

    Mr. Weed, Thank you so much for your site. It’s very informative! I have a question that is really bothering me. I have a bankrupcty discharge in FL (Dec 2008) and I am still living in the apt even though it was included in the bankruptcy. Problem is BofA keeps sending me letters that I may be eligible for the government program (principal reduction). Can I still apply for that? No, right? since that debt is no longer mine… another question, I stopped paying the association when I received the discharge and I just found out that it was a big mistake. Any consequences for that? I now have a huge debt with the association. What can I do? Thank you for your comments and help.

    • Robert Weed

      June 13, 2012, pm30 4:05 PM


      Yeah, your lawyer should have warned you that you are still responsible for the association until there’s a foreclosure–that’s been the law since 2005. What can you do–contact them and plead with them to work out a payment agreement for you to catch it up.

      Loan mod? Yes. I know of people in exactly your situation who paid nothing for three or four years, BofA never got around to foreclosing (and this is in VIRGINIA where they can foreclose way FASTER than in Florida) and then got a loan mod. So, sure, go on and apply. Good luck.

  • Tiffany

    June 29, 2012, pm30 8:45 PM

    Hello Mr. Reed,
    I’m glad I found this site and thank you for posting such informative information. My bankruptcy (chapter 7) was discharged in Nov. 2011. I had filed because I lost my job in April and I started to get behind in my mortgage payments in Georgia. I didn’t know that you are still responsible for the HOA even after bankruptcy – my lawyer didn’t tell me this. I will try to contact the HOA asap.
    I have not made any payments on the mortgage since April of last year. Do you think BofA will work out a loan modification with me? I moved to another state but now I want to move back to Georgia before the end of this year. The house is still in my name and it is not in foreclosure. Thank you for any advice you can give on this matter.

    • Robert Weed

      July 2, 2012, am31 11:33 AM


      Thanks for your kind words.

      Glad to hear that you have BofA. I have often seen people move out of the house and move back in after a year and get a loan mod from them. So it is certainly possible. Don’t know the details to have a guess as to how likely, but it is certianly worth a try.

  • Jen Reyes

    July 2, 2012, pm31 12:03 PM

    I filed bankruptcy on my house seven months ago, I was renting it to family at the time. I let them continue to live in the house until the bank evicted them. However they have completely trashed the house, hole in the wall, carpets destroyed and left a ton of garbage and furniture they didnt want to take with them, there is even mold growing in the fridge on food they didn’t take. Can i be sued or held liable for charges to clean this up?

    • Robert Weed

      July 2, 2012, pm31 6:57 PM


      It would be really hard for you to be held responsible. (The bank would have to show that you knew these people would trash the house when you rented it to them.)

      I wouldn’t worry about it.

  • Jenny

    July 7, 2012, pm31 10:03 PM

    Dear Mr. Weed, I am so glad I found your website. I am really hoping you can give some kind words, for my husband an I feel so helpless and confused at the moment. We live in Louisiana. I filed Chapter 13 in Jan. 2005 an was discharched in June of 2010. It is no longer even showing up on none of the 3 credit bureaus. Thats a plus for me but thats also where the good news stops. My husband and I were mariied in 2009 and he filed Chapter 7 bankruptcy in 2010 on there home she was granted in the divorce but obviously could not pay for and was not made to put up for sale when she could not refinance into just her name. I dont understand that but thats just the law here. He was also discharched in June of 2010. It has been 2 years since discharge and we have established our credit, me a 750 and he a 650, and also have a pretty good income together, 9000 gross monthly, yet no one will touch us for a home loan. They say it is b/c of him filing banckruptcy on a home before but will not explain. I have tried to reasearch online financing for a home after filing bankruptcy on a home but nothing ofcourse. All I find is 2 years established credit. But like I said we have done that and are being turned down. We are currently looking into a VA loan but thats not looking so good either. We have worked so hard its like 2 steps forward 2 steps back. Why say 2 years if its not so? Thank you so much for any information you may be able to provide for a confused, upset husband and wife. Jenny

    • Robert Weed

      July 8, 2012, am31 8:06 AM


      I’m seeing two issues. One is it has to be two years after his Chapter 7 DISCHARGE. You said he filed in 2010 but you didn’t tell me when he filed and when he was discharged. So you may be within a couple months of THAT being ok.

      The other thing is the house he had with his ex. She was supposed to refi it as part of the divorce and of course she can’t. But is she current, late, moved out? If the mortgage companies think there WILL BE a foreclosure on that house, then he can’t get another mortgage until three years after that foreclosure which still hasn’t happened. (That’s the three year lock out and it’s a punishment for giving up a house.) If she is current and can keep paying, MAYBE you can work around that. I’m guessing now that besides showing she’s current, if she is, you need to prove that she can continue to afford to pay. Don’t know if she will cooperate in that.

      Is your credit and income good enough that you can qualify for a house just in your name? I’ve had a few clients do that, and a few people have mentioned that here.

  • R. Jenkins

    July 10, 2012, pm31 3:11 PM

    Mr. Weed, I, too, am glad to have found your website. I live in VA and filed Chapter 7 bankruptcy and all my debts were discharged including my condo. I have two mortgages. I have been able to get a proposal for a load mod for the 1st, but the 2nd is not included. Although the offer is great on the first, I would still not be able to afford the 2nd mortgage. Is it possible to get a loan mod for the 2nd mortgage too? Also, if I decide to walk away, how much time would I have to live in the condo and other than the association fees, what would happen? I have no relatives here, would I end up homeless? Any advice you can give would be greatly appreciated. I really love my home, but I just cannot afford it at this time.

    • Robert Weed

      July 10, 2012, pm31 3:21 PM


      Usually my recommendation is pay the first, don’t pay the second, and after a few years offer them a one time cash settlement. I call that my “nerves of steel” strategy because it takes nerves of steel. Here’s where I talk about that. https://robertweed.com/blog/chapter-7-bankruptcy/after-bankruptcy-what-if-i-dont-pay-my-second-mortgage/.

      It sounds like you can afford the first–“great” offer you say–so pay that, sit tight, and save money to make a cash offer to the second…. no guarantees but I’ve seen it work.

  • Janey

    July 12, 2012, am31 10:43 AM

    Hi Mr. Weed,

    I’m so glad I found your site! My sister has a mortgage with GMAC. She purchased her small home in 2005 for $230,000 at 6%. When interest rates began to fall she tried to refinance and found that she was unable to because her house value fell to an astonishing $90,000! She felt depressed and helpless that she could no longer afford her home, could not sell it, and it was inevitable that it was going to ruin her spot-free credit. She decided to stop paying for it about a year ago and is saving the money in cash to rent for a few years and then buy again when her credit is repaired later down the line. She has received a few notices from GMAC but has ignored them. They just sent a notice stating that they are filing Bankruptcy. What will this mean for her?

    Also, can she move right now and have someone rent her house to cover her taxes and insurance? I’ve seen that it seems legal (unethical, maybe- but legal) and our younger sister could afford to cover the insurance and taxes and knows that the property is in distress. Would a lease drawn up in this situation be covered under the Tenants in Foreclosure Act of 2009? How would this situation affect a potential bankruptcy for my older sister in the future? (She will not be keeping the rent, but will be applying it to taxes and insurance.)

    • Robert Weed

      July 12, 2012, pm31 1:10 PM


      The GMAC bankruptcy doesn’t affect your sister in any way that I can see.

      If she WANTS to move out, then renting it would be the smart thing to do. You’d need to tell the tenant what’s going on–and also that the tenant would be protected under Tenants in Foreclosure Act. (Like you said.)

      My blog though is “Don’t leave that house.” I’m not sure why she wants to leave. When is the last time she applied for a loan mod? She hasn’t paid for a year and isn’t foreclosed yet. You’re saying she would get enough in rent to pay the taxes and insurance–how much would it cots her to rent a place for herself? Read my blog again and be clear on WHY before she moves out.

  • Janey

    July 12, 2012, pm31 8:46 PM

    She wants to move out because I think she wants to be done with it. I know that deciding not to pay gave her terrible anxiety and fielding the phonecalls all this time has been miserable. She is starting back at a second year of nursing school in September and she wants to be moved out before then. Of course she will still face the reprocussions eventually, but the move itself would be added stress in what will be a very tough year for her if she waits.

    I’m not sure when the last home mod she applied for was. Maybe just the first one before she first stopped paying? How often should she apply?

    The rental she is looking at is $1150 per month which is definitely in line with what she can afford. We thought about our little sister renting her house for $500 per month because it would cover the taxes and insurance and it would be a much smaller payment than what she is currently paying so it seemed a win-win. My older sister wants to leave and my little sister needs a cheaper place to stay. As far as a lease goes the bank would have to respect that agreement should the foreclosure occur? What if it were a two year lease?

    My sister continued paying everything else on time- credit cards, car payments, student loans, etc., just stopped the mortgage payments. (It gave her enough anxiety to stop paying the mortgage, forget all the other stuff!) The taxes and insurance are usually paid through escrow with the mortgage payments so those payments have stopped as well.

    Whether she stays or moves what would be her next step? Wait to hear from the bank that she is being foreclosed on? Is bankruptcy the best option in her situation? Also foreclose before bankruptcy, right?

    Thank you for this amazing website. I’m going to pass your information on to everyone I know! (Sadly I know an awful lot of people in this situation.)

  • L. Hill

    July 20, 2012, pm31 11:45 PM

    Hello Mr. Weed –

    I, like many, are completely upside down in my condo mortgage. I have lost 80,000 on a purchase of 240,000. I’m having trouble staying a float in payments b/c of a big mortgage, home owners dues, special assesments by the HOA, car loan, student loans, credit cards, and all other living expenses. I feel like I could pay everything else off in about five years if I could get out of owning my home and rent. I was going for a short sale and hired a realty law group, who didn’t tell me I’d have to be delinquent in addition to having a buyer to complete a short sale. I was trying to be responsible by still making all my payments on time, but wiping out my savings account. Three months in the lender said they won’t accept the short sale b/c I’m not delinquent and I lost my buyer now. My question is am I better off going delinquent and hoping I find another buyer (there’s already a foreclosure in my complex under way) to continue trying for a short sale and hoping to pay off all the other debt in about five years, or should I cut my loses now, file bankruptcy, and start over? Keep in mind, I want to do the responsible thing and feel horrible about filing bankruptcy, but when is a good time to say when?

    Thanks in advance for any advice,
    L. Hill

    • Robert Weed

      July 21, 2012, am31 7:14 AM

      L. Hill:

      I don’t talk people into filing bankruptcy. But, I think you’ve answered your own question.

  • Amy

    July 26, 2012, pm31 12:38 PM

    Hi Mr. Weed! Your site is amazing and you are so good to answer all of our questions!

    So here goes…We filed for bankruptcy in October of 2009 and it was discharged in Jan. of 2010. At the time we told our lawyer that we wanted to reaffirm the house. Unbeknownst to us (we have learned so much about being our own advocates!) the judge did not allow it to be reaffirmed, but no one told us, or we did not look closely enough. So, thinking that we had reaffirmed, we went on paying our payments. A year later when our bank offered a modification we thought, wow, how nice of them!! We were very naiive obviously. So we took the modification. Then we went to go buy a car and were told that our credit was terrible, which was understandable but we thought that paying on the house would have helped it. Well, low and behold, the payments we have been making for the past 2 1/2 years are not showing up on our credit, not even the modification. Now we are thinking of moving and have no idea what this all means. Other things I have read state that this is a new agreement between us and the bank. While other sites say that they legally shouldn’t have been able to do that on a discharged property. So if we walk away, can they come after us for the modification agreement? I feel so stupid. We signed that thinking everything was on the level, and now I’m wondering if we shot ourselves in the foot. Any thoughts you have would be soo appreciated. We live in Washington state.

    This is what it says in our modification paperwork-”In the even the underlying debt has been discharged as a result of a bankruptcy proceeding, Lender hereby acknowledges that its recourse in collection matters shall be limited to the collateral described in the Security Instrument. Notwithstanding the above, Borrower hereby acknowledges that Lender retains certain rights in the security instrument in the even there is a default under the terms of the security instrument. The parties acknowledge that the consideration for this agreement shall be the lender’s forbearance from exercising the aforesaid rights under the Security instrument.” What? I have no idea what any of that means. But it sounds like they can’t come after us?

    • Robert Weed

      July 26, 2012, pm31 3:22 PM


      I think the judge did you a favor not allowing the reaffirmation.

      Yes, you can move out and not owe them anything. You are reading their paperwork correctly–they can foreclose if you don’t pay, but they can’t come after you personally. So that’s all good.

      I wonder why your credit is still “terrible.” My clients tell me two and a half years after their Chapter 7 discharge, they are getting car loans at about 6.9%. Now that’s higher than 2.9 that people with great credit are getting, but it’s not terrible.

      Did you get some credit card after your bankruptcy, charge a little every month, and pay them…

      I talk about that here, https://robertweed.com/blog/after-bankruptcy/after-bankruptcy-getting-back-to-good-credit/

  • Amy

    July 26, 2012, pm31 4:43 PM

    Mr. Weed-
    I agree that the judge did us a favor. We’re so gun shy after our bankruptcy that we have had no credit cards for 3 years now. We have student loans on our credit which are in good standing and our first car loan afterwards we got 10 percent, and then in May we had to buy another car and our credit was 650 and they gave us 14.9 percent telling us our debt to income ratio was too much. Which, I still don’t get now that you’ve said that. Cuz our house doesn’t show on there and our other total debt is 1000(student loans and car payments) a month and my husband makes 100k a year. So really, someone just took advantage of us. So they can foreclose now, but would that be a foreclosure after bankruptcy and would THAT go on our credit or make it hard to buy another house? Sorry for all the questions, you just are so informative!!

  • Trudy Fife

    July 29, 2012, pm31 2:25 PM

    I have received a letter of default on my first mortgage. I am thinking I should file for bankruptcy. I believe that by filling for bankruptcy It will stop all creditors from continuing to collect until the bankruptcy is final. First; Is it possible to stop the bankruptcy before it is finalized? Second; If I can stop the bankruptcy and I still owe for the monies in default, do I then get more time prior to foreclosure as stated in my original default letter? Or, does the foreclosure automatically take place. Also, I have a second mortgage through the same bank as my first mortgage. If I declare bankruptcy can I keep my house and write off my second mortgage through the bankruptcy procedure?

    • Robert Weed

      July 29, 2012, pm31 2:44 PM


      Those are good questions to ask your lawyer.

      You can get out of a Chapter 13 before it’s final. If you go Chapter 7–which is better for most purposes–then you can’t get out (without permission) once you are in.

      The answer to all your other questions is maybe–you and your lawyer will need a complete picture of your situation and your goals to handle it in the best way for you. Getting the default letter definitely means it’s time to see a lawyer. And you want a lawyer who takes the time to go over your complete situation and works out the best way to handle your case.

  • Shel

    July 31, 2012, pm31 7:41 PM

    We filed a 7 Bk in 1/2010, discharged in Mar 2010. We DID NOT reaffirm the two mortgages we were very upside down. We did continue to make payments for ~ 18 months. After a personal tragedy we needed to move out of the house and we were offered a home on CD and we grabbed it. We stopped making payments and started packing. The 2nd mtg company sent us payment default notices, we contacted them and told them we had moved out of the house and the house was included in our BK. Never heard from them again. The first mortgage company is affiliated with the 2nd, just a different division. Now 1 year after we moved out, and more than 2+ years since the BK discharge, we started getting default payment notices from the 1st. We gave them to our BK attorney, this past week we each received a notice to foreclosure, and a Fedex package on the delinquient taxes, and a notice from the post office that we have a certified letter from the 1st mortgage.
    My questions are: 1) Is this a normal process of foreclosure to get Foreclosure notices even if the house was included in the BK?
    2) Can the lender continue to send out default notices, i.e. on the property taxes?
    3) Are we responsible for the property taxes? Last year I called the county and they said the taxes would all be paid when the foreclosure was done.
    4) we loved our home and would like to see somebody in it. Is it a good idea to offer a deed in lieu of foreclosure?
    Thank you for your help. I really appreciate your expertise.

    • Robert Weed

      August 1, 2012, am31 6:33 AM


      Yes it is normal. It’s required. Filing bankruptcy does not get rid of the house (you know that because you were still in it.) It just got rid of your obligation to pay. Once you stop paying they have to go through all the normal steps for a foreclosure.

      I have a blog on property taxes. https://robertweed.com/blog/virginia-bankruptcy/bankruptcy-and-real-estate-taxes-counties-are-desperate/. the county can go after you or they can wait until the foreclosure sale. It look like your county is waiting. (Obviously I don’t know every county in America–I don’t even know every county in Virginia.)

      Some states the mortgage companies want deeds in lieu–some states they don’t want them. I don’t know about your state–no harm in asking. Once you are out of the house–and don’t want to rent it–you want to get the house out of your name. So whatever the mortgage company wants is what you want to do.

  • patty

    August 6, 2012, pm31 10:07 PM

    I filed and completed chapter 7 bankruptcy 3 years ago. We did not reaffirm our mortgage but continued to pay so we could stay. We decided to stop paying aobut 4 months ago and are prepared to walk away once all is done with the foreclosure and 6 month redemption. My question is : my mortgage and bank accounts all happen to be with the same bank…Can the mortgage company take money from my checking and savings or freeze our accounts even though we did not reaffirm and are not personally liable anymore? I am assuming that they can’t but want to be sure. I would rather not change banks if we don’t have to.

    • Robert Weed

      August 7, 2012, am31 7:04 AM


      No need to worry. The bankruptcy protects you from that.

  • Valerie

    August 26, 2012, pm31 8:16 PM

    Mr. Weed,
    My fiancé and I are trying to find a house to rent but my credit is very bad. I have been advised to file bankruptcy but would it hurt me more to try and rent before I file or after? If I do try to rent after is there a waiting period?

    • Robert Weed

      August 27, 2012, am31 6:36 AM


      It usually takes about a year after the bankruptcy before it is fairly easy to rent. So if you can rent now, you want to. BUT if you can’t rent now, then you need to get the bankruptcy going.

  • Vanessa

    August 29, 2012, pm31 5:15 PM

    Mr Weed,
    My husband and I have a unique situation with a property we owned. Due to job loss and some less than wonderful legal advice, we filed for bankruptcy in 2008 and included the home. However, we left the property as no one told us to stay, and it took 3 yrs. For GMAC to close our foreclosure file – though our bankruptcy was discharged in 2008. Foreclosure file closed Feb 2011. Is that even legal?!
    I ask as now that we have our finances in order and are ready for a home, we cant get any loan from any bank until 2014 at the earliest and we would have been all set by now had they closed the foreclosures when we discharged our debt.

    • Robert Weed

      August 29, 2012, pm31 7:08 PM


      Yeah, that’s a drag. Waiting three years to foreclose is not all the uncommon, even here in Virginia where foreclosures are really easy. It really does take away a big part of your new start. Living for free for three years would make up for that. That wasn’t as obvious in 2008 as it is now.

  • Nicole

    September 13, 2012, pm30 1:32 PM

    Mr. Weed,
    Your site is so informative. Thank you. My husband and I were discharged (bankruptcy) in March 2010 – We live in Michigan. We did not reaffirm the mortgage, but have continued to pay on it. We have been able to reestablish credit. We are now wondering if we should stop paying on the mortgage, save that money to put towards the purchase of a new home. My question is – Will the bank offer us the option to short sale the property? Can we do that if we do not hold the debt? If so, is that process quicker than a foreclosure? We are worried about being kicked out of the home quickly. We are trying to avoid a foreclosure being listed on our credit as well… Oh, and if stop paying the mortgage – I am assuming we should still pay the taxes & insurance, right??? Thank you!

    • Robert Weed

      September 13, 2012, pm30 2:55 PM


      I’m glad my site is helpful to you.

      Your credit report–your “credit”–should just show bankruptcy and nothing later. But what happens later still does happen and it affects when you can buy again.

      Right now you can’t get approved to do a mortgage until three years after a foreclosure–but two years after a short sale–so it you want to move and buy again fairly soon a short sale is better.

      I don’t think you need to worry about being kicked out quickly. If you just stopped paying and waited for a foreclosure, that would take usually five to seven months here in Virginia–longer almost everywhere else. (But I don’t know specifically about Michigan. No idea.)

      If you want to save money for a new down payment then just stop paying and see how long it takes is a good plan.

      So short sale or foreclosure? Advantages and disadvantages for both.

      You want the taxes and insurance to get paid, yes. Were they in your mortgage payment? Will the bank still pay them even if you don’t pay the bank? I don’t always guess right on what banks do here, and it might be different in Michigan so I don’t know.

  • Rosemary

    September 13, 2012, pm30 11:53 PM

    Hello Mr. Reed,
    I filed chapte 7 in 2011 and included my mortgage. On Tuesday I was served with forclosure papers (which I knew would happen because they need the deed). But I was told there is a “loophole” in the bankruptcy law that if a post-bankruptcy legal action is filed to collect on the debt, then I must rise the bankruptcy discharge as a defence to any claim for money damages (deficiency amount, attorney’s fees, and interest). And if I fail to do so, then any judgment entered in that case will be valid and enforceable, even though the debt was originally discharged in bankruptcy. That I should file a pleading in the foreclosure action raising the bankruptcy discharge as an affirmative defense to any claim for money damages. Is this ture? I thought that once I filed the bankruptcy the bank could not could not try to come after me. I look forward to your response. Thank you!! P.S. I live in Florida

    • Robert Weed

      September 14, 2012, pm30 1:14 PM


      What you thought is what I think, too

      That law on that was changed back in 1978. Before 1978 you had to go to court and raise the bankruptcy discharge as a defense against legal actions–otherwise they were still enforceable.

      Now that’s not required. The discharge voids all judgments WHENEVER entered.

      Now if somebody is violating the discharge, or trying to, it’s not smart to just ignore it. But if you do sit on your rights, you don’t forfeit them. You can raise the discharge as a defense at any time.

      (Who “told” you different? Your bankruptcy lawyer, some busybody, someone trying to sell you something?_

  • Rosemary

    September 14, 2012, pm30 11:22 PM

    Hi Mr. Weed,
    My bankruptcy lawyer told me this. I was confused by it and didn’t understand, because he’s told me before that by adding the mortgage to the bankruptcy would be the best thing, to stay in the house and let the mortgage company do a foreclosure to get the deed. I’ve asked him a month ago if I had to worry about having the pay the property taxes once the mortgage sells the house after they have the deed (I was worried about the tax forgiveness ending at the end of the year) and he told me no and reassure me that I was protected under the bankruptcy law and the mortgage company could not come after me for monies owed afterwards. This is why I was confused when he told me to there was a “loophole” in the law when I sent him the foreclosure summons. And no other attorney will help answer my questions because I had an attorney to fill my original bankruptcy.

    Thank you for taking time to answer me question.

  • Kathryn

    September 23, 2012, pm30 9:21 PM

    Hello, thank you for this site. I filed bankruptcy-Cpt. 7 in 2011 and received discharge. I tired to work out a modification with BOA and they sent me a modification approval but they took all the delinquency for the past 3 years of delinquency and taxes, insurance and added it all into the principle. The house is only worth what I paid for it which is 450, now the modification papers say my new principle is $790,000. The loan papers also say that the principle cannot grow beyond 115%. How can I accept this….this house will never be worth 800,000 in my lifetime…and the the 115% makes me already in default..anything I can do? Is this leagal to inflate the value again, if a house is only worth 450, and it is secured asset negative by 50% in value what kind of a modification is that? Any help??

    • Robert Weed

      September 24, 2012, am30 6:04 AM


      You hit the nail on the head when you said the house will never be worth $800,000 in your life time. You will never have any equity. Lots of people will never have any equity.

      Your question is, does this house at that payment make sense to you now? If it does, then take the modification payment and live there. This is not about equity–you lost that long ago. It’s about a place to live at a payment that you can afford.

      You lived there three years for free–not a bad deal. They’ve put those three years at the end of the loan. You don’t care–not much anyway. You are never going to live long enough to pay that.

      Do you want to keep living there at the payment they have offered you? Then take the deal.

      Keep in mind that the bankruptcy still protects you if you move out later. So if/when you decide you’d rather live somewhere else, stop paying. When they boot you out, move and start renting somewhere.

  • Cyndi Oklar

    September 26, 2012, pm30 5:31 PM

    Hello Mr. Weed,
    We filed chapter 7 bankruptcy in 2005. At the time I thought we had reaffirmed the loan and have continued to pay both the first and second line of credit i am currently living in the house. In 2011 I discovered that the loans were actually never reaffirmed but discharged. I have never received any correspondence saying the loans were discharged; however, my loan bills state that they are for informational purposes only and they are not attempting to collect a debt. I divorced in 2010 and am now in the position of not being able to afford the payments and make the necessary repairs needed in my house. I have also received a bill stating that my second loan has matured and the amount due is $35,000. All along I have been paying the interest only. Needless to say, I am going to have to default on the loan. My first mortgage is current. I am considering doing a short sale, but am not sure the bank will be willing to since I am current on the first. I did talk to Wells Fargo about a loan modification, but was told I probably wouldn’t qualify.They couldn’t tell until all my paperwork is in.
    So at this point I am not sure what is the best option. Should I try to do a loan modification, a short sale or just foreclose? How will each affect my credit? If I stop making payments, do I still need to pay taxes and insurance? These are currently part of my payment. Any suggestions you can give will be greatly appreciated. I live in NC.

    • Robert Weed

      September 26, 2012, pm30 5:48 PM


      I wouldn’t give up on getting a loan mod just because you were told one time you didn’t qualify. I know nearly a thousand people who have loan mods and only one of who got the mod the first time he applied. Seriously.

      If you want to stay in the house, try for a mod. Since you are current now, see if you are eligible for HARP. http://www.makinghomeaffordable.gov/programs/lower-rates/Pages/harp.aspx That’s a mod program for people who are current. If that doesn’t work, get behind and try again.

      If you want to do a shortsale, the second would have to agree, along with the first. If you do a shortsale, you could be eligible to buy again under current policies two years later. (Two years after the bankruptcy–that’s long past. Also has to be two years after the shortsale.)

      If you let it go to foreclosure, you can’t buy again under current policies until three years after the foreclosure.

      None of those affect your credit score, which should show no activity after the bankruptcy either way. So it doesn’t affect your credit for things like buying a car. But for buying a house again, the shortsale is better than the foreclosure.

  • Robert Weed

    December 23, 2012, pm31 3:08 PM

    December 23, 2012

    One of my clients emailed me that she got the best Christmas present ever.

    Leigh had filed bankruptcy in 2009 and, against my advice, moved out. When the condo association sued her in 2010 she asked me what to do I told her work out a payment agreement with the association and MOVE BACK IN. She did. And after nearly two years of applying and getting turned down, she just got approved on a loan mod that included $100,000 of debt forgiveness.

    This is a really good result and not at all typical. But it reinforces what I tell people. Don’t move out.

  • Kelly

    December 26, 2012, pm31 4:06 PM

    Hello Sir,

    I currently live in the state of Arizona, I am renting out my mothers home, when she just sprung on me, that the house is now in foreclosure, and she has filed bankruptcy. Mind you, my family and I have been living here and believed we were paying the mortgage. She emailed me today, stating her bankruptcy went through and we have to leave. My partner just got laid off, does this mean we are going to be homeless and have to leave, now? I’m worried, especially since we have a young child. What are our options? Thank you.

    • Robert Weed

      December 26, 2012, pm31 4:40 PM


      Well, it doesn’t look good.

      If you have a written lease between mom and your partner, who is not a member of Mom’s family, they have to give you 90 days after the foreclosure to find a place to live. I explain that here. https://robertweed.com/blog/after-bankruptcy/after-bankruptcy-worried-about-your-tenants/.

      I don’t know how long it takes to get foreclosed in Arizona. And neither you now I know how far behind mom is on the mortgage–so there’s not much I can tell you. sorry.

  • Lisa

    December 27, 2012, am31 7:15 AM

    My Husband was discharged from chapter 7 Bankruptcy in 2009 and included in the backruptcy was our primary residence and an investment property both of which were in his name only and not reaffirmed. He has since re-established his credit to the low 700s. We wanted to purchase a new home now but both properties still list him as the owner alomost 4 years later. Is there still away to secure a mortgage? i have decent credit but no income, I am a at home mom.

    • Robert Weed

      December 28, 2012, am31 9:58 AM


      Under current regulations he can get approved two years after the bankruptcy–he’s got that–but it has to also be three years after the foreclosure. If the foreclosures still haven’t happened yet, those three years haven’t even started. Now if the investment property is rented–and if you can rent out the “home”–then I am told you can get approved on that basis. (Then they figure there won’t be a foreclosure, instead of figuring there will be one, soon.)

      You need to talk to a lender in your area about that. I’m a bankruptcy guy, not a mortgage lender.

  • Yusuf

    January 9, 2013, pm31 12:10 PM

    Hello Mr. Weed. I came across your site and I became hooked because of all the informative information posted here. I’ve been living in VA for almost two years now and I love it. I am in a complicated situation and need a little insight. Back in 2006 I co-signed on a refinance on a mortgage with my mom in NY. My mom lost her job and we fell back on the payments. In 2008 we filed bankruptcy and included the house. Everything was discharged in 2008. Since then we’ve moved out and in of the property because we used to receive threatening letters and no action was ever taken. My parents moved back into the house in 2011 and I’ve since married and relocated to VA. My credit is in the upper 6 and the mortgage is showing included in bankruptcy and closed on my report. We’ve called the “mortgage servicer” numerous times and they have no information but only providing ‘modification”. It has been almost 5 years and no action. What steps should be taking? Should we just sit and wait? I want to get a property here in VA for my family but I was turned down because the house is still on my credit and it has not been foreclosed, short sale or sold. What can be done to get me off this mortgage? Should i contact a lawyer in NY? we do not know what steps to take to determined who own the house because we believe there isn’t a mortgage provider? can this happen?

    • Robert Weed

      January 9, 2013, pm31 1:18 PM


      Thanks for your kind words about my website.

      I do NOT have any solution for your problem, which comes up a lot. The good thing is you were smart to have the family move back in and they are living for free. Because you can’t get approved for a mortgage until three years after that property is foreclosed (under current regulations) and the foreclosure hasn’t even happened yet.

      Sorry there’s no solution that I know of.

  • Trudy

    January 9, 2013, pm31 10:41 PM

    Hello. Thanks for such valuable information.
    I am getting ready to file bankruptcy – CH. 7.
    I live in Virginia. I have received foreclosure letters from my mortgage
    company, but they have offered me a loan mod. offer as well.
    If I file and try to keep my home doing the modification, what would
    happen after the bankruptcy if I go into foreclosure again with my home by chance.
    I would not be able to bankruptcy protection for 6 more years right?
    Second question, I owe about 5000.00 past HOA dues. I consulted with 2 attys.
    One said HOA past dues not able to be included, other said the past dues, which they have a judgement against me for, can be included, just not the ones from the bankruptcy close date forward. They are both Virginia attorneys so not sure why they told me two different things.
    If I get foreclosed on, do they send me advance notice to get out, or can they come and lock my house with my possessions in it? I have been told they can do that. Thanks so much for your reassuring information.

    • Robert Weed

      January 11, 2013, am31 11:55 AM


      If you file bankruptcy and get a loan mod, the bankruptcy still protects you if you can’t make the mod payment. Meaning they can foreclose, but they can’t come after you personally for any money. I explain that here. https://robertweed.com/blog/after-bankruptcy/does-bankruptcy-still-protect-me-if-i-get-a-loan-modification/.

      On the HOA, the bankruptcy stops them from collecting the past due debts–they can’t call, can’t garnish, can’t do anything. But its still attached to your house. Someday when you go to sell, you’d have to pay them. Both the lawyers may have been trying to explain each half of that.

  • Trudy

    January 9, 2013, pm31 11:00 PM

    I found the below information on your site.
    My credit union took money for a loan payment I did not pay –
    from my sons checking account because my name was on it.
    I only had my name on his account because he was under 18 when he opened the account – he is now 26. It sounds like below – they should not have been able to take money that was his…. under Virginia law……his name was not on my debt. How do you see this action. The credit union told him they would not give him his money back. I had to pay him, and took my name off his account.
    PS: My mom “put my name on” her bank account

    Under Virginia law, money in the bank belongs to the person who put it in. (Except husband and wife are 50-50.) So if mom put the money in, then it’s still protected, even if mom put your name on the account. (Unless mom was trying to give you the money; then it would be yours.)

  • Jill

    January 10, 2013, am31 5:20 AM

    I live in Louisiana, my boyfriend filed ch13 in dec 2012. and have not been to court yet. He decided to do this so we could save our home (I believe he was about $25k behind). I need help badly, he is out of town and at the moment out of pocket. You see, his attorney supposedly said that he was to include his truck (which was not behind at the time) and the boat (which IS paid for) in his payment plan. I don’t see how that is correct, I went through ch7 in 2006. We are now looking at a payment that is HIGHER than our house note. Anyway at the monent this is more pressing. If the truck was filed with the ch13 – he has NOT been discharged – it should be safe from repo. Or so my boyfriend thought. I saw a missed call from the bank, asked my boyfriend if we were behind he says, NO its included in our BK. So to the best of our knowledge we are not behind….Maybe we….Yesterday someone tried to repo our vehicle. What can he do? i cannot discuss his case with his attorney however, Im not in favor of the attorney either. I am thinking, were we to pay on the vehicle until he goes to court and is discharged? I thought anything tied up in the BK was put on hold until your court date. Then at that time if discharge the agreed payment plan would begin. I know my boyfriend believes thats how it works too. However he was advised to start paying the house note and make his bk payment this month. I dont understand why he hasnt been to court yet. We also received a letter from Bank of America’s attorneys saying he should owe $15k MORE than what his attorney calcualted for him. So we could be rejected by the bank and it also appears they are coming for his truck too. What options do we have? He and I don’t want to lose our home and definitely cannot afford to lose his vehicle. What’s worse, he brings home about $1000 more than our house note and payment plan combined. There is barely enough to pay household bills, living expenses and food. How is ch13 helping? It’s hurting us and apparently we are about to lose everything. We have done the loan modification with Bank of America we were of course denied. I keep reading you say to keep trying – we meet a 3rd party that claims they can help get the loan modification approved (90% chance) but for a fee. Regardless, being that we have filed, can we keep applying for the modification or wait until he is discharged? Also, is there anything we can do to prevent his vehicle from now being unexpectedly taken (tried to at least) it should be with our ch13 filing. I understand if you can’t help with LA law (maybe advice on finding a different attorney or what we need to bring up with his current one). If you know enough to lead me in the right direction to help me cushion these new blows, please reply to my email address. Thank you so much for your time.

    • Robert Weed

      January 11, 2013, am31 11:51 AM


      The truck definitely should be safe from repo. Unless something is going on that I don’t understand, the finance company was NOT allowed to come looking for the truck–not without the approval of the court which they probably cannot have gotten that fast and probably (based on what you are telling me) can’t get at all.

      Different judges are different, but some judges would be REALLY ANGRY about that. Your lawyer should know, when you can contact him.

  • James

    January 13, 2013, pm31 1:57 PM

    Just wanted to say thanks. Your blog has been very helpful as I begin to think about filing in illinois (where lenders can come after me for deficiency).

    I was debating whether to just let bank forclose and see if you come after me for the amount they are unable to recover in the sale of the home. But after reading a lot of you stuff, I see that it may take a year, maybe 2, maybe 3 before they actually sell the house and then send me a letter saying I oew them 40k.

    I’d be better of just filing BK now and not risking it.

    Thanks again. Very informative.

    • Robert Weed

      January 13, 2013, pm31 1:58 PM


      Glad my blog is helpful!

  • Brad Santiago

    February 1, 2013, pm28 7:43 PM

    Thank so much for the info you put forth on your website. I filed for chapter 7 in Florida in January 2010 and was discharged in March 2010 and have lived in my house that was also included in the bankruptcy filing. I received a few calls from the Mortgage company asking me what my intentions were in the past 3 years. I received a package setting up a hearing to come in March of this year. I’m not sure if I need to go to court, leave the house, or just wait to get that eviction letter. Do I still need to hire a lawyer to represent me in this matter?

    • Robert Weed

      February 2, 2013, am28 8:21 AM


      I don’t know much about Florida foreclosure law except that it takes a long time and they have to go in front of a judge. (I’m in Virginia where its LOTS faster.)

      I’m guessing that paper you got means they are still a long way from putting you in the street. But if you want to know you need to talk to somebody who does Florida law.

  • Scott

    February 13, 2013, pm28 7:24 PM

    Mr. Weed:

    I filed BK7 in TN in 2008 and was discharged in March of 2009. I did not reaffirm the mortgages 1st or 2nd, and of this date BOA has not foreclosed. We moved out of the house a month after filing for BK. Since we can not obtain another mortgage because a foreclosure has not happened, I am in talks to modify the first mortgage with BOA. My question is that I have several judgments against me prior to the BK that are still on record……can I file a petition with the BK to have these removed this many years later? The home’s value will be less than the 1st mortgage, so there isn’t equity problem that the creditors would be missing out on. It doesn’t make sense to try take the home back if I still have to contend with these judgements and a 2nd mortgage. Thanks in advance for your time.

    • Robert Weed

      February 13, 2013, pm28 7:42 PM


      Well that’s why I tell people, don’t leave the house.

      My judge here would let me reopen the bankruptcy and remove the judgments–but he’d want an appraisal from 2008 to show what the place was worth then. Don’t know what your judge’s rule is.

      You can’t remove the second mortgage, but if you want to keep the house I recommend you give them a low ball off after several years of getting nothing. Doesn’t always work, I call that the nerves of steel strategy.

      It doesn’t make a lot of sense to take the house back and still have to contend with the judgments and the second mortgage. But it might make a lot of sense to live there for free for another year or two or more until they finally get around to foreclosing you. Now I’m in an area where rents are real high, so your thinking might be different.

  • sandra

    February 28, 2013, am28 1:06 AM

    Mr. Weed,
    My husband and I filed for chapter 13 on January 2010. We surrendered the house but still live in the house as it has not been foreclosed yet. We checked our credit report and we have been told that the bank continues to report us as being currently late in payments greater than 90 days so our credit is now lower than when we first filed for bankruptcy. We have been making credit card payments and other payments on time and we thought we were building our credit back up but apparently is not the case. I read some of the other blogs and if I understood correctly they do not report either on time or late payments made to the mortgage company after bankruptcy . My question is if this is a normal and legal practice from the mortgage company to continue to report late payments when we have surrender the house in the bankruptcy, or is there something we can do about it.
    thank you for your assistance

    • Robert Weed

      March 2, 2013, pm31 4:41 PM


      Credit reporting in Chapter 13 is far worse than it is in Chapter 7. (The instructions issued by the credit bureaus, in the Credit Reporting Resources Guide would help you, but those are usually NOT followed.) That’s one of the many reasons I hate Chapter 13. I explain that here. https://robertweed.com/blog/chapter-13-bankruptcy/chapter-13-bankruptcy-and-your-credit-report/

      Being in Chapter 13 usually means getting three or five more years of being reported late. That’s clearly NOT what the instruction manual–the Credit Reporting Resources Guide–says to do. But what’s happening to you is what usually happens. I’m hoping one of the top credit reporting lawyers around the country will take this on. You can look here http://naca.net/ for one hear you.

      Good luck! Let me know.

  • JP

    March 5, 2013, am31 12:41 AM

    We filed bankruptcy ch13 in 2007 got discharged in 2011. We haven’t made any mortgage payments for approximately 4 years, we had countrywide now bank of america. We are waaaaaayyyy upside down we still owe the bank $211,000 now the house is worth $90,000. Are they ever going to foreclose, we haven’t paid any taxes or insurance. We don’t get any bills for the taxes, is BofA paying them even I’m not paying mortgage? We are still living in the house, what’s happening? Do you know what should we expect? we negotiated a couple times with our lawyer advise, it takes a very long time for them to contact us! Sometimes they call saying they will send paperwork to be filled out and they never send it. We would keep the house if they offer a good deal based on current value, is that possible? Does that happened to other people? We are mentally prepared to leave anytime, We had very difficult economic times, we were not able to save any money either I don’t know what to expect at this point. Thanks for your help!

    • Robert Weed

      March 5, 2013, am31 5:50 AM


      Don’t know what state you are in. In Virginia they almost always foreclose within a year–but maybe one person in a hundred–that adds up to a lot of people–has it go three or four years. Other places that’s probably higher.

      Be thankful, is all I can say. Can’t offer any predictions.

  • larry spears

    March 12, 2013, pm31 11:25 PM

    I bought my house off my parents on a quick claim deed they haven’t made bank payments in years ive had house for all of 5 years with not nmakeing payments is there a certain amount of time before they cant forclose and I don’t have to worrie they both filed bankrupt not sure if house was included this is in state of ny

    • Robert Weed

      March 13, 2013, am31 6:23 AM


      If you haven’t paid in five years, I’m really surprised that they haven’t foreclosed you.

  • Leah

    April 9, 2013, pm30 10:07 PM

    Hello, my husband and I have a foreclosure sale date in six days. We have been through a couple of remods (should have only been one but the mortgage company messed up our paper work). The last one that actually went through, we didnot qualify for the remod. We are meeting with a lawyer tomorrow who says he can help us even though we have a sale date in six days. We live in VA. We owe 15,511.00. We are looking to file chapter 13. I am not familiar with bankruptcy and am wondering what kind of questions I should ask this lawyer. Is it really possible to stop a sale date in six days by filing chapter 13? We do not want to get into a worse situation. Chapter 13 sounds like a good plan but from some of the things I am reading on here, it could make our situation worse. We do not want to loose our house and just want to be sure that filing chapter 13 is going to help. Any advice would be helpful. Thank you!

    • Robert Weed

      April 10, 2013, am30 7:03 AM


      Yes, six days is easily enough time to file bankruptcy and stop the foreclosure. Don’t need to worry about that.

      Chapter 13 or Chapter 7? Both would stop the foreclosure, but would be different strategies to keep your house.

      My office spends a couple hours with somebody in your situation–an hour with my paralegal followed by an hour with me–while we talk about which strategy is the best one for that particular person. So you are right to be a little nervous if somebody made that decision over the phone. When you talk at the meeting, and all the facts are on the table, you can make sure you are on the right road. Or maybe there’s something obvious about your situation that means there’s no choice.

      Since you are only six days away from the foreclosure, your lawyer has less time to work with than I would like, so some of the planning will be rushed.

  • Shannon

    April 10, 2013, pm30 3:15 PM

    Hello Mr. Weed, I live in Virginia and filed Ch. 7 in July 2012 and was discharged in Oct. 2012. My question if pertaining to my home which i did NOT reaffirm just retained and continued making on time payments to Chase, since my discharge I have had a situation where i need to move and was wondering what my options are. I have attempted to contact my lawyer and so far all I get from the secretary is to walk away. But can I sell the home, rent it or should i just walk away? I keep hearing about this “cash for Keys” with the lenders that will get my name off of the title. Also if i just walk away will it go into foreclosure? If that would be the case it would take me longer to obtain a loan to purchase a home in the future right? Sorry for so many questions, thank you!

  • Maria

    May 29, 2013, am31 3:25 AM

    Would you please advise me, I want to file a chapter 7 BK, I am current on my first, which I modified a few months ago, but my second is in the process of FD, they have not recorded the NOD yet, they say they are going to pay the first and foreclose and they will get around 150,000 to cover the second, which I owe 200,000, if I file BK will stop the process of FD, and after the discharge can I put the house on sale, as I can have around 50,000 gain if I sell it myself. Will the trustee go after those 50,000 gain?, how long do I need to wait to sell the house after filing BK 7, so I don’t need to report the gain to the trustee. I am 65 years old, I have debts that I can not pay to creditors, and I am unemployed and this is the only place I have to live, but if I get this money will help me to rent and support myself for sometime.
    thanks a lot

    • Robert Weed

      May 29, 2013, am31 11:23 AM


      Wow–that is way too complicated to decide based on some emails…you need to talk to a bankruptcy lawyer where you live and go over your full situation and make a plan. You need to talk about both Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 and see which works better based on a complete picture. Depending on your state, maybe there are some non-bankruptcy solutions, too.

  • Shirley

    May 29, 2013, am31 3:46 AM

    We filed bankruptcy (7) three years ago (Florida) We notified Wells Fargo that we were moving out of the house because we could not pay taxes or insurance because of unemployment.. Forclosure was started and the house was part of the bankruptcy. For a period of time we got documents from Wells Fargo’s attorney in Miami and we assumed the foreclosure was done. About a year ago our former neighbors notified us that people were now living in the house. To make a long story short we have discovered that they are “squatters”. About 6 months ago we were notified by a former neighbor that a sign had been posted on the lawn (from code enforcement) that listed us as the owers and said if we didn’t cut the back yard that we would be fined (It was waist high). This is how we found out that the foreclosure was at a standstill and Wells Fargo had done nothing for the past two years to complete it. I started calling Wells Fargo every day and we started receiving more documents from their attorney that indicated they were starting to do something again. We were notified that the foreclosure sale (online auction) was scheduled for April 2 of this year. Wells Fargo lied to the court and on April 1 scheduled a short hearing to ask the court for a two month postponement because they said they were in discussions with us to create a modification to the loan so we would be able to keep the house. THIS WAS A LIE. We have never discussed a loan modification with Wells Fargo. I called their attorney and then Wells Fargo and asked why they had done this. I was told that they didn’t know why they had asked for a postponement. I asked them to contact the court and complete the foreclosure immediately and not wait for the two month postponement. They said they could not do that and we would just have to wait until the new auction date of May 28. Today, May 28, we received in the mail another court document from their attorney asking the court for ANOTHER postponement because they were in discussions with us for a loan modification. THIS IS ANOTHER LIE. We have talked with NO ONE at Wells Fargo about a loan modification. What can we do to get our names off the deed to this property? Wells Fargo keeps lying to the court about this and we are at a loss as to what to do. Our bankruptcy attorney said that we would have to consult a real estate attorney to see what our next step should be. However, I am still unemployed and have recently had a minor stroke so we do not have finances to see another attorney. We would deeply appreciate your advice. Thank you.

    • Robert Weed

      May 29, 2013, am31 11:25 AM


      Sorry, my best advice is don’t move out–don’t move out…..really don’t know what to say now.

      • Shirley

        May 29, 2013, pm31 12:57 PM

        We lived in the house almost a year, not making mortgage payments, before moving out. When we filed bankruptcy we expected to be evicted at any time. My mother lives with us and we did not want to basically be homeless with her. When a friend at church had a house for rent and required no deposit and no credit check we rented from him because we knew that others would require both of those. I realize that we have the opposite problem than most on this site. Others want to save their house and we want to be finished with ours. I read many replies that says the owner can still be sued for injuries that others get on the property even though they have been through foreclosure and thought they had no more connection to the house. This is one of our concerns. Neighbors want us to file eviction papers to have the squatters removed from the property but we do not have finances to do that either. We just need to know what to do to make Wells Fargo stop lying to the court and get the foreclosure completed, removing our names from the deed.

  • Robert Weed

    May 29, 2013, pm31 2:00 PM

    Wish I knew more to help you–I just don’t. Maybe there’s some Consumer Protection Law where you are you could use to go after them for making false statements to the court. You can look for lawyers here at NACA and see if someone has any idea. http://naca.net/find-attorney.

  • melissa pettet

    May 31, 2013, am31 12:30 AM

    Due to a divorce had to stop paying 1st mortgage, home equity loan and home equity line or credit with 2 different lenders and credit cards in 2011. In the process of filing for chapter 7 now in 2013. Both lenders are sueing just now so does that mean they both started the foreclosure process? I want to stay in the home but cant afford to pay anything yet. Cant afford to pay rent as it would be higher than my mortgage. I owe less than the home is worth on the 1st but if you include what I owe to the 2nd lender I am under water. Not sure if I should include my 1st mortgage in the chapter 7 and if I dont can I just include the 2nd lender in chapter 7. Will the 1st lender negotiate once they start the foreclosure process? Will they negotiate if I include them or will that be too late.

    • Robert Weed

      May 31, 2013, am31 10:29 AM


      It’s easy to answer your legal question. Yes, you need to “include” your first mortgage in your bankruptcy. You have to list everything–leaving something off the list is lying to the judge. Judges get mad when you lie to them.

      Your second question is harder. Will they negotiate after you hit them with the bankruptcy. Around here, yes, usually. You need to contact them and apply–and apply–and apply again. But they are not going approve you for a modification unless there’s income that shows you can pay it.

      What will the second mortgage do? That’s the big question. Around here, the second mortgages rarely foreclose–where you are, it might be different. Don’t know. I talk more about that here. https://robertweed.com/2010/03/25/after-bankruptcy-what-if-i-dont-pay-my-second-mortgage/

  • Jeff

    May 31, 2013, pm31 11:14 PM

    We filed chapter 13 in mid year of 2007. I gave up one car and my house. At this time my lawyer told me to stop paying the house payment and taxes. She stated that when the taxes got to a certain level then there would be a tax foreclosure. We mad our monthly payments for five years for a total of 30k. We were discharged at the end of 2012. This week I got a letter from the county lawyer saying that if I didn’t pay back taxes in 10 days they would take me to foreclosure. I keep asking my lawyer if I need to respond to this letter because it states i will be responsible for court fees and what not. Is this common procedure to let the house go to tax foreclosure when including it in chapter 13. After 6 years I’m back on track and do not want to go backwards. And as your advice above we were going to move out 6 yrs ago. Good thing we didn’t . Because we are still here.

    • Robert Weed

      June 1, 2013, pm30 12:33 PM


      Thanks for sharing your story. Still in the house six years later!

      What county governments do is really local. Here in Northern Virginia, the properties have all maintained a lot of value, and they’ve come back a lot from the low point. I don’t know what it’s like where you are. So the counties know that sooner or later they will get their money.

      I’m GUESSING you have two issues. First, the real estate taxes after 2007 will need to be paid by somebody. If the mortgage company isn’t paying them, the county may look to you. Probably you owe those.

      That leads to the next issue. How long do you want to stay there. Do you want the county to sell the property and get paid that way (and you have to move.) Or do you want to take a chance that the mortgage company will continue to leave you alone if you arrange to pay the taxes. Or when the tax sale notices go out, will the mortgage company pay them for you?

      That’s what I see as your choice, but this is not a problem I’ve seen here, so that’s just my best guess.

  • Todd

    June 12, 2013, pm30 1:00 PM

    I declared Chapter 13 and surrendered my house in the process. The final bankruptcy paperwork was completed and filed with the court back in March. I no longer live in the house and have long since moved, however mortgage holder (Bank of America) still has not taken possession of the house. My home owners insurance company cancelled the insurance in May since I no longer lived there and they don’t cover a home that isn’t occupied. Now the bank is sending me a letter stating that I have to pay the hazard insurance for over $2500. My bankruptcy lawyer is telling me it isn’t my responsibility and that I don’t need to get insurance, that it is the banks problem, but the house is still in my name since they haven’t foreclosed. What is the correct answer? This is in the state of PA.

    • Robert Weed

      June 12, 2013, pm30 6:33 PM


      I don’t know for sure. Your lawyer certainly knows more about Pennsylvania law than I do.

  • Shervon

    June 26, 2013, pm30 9:12 PM

    Hello, I filed for CH 7 back in 2011 so bankruptcy attorney included my condo also due to the fact of having more owed out on my loan for wat more than what it was worth. Long story short I can walk away at any given time if I want to. Now I have a tenant in the home renting it out but now I just found out the the condo association has gave their notice on not managing the property any longer due to seveal homeowners not paying their dues. We are $60,000 in the hole. At what point if we dont find another mgmt company to manage our property, what can happen? Also, I heard that some of the owners who has been there for 10 years plus are now taking the front line of taking control of the building and basically saying we can manage this ourselves. This may be true or false BUT my question that I have is, if the president on board decides to take control and take people to court, do I still have to pay my dues? I was told that I didnt have to considering my attorney included the assocation on my bankruptcy. I personally dont want the unit anymore, the place is a deadbeat. I would make this my last year of renting and give it back to the bank but I want to make sure, could they still come after me of the dues I owe considering they NEVER fixed up the building in the last 3 years which is why you have 80% of the building NOT paying due to this?? Can you help give me some advice, Thanks

    • Robert Weed

      June 26, 2013, pm30 9:40 PM


      That’s a good question, but I don’t know the answer.

      That’s more a condo law question than a bankruptcy question, and I’m just not qualified to answer it. Sorry.

  • barbara

    July 1, 2013, pm31 2:38 PM

    Hi Mr Weed

    thank you for providing info it helps a lot

    I want to file a chapter 7, my home went into foreclosure at beginning of this year, I haven’t paid since I lost my job in 2010, I want to move but was told I should stay here. my wages have just been garnished for one credit card and I am paying another credit card. should I stop paying this credit card and file the bankruptcy or should I stay in the home not paying and continue to wait to see if they sell the home.

    • Robert Weed

      July 1, 2013, pm31 3:25 PM


      Don’t know what state you are in….so I don’t have any guess as to whether filing a BK now to stop the garnishment will slow down the foreclsoure or speed it up.

      And you need to balance out how much the garnishment is for, and what they are taking every month, against how much you’ll have to pay in rent after the foreclosure and you move out.

      There isn’t any clear answer; depends on the details.

  • Hoa

    July 2, 2013, pm31 4:11 PM

    Mr Weed,
    I would like to thanks you first if you can give me some advise. My house foreclosed in 2009. In 2010 I filed BK7 every thing clear on credit report for both first and second mortgage after discharge . Yesterday I received a letter from Bank Of America said I still owned my second loan ($93000) and will handle by NationStar Mortgage. should I send to bank discharge paper or contact my lawyer?


  • Sam

    July 4, 2013, am31 5:49 AM

    Mr. Weed,
    I saw a lawyer a couple of months ago to start paperwork for filing bankruptcy…now im including my car in the bankruptcy.. Ihave run out of money and have to move out of state back home with my family. Do I return my car, call them and tell them im including it. Can I stay with this lawyer or do i have to start the whole process again in where im moving? I have not filed yet until I pay the lawyer full amount. Thanks!

    • Robert Weed

      July 4, 2013, am31 11:20 AM


      I can answer your legal question: You can still file bankruptcy in the state you moved out of for the first ninety days.

      As to what you should do with the car, that depends. What are you trying to do? If you turn it in, do you know how you will get around? And a big question–if you don’t have the car payment, have you lost your income eligibility to file bankruptcy? (That’s rate, but can happen.)

      I have a question for you. I understand a lawyer who won’t file your papers until you’ve made all your payments. But where did you get a lawyer who won’t answer your questions?

      • Sam

        July 10, 2013, am31 11:12 AM

        I will not have the full money to pay him in the first 90 days so do I have to re do paperwork with someone in the state i am moving to?
        As far as the car goes I have lower paying job and not have been able to make payments for the last 3 months. Furthermore I will not have a job in the state I am moving to and will not be able to catch up without a job.
        The hours of operation are the hours I am working my jobs. Thanks again!

  • Jim Mach

    July 8, 2013, pm31 8:21 PM

    I filed a personal and corporate Chapter 7 in May 2008. having owned a home in New Hampshire at the time. Another bank from whom I borrowed $150K credit line for my business placed a lien on the home due to nonpayment . My primary bank would not deal with me or workout a plan. My attorney suggested i move out of the home and we moved to Mass.

    My questions is my wife is an innocent party to the bankruptcy and was NOT on the chapter 7 filing . On her credit reports she is being noted as “In foreclosure” and owing about 475,000 to the original mortgage holder. Is there any way I can get her credit report cleaned up and legally remove that information from the credit bureaus ? The home was resold by the bank in 2010 for 287,000. We made payments for more than 5 years prior to the BK.



    • Robert Weed

      July 8, 2013, pm31 8:32 PM


      Assuming your wife is on the home in New Hampshire and on the mortgage, then I think the credit report is right. Don’t know why you left her out of the Chapter 7, although maybe there was a good reason. (In some states the mortgage company is NOT allowed to come after you after a foreclosure; maybe New Hampshire is one of those, I don’t know.)

      I understand she is an innocent party on the bankruptcy, but isn’t she a party to the mortgage you are NOT paying?

  • Kate

    July 9, 2013, pm31 4:04 PM

    I an in CA and filed Chap7 in 2009 but have continued to pay on the 1st to stay there (I stopped paying on the 2nd as it’s with another bank and hm is so far under water there’s nothing for them). I know eventually I will stop paying and leave but now wondering when I should start (or stop paying). I just received a letter from BofA loan has been sold to NStar, and to make my July pymt to them, though I have yet to receive any letter directly from NStar, so wondering if I should stop paying now (and pray, for once in my life, that I really do fall through the crack). I’ve heard about mortgages taking sometimes years but wonder now (especially in CA, BofA, though now with another lendor) how long i could get away with not paying before getting kicked out…
    Any (additional) insight or suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

    -Thanks, Kate

    • Robert Weed

      July 9, 2013, pm31 4:35 PM


      You have analysed your situation really carefully. You’ve done so well that there’s nothing I can add. I’m here in Virginia so anything I’d say about California would be just made up.

  • Sam

    July 10, 2013, am31 11:13 AM

    I will not have the full money to pay him in the first 90 days so do I have to re do paperwork with someone in the state i am moving to?
    As far as the car goes I have lower paying job and not have been able to make payments for the last 3 months. Furthermore I will not have a job in the state I am moving to and will not be able to catch up without a job.
    The hours of operation are the hours I am working my jobs. Thanks again!

  • John M

    July 26, 2013, pm31 2:38 PM

    Mr Weed,

    I contacted you before about something but this is slightly different. Since were both in Virginia I was curious if you had any information you could share on this subject. I filed Chapter 7June 2009. My house was included and not reaffirmed and no loan modification.

    Ive been paying on it the best I can since then. It is an 80/20 and there has been no help from the company to modify the mortgage. At this rate I am contemplating the pros of cons of letting it go into foreclosure, the area I am in homes are going for 20-30k less than i still owe. A high HOA fee on top of the mortgage is tapping me out.

    If i stop paying and by reading your blogs DO NOT MOVE OUT. What kind of timeline are we talking here in Virginia? Or is there somewhere I can go for a general timeline of the process and being ready to move when the bank finally forecloses.

    Thanks for all the help you give us here on the net.


    • Robert Weed

      July 26, 2013, pm31 3:53 PM


      Thanks for your question. All I can say is probalby no sooner than six months, and probably sometime within a year. It depends on your lender, market conditions in your area and how busy the foreclosure people are–and maybe phases of the moon or something. Just hard to predict.

      • John M

        July 26, 2013, pm31 5:10 PM

        thanks Mr. Weed for your quick reply. One last question, this has always confused me. Will a forclosure go on my credit report? Is there any difference since its already been discharged?


        • Robert Weed

          July 26, 2013, pm31 5:12 PM

          No John it won’t. At least it won’t legally. You do need to check to be sure.

  • Robert Weed

    July 30, 2013, pm31 2:17 PM

    Judge refused to help on a small part of this problem today.

    Here’s what happened. George and Mary filed bankruptcy in August. The mortgage company, HSBC ran into court and said, we need to foreclose right away. We can’t wait until the bankruptcy is over in November, we need to do it now.

    The judge gave them permission, but they didn’t foreclose for eight more months, not until June. George and Mary, figuring the better find a place to stay, moved out in January–and then had to pay condo fees for six more months.

    HSBC had clearly lied to the court–and I wanted them to reimburse George and Mary for the extra six months of condo fees.

    Nope, said the judge. Can’t rely on what they say…people should know NOT to move out.

    So there it is. You can’t make them foreclose; can’t count on them to foreclose. If you don’t want to pay fees on an empty place, don’t move out.

  • Michele

    August 3, 2013, am31 6:43 AM

    Mr Weed,

    Great Blog with lots of information. My chapter 7 is two years old. I did not reaffirm the debt on my home. I am current and very upside down on the value. I have a good relationship with my bank , I paid off two loans I didn’t reaffirm. I know my mortgage cannot report the foreclosure legally and I will dispute it. My question is should I apply for a mortgage now since I am current, and what do I tell my bank regarding the house I currently live in? Is it legal to buy back my home through another lender during the sheriff sale? I live in Michigan if that would make a difference. I have worked hard the last two years to re-establish my credit (my credit score is now a 680 and would like to know how to handle this situation the best way I can. Thank you in advance for your time.
    Michele from Michigan

    • Robert Weed

      August 3, 2013, am31 10:35 AM


      I don’t think you’ll be able to get a mortgage for another three years–a little more actually.

      They won’t give you a mortgage if you already have one–and even if you don’t tell them they will easily see there was one in your bankruptcy on your credit report. You can’t get a mortgage until three years after that mortgage in your bankruptcy goes to foreclosure. And keeping it current they just count as a foreclosure that hasn’t happened yet.

      If you can shortsale it, the lockout is only two years rather than three.

      Now some people have told me you can work around that problem by renting out the house you are in. I’m not positive that works–and I don’t know how high or low rents are where you are in Michigan.

      Sorry I don’t have better news. At the beginning of the crisis I told people to try what you are trying. Turned out that didn’t work.

  • Gale R. Howard

    August 5, 2013, am31 12:58 AM

    My Condo was foreclosed on in 2009 and I was taken to court because of delinquent HOA Dues. We did not come to an agreement and now in 2013 they have taken me back to court. They are trying to make me pay $1000.00 above the original cost. Is this legal. The judge said we can try and settle out of court. If we don’t reach an agreement our next scheduled court date is Oct 7, 2013. Is this legal? Thanks.

    • Robert Weed

      August 5, 2013, am31 10:15 AM


      Well, they can hit you for interest and legal fees. Sounds like the judge thinks it’s legal. I don’t know.

  • heather

    August 13, 2013, pm31 2:45 PM

    We live in VT. We moved out of our house three years ago, and filed chapter 7 bankruptcy and it had been discharged one year ago. We filed on the property. Today I recieve court documents granting a forclosure to the bank. The Superior court sent us a “COURTS ACCOUNTING” paper stating total due is 194,330.70, lawyer fees mantience fees etc. the accual property was discharged threw bankruptcy at the time for what we owed 164,000 this is three years of their fees, are we responsible even though it was filed in bankruptcy? The court stated it granted all of these fees but they do question them. Amoung the paper work it stated “THE BANK IS ENTITLED TO PROCEED AGAINST THE PROPERTY ITSELF FOR MORGAGE LOAN, EVEN THOUGH THE DEFENDENT IS DISCHARGED ON THE UNDERLYING DEBT AND CANNOT BE SUBJECT TO ANY DEFICIENCY JUDGEMENT.” It seem like in one statement the courts court is stating the totoal sum we owe is 192.580.70 and the court is saying we are not responsible, what one is it? I’m confused. I need some advice.
    This web site is great I wish I had seen it before I filied BK and moved out. The “CLERKS ACCOUNTING” states we have five days to respond to the total amount due if we see a problem with it.

    • Robert Weed

      August 13, 2013, pm31 4:21 PM


      I don’t know anything about Vermont foreclosure law. But based on what you’ve written, I think they are only trying to foreclose you. Your bankrutpcy lawyer would know for sure.

  • heather

    August 13, 2013, pm31 4:14 PM

    Also I’m a bit confused reading threw post’s. Forclosure can not be put on a credit report if you filied a bankruptcy?

    • Robert Weed

      August 13, 2013, pm31 4:22 PM


      Right! Not legally, anyway. It’s always smart to check.

  • heather

    August 13, 2013, pm31 6:53 PM

    Just a update…..I spoke to the Banks Lawyer and they said yes infact they are just trying to obtain the property. I’m still confused on why they would seek out Lawyer fees, maintence fees, etc etc. which they judge granted, however again they assured me that they just wanted the property. Is there a reason for them doing so? I have been racking my brain trying to figure it out.

  • Patrick

    August 16, 2013, pm31 4:27 PM

    I’m in a similar situation. My bankruptcy was discharged in December or 2011. The house sits empty and they have not even begun the foreclosure process as of August 2013. I want the property out of my name. It is not a condo so no HOA, but I do not like having it loom over me. Would deed in lieu of foreclosure be a good idea if I just want to get the property out of my name? The house is located in Maryland and the mortgage company is Chase. I would have stayed or rented it if I knew how long it would take but now I live out of state.

    • Robert Weed

      August 16, 2013, pm31 4:46 PM


      Yeah, that’s a pain. A deed in lieu would be a good idea if you are able to contact them and they agree. It’s certainly worth a try, but you can’t force them.

  • Patrick

    August 16, 2013, pm31 7:38 PM

    Thank you, I wish my Bankruptcy Attorney would have gotten back to me within a week let alone a few hours. Truly appreciated.

  • Frances

    August 18, 2013, pm31 4:18 PM

    Mr Weed. I really wish I could have read your site before. I was granted a short sale for my home in 2012. My real estate agent advised me to move out before my credit was affected Bank of America turned down three offers. I let my agent go realizing should not have move. I filed chapter 7 11/2012 including the home. (Couldn’t keep up with utilities in my home and new rental) Chapter 7 was discharged 3/2013. The Bank of America transferred servicing to Green Tree. The door locks were changed and rep informed me foreclosure will start. Just got a notice from Green tree indicating I asked for a loan modification and it was turned down(I did not ask for this). They also informed me that my foreclosure will not happen in the foreseeable future. I am confused. I am in a lease and cant move back into my home.(since the locks have been changed) Is there anything I can do to get them to foreclose. They also wanted me to fill out a 710 form? . My lawyer just says not to speak to the mortgage servicer anymore. I live in Virginia

    • Robert Weed

      August 18, 2013, pm31 4:49 PM


      Sorry I don’t have any ideas for you…there isn’t anyway to force them to foreclose.

      The 710 form is part of an application for a loan mod and I think NOW you don’t want a loan mod. You want them to foreclose. (Although I have known people who moved out, rented for a year, and then MOVED BACK IN and got a loan mod and lived more or less happily ever after.)

      Assuming you are done with the house, you don’t want to send them a 710. There’s SOME chance they will move along quicker if you do call and tell them, no I don’t want a mod and no, I’m no longer trying to shortsale, please do foreclose.

      Good luck.

      • Frances

        August 19, 2013, am31 12:53 AM

        Thanks so much for responding so quickly. I do appreciate that

  • Monica

    September 2, 2013, pm30 9:32 PM


    I filed chapter7 in 2008 got discharged in may 2009. I recently bught a house with my husband who has a clean credit. We had the house for 4 months made two payments and cant afford the mortgage payments any longer. we are in woodbridge VA. I was wondering what is the best thing to do. I dont want to own if i filed chap13. should i let it go on forclosure or turn the house in. If it goes in forclosure how long can i stay in the house? will i get a notice to vacante the property?? Please advice?

    • Robert Weed

      September 3, 2013, am30 10:35 AM


      Wow. I am so sad that you bought a house just four months ago and now can’t afford it. What happened.

      You are wondering how long you can stay in the house–and I’m wondering if there’s a way to keep the house long enough for you to recover your income? health? what caused this problem and save the situation.

      I’d really like to know more aobut what happened in order to figure out what’s best for you.

      • monica

        September 3, 2013, pm30 3:03 PM

        Hello Mr. Weed,

        We are two payments behind and are struggling to pay it. It will be hard to come up with the two payments behind, but we will try. I was thinking we should put the property on sale. By the end of October we should be able to even up the payments. I want to put the property back in the market can I do that without any tax penalties by the FHA. The loan we have does not have any restrictions in fact the loan officer told us at signing we can sell it tomorrow if we wanted. My husband read somewhere that under the FHA loan you can sell it, but taxes will apply. Not sure where he got that from. As far as I know we have no restrictions.

        The broker we went to just wanted our business and did not see our financial situation when we decided to buy. We were very clear with them with our financial situation and told them we cant spend more than $12k for down payment and we will need the sellers to help with closing costs. Long story short, they made us come up with $14k at closing on top of the $5k that we put as an escrow. We could not back out at signing otherwise we would have lost our $5k. I wish we did back out then. Anyways we live paycheck to paycheck now and I don’t like that. I have a 6 month old baby and I need to spen money on him.

        Please advice.
        Thank you

  • Joanne

    September 4, 2013, am30 3:02 AM

    Hello Mr. Weed. I have been in active foreclosure for the past 3 years on a coop. The bank cannot tell me where they are in the process for getting a sale date. I have told the bank why my family and I had to leave and that I was looking to get out of VA for good. How can I get the back to set a sale date quickly so that I can rebuild my life? Thanks for your help.

    • Robert Weed

      September 4, 2013, pm30 2:22 PM


      In Northern Virginia there are only two coop buildings total. So the truth is I don’t know much about them. I have a strategy that I’m trying on one right now, but I don’t know if it’s working. If you want to meet in person we can talk about things we can try that MIGHT work. But I can tell you I do NOT have any silver bullets.

  • bedilia

    September 28, 2013, am30 7:12 AM

    We filed for bankrupcy in feb 2012 and was discharged July 2012. We have not paid on our mortgage and we recieved an Act 91 notice in Augusst 2012 saying that they would foreclose on our home on December 16, 2013. My question is do I stay in my home and wait for it to be sold or file a chapter 13 and how long do you think this will take?

    • Robert Weed

      September 28, 2013, am30 10:36 AM


      I like to tell my clients that your lawyer should be like a car wash. What I means is a car wash doesn’t know where you’ve been and they don’t care where you are going. Your lawyer should care where you are going–and that’s what you need to talk about with your lawyer. Are you ready to move out? Do you want to stay? Can you afford a loan mod? Have you applied? Are you waiting until your teen graduates from high school in June? Do you retire next December?

      Don’t know whether or when you should file Chapter 13 because I don’t know what you are trying to do?

  • Brate Hanson

    October 1, 2013, am31 4:27 AM

    Hello Mr. Weed.

    My wife and I contacted our bank foreseeing financial difficulties, as my wife was in real estate which came to a halt and myself in manufacturing which was slowing steadily, we were not delinquent on any mortgage payments and flawless credit they had no interest in working with us, soon after filed chapter 13 in 2008 and were discharged in 2011, the only claim on the mortgage were a few missed payments. since then our income dropped even more and the bank finally offered to modify.
    When the modification was complete I requested documentation binding us mutually to the new payment as we had heard of continuance of foreclosure after modifications. With no such paperwork after multiple requests we stopped making payments as advised by our attorney. We haven’t made any payments since, Later in 2013 they offered the new modification program, and after a long drug out process of resending the same copy’s we were told that we did not qualify. After always being very responsible about our debts and now not paying our mortgage is outside our comfort zone. This has drug on so long we are literally burned out and our home seems more of a never ending nightmare than a home, we don’t want to dump any money into our home just to hand it over. During the process the bank informed me my credit score is 630, if if goes into foreclosure it will drop substantially. My question is can we buy another home while our credit score is somewhat doable knowing we are soon to be foreclosed upon and then sign a deed in lieu of foreclosure on this one. If so what process would you recommend to us.

    • Robert Weed

      October 1, 2013, am31 10:36 AM


      Can’t encourage you. Now I’m a lawyer, not a lender, ok, so I just know what I read. But I don’t think you can get approved for a new mortgage until three years after you lose your house to foreclosure–and that foreclosure hasn’t happened yet. https://robertweed.com/2010/06/25/after-bankruptcy-how-soon-can-i-get-approved-for-a-new-mortgage/. Or two years after a deed in lieu. One year if your credit was really spotless until an emergency hit–which may be you. https://robertweed.com/2013/08/30/how-soon-after-bankruptcy-can-i-buy-a-house-again/

      You have a second problem. Your Chapter 13 did NOT discharge your mortgage. If you move out and let it go, you still owe them the money. At least you do if you are in a state, around half of them, where they can come after you when there’s a foreclosure. Some places where they are allowed to they hardly ever do; some places they do. https://robertweed.com/2013/06/16/do-i-need-to-file-bankruptcy-after-foreclosure-update/.

      Brate, I don’t know what state you are in, and if it’s not Virginia I wouldn’t know the law there anyway. You need to really research your own state–and talk to some lenders there, who knows. But one of the lessons for lenders from the crisis was that way too many people bought houses before they sold the other one, and the system is set up now to prevent that. If you find a way around, let us know.

  • Julie

    October 11, 2013, pm31 10:39 PM

    Wow, just want to say THANKS!!! I learned so much from your website- I was thinking of moving out of our home but now I see we should stay till they drag us out! 🙂 Thank you again. It is so difficult to get good information from a credible source!

    • Robert Weed

      October 11, 2013, pm31 11:15 PM


      Thanks for your kind words! Glad to help.

  • Christie

    October 16, 2013, pm31 3:05 PM

    I filed bankruptcy in 2009 which included my house in Florida. I moved out shortly after and now trying to purchase a new home since it’s been 4 years and I’m back on my feet. I was told by the lender that my old house is still in my name and Bank of America hasn’t done anything with it. Is there anyway possible to still get approved for the loan?

    • Robert Weed

      October 16, 2013, pm31 6:20 PM


      Not that I know of. That’s why I tell people, don’t move out. and if you move out, rent it.

  • How to declare bankruptcy

    November 2, 2013, am30 1:51 AM

    Hi, thanks for sharing this valuable information to the audience. Many of the people today are filing bankruptcy to get a fresh start for their lives.

  • Robert Guenther

    November 6, 2013, am30 2:41 AM

    Your Website Is Very Informative!

    I have a question please? I went bankrupt (Chapter 7) in 2008 and the house mortgage was dismissed in the settlement. We kept paying our loan until a year and a half ago (even though the bill said we didn’t have to pay anything), We left the home and started renting another home. Bank Of America still hasn’t foreclosed on the house but changed the locks and installed a lock box. Today I received a bill for very expensive abandoned house insurance, My question is do I have to pay that if I don’t have access to the home? They tried this six months ago and my wife explained this to them and that was the end of it. Are they just trying to see if I’m dmb enough to pay the premim or is there I would be responsible for this.

    Thank You,


    • Robert Weed

      November 6, 2013, am30 10:48 AM

      Robert Guenther:

      That’s an area that I don’t know the answer to. Because I don’t know the answer, that’s why I tell people, don’t move out. Some states have an unfair business practices law that you might be able to use. (The Virginia law would not apply, that I can see.) But I just don’t know.

  • Terri

    December 14, 2013, am31 5:10 AM

    Robert, Thank you for helping people in these dire times. Back in 2008 when things went for a downward spiral in the jobs section area I got laid-off twice in 1 year , tried to get a loan modification, mortgage kepted telling me it would take time before they could get to me, this is in Florida, I hung on and hung on jobs were only part time, went thru all my savings everything waiting for a modification finally in 2010 they said no we cant help you, went to a lawyer who said I had no choice but file bankruptcy, Chapter 7. It was discharged Nov 2010. I moved out on Sept 2010, to get a Apt.before credit got bad and I wouldn’t be able to. I had a credit score of 800 at that time before job loss. Its now 3 years later and they hasn’t foreclosed yet, but I received a letter about a hearing for Foreclosure and Attorney fees they want me to pay. I Do I have to attend, and do I have to pay fees I cant possibly afford. I moved out even though people told me to stay in house. Even though mortgage wouldn’t work with me, I felt it wasn’t right to stay in a house I wasn’t paying for… Anyway scared, and worried. So sad that the American dream is so gone. No jobs, no home, nothing anymore. Havent been in the home since I left Sept 2010. Oh I tried calling these people on this hearing thing, left messages, they wont call me back. Tried attorney who handled my bankruptcy, lady on phone said it would cost me to ask him any questions regarding this. I felt this should question should be included in fees I paid him originally for bankruptcy. Cant afford to pay any money for a question to him. So know one will help me. I then found your site…. U help people so much…. Any thing u say will be helpful… Thank u so very much Terri

    • Robert Weed

      December 15, 2013, pm31 12:25 PM


      Thanks for your question. I sure agree with you about how things in america have gone bad. We need a new name for it–this is something way worse than a recession. (And I’m sorry too that you have a lawyer who doesn’t stand behind his work.)

      Anyway, it takes and year and years, as you’ve seen, to foreclose in Florida. But I can tell you that your Chapter 7 bankruptcy does protect you from owing any money either on the mortgage or on those foreclosure legal fees. You don’t have to worry about those. You haven’t said anything about a home owners association, so I hope you didn’t have one. You would still owe those HOA dues from the filing date of the bankrutpcy up to the final date of the foreclosure.

      Hope things are getting better for you as the job market is gradually starting to improve.

      • Terri

        December 16, 2013, am31 5:12 AM

        Robert,, Thank u so very much responding to me, it me me cry that u really answered, only because the world is so bad , and rarely is there any kindness seen, but u proved there is, Thank u again. No Thank god there is no HOA. Again Thank u for all your kindness answering my questions. Have a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to u and your family…All the best…Terri

  • Robert Weed

    December 17, 2013, am31 10:57 AM


    Glad I could help in some small way…

  • arthur

    December 20, 2013, am31 2:09 AM

    Filed ch 7 included home and just received notice that the trustee is trying to sell the home to an investor for 25k. I originally purchased the home with my wife at the time. We got divorced and I was the only one to file ch7. The home was originally purchased for 160k and was recently appraised at 90k. Will I be forced to move in 21 days? The lender is Flagstar bank and I was in the middle of a foreclosure before filing bk. Feb will be 2 years with no payment on the mortgage. Thanks for any insight you might be able to provide.

    • Robert Weed

      December 20, 2013, pm31 8:52 PM


      I don’t know enough about what is going on to give you a time estimate, sorry.

  • SKS

    December 21, 2013, pm31 10:37 PM

    Dear Mr. Weed,
    I have spent the better part of the last two days reading through all the posts and responses. It was amazing and sad to hear all the stories. Unfortunately I did not see one that was like ours. I just know ours cannot be “unique”. You may not know the answer for us, but if we can get the story out….Well who knows what might happen. The story is quite lengthy, so I appreciate the time alone, you are taking to read about our situation….or my parent’s situation. Back in 2006 my parents filed for Chapter 7 because of excessive medical expenses. I don’t know the exact dates, or exactly when it was discharged….just know it was. At the time of the bankruptcy, my parents requested to have the 1st mortgage (through Wells Fargo) and the 2nd (through US Bank) to be re-affirmed. Fast forward to July 2012….My father passed away July 13, 2012 (and we lost my Uncle (my mom’s brother) December 24, 2011)…..In August 2012, my mom begins to work on refinancing the house, only to eventually find out Wells Fargo NEVER reaffirmed, nor provided us with documentation that they “just don’t reaffirm.” The second, with US Bank DID reaffirm. My parents had gone this whole time thinking both mortgages had been reaffirmed. After getting nowhere with Wells Fargo, my mom tries to refinance with US Bank, who also denied and at this point finding out that although from 2006-2012, making on time monthly payments, Wells Fargo has not provided ANY information to the credit reporting companies . (YES, people, it is very important to regularly check your credit). Since we seemed to be going in circles and not knowing what else to do, my mom goes to a local, reputable Credit Counseling Agency, and who my parents had used in the past (CCOA….for anyone who is looking). No one in the office had ever heard of this “situation” before, not even the office president. It was there that my mom was put in contact with to the state University Law Program, which thankfully is only a few towns away, to a consumer law/fraud program run through a grant, and has a lawyer from Little Rock running the program, teaching classes, etc. This lawyer was also very perplexed and had not heard of this type of situation. Through regular communication and being sent in the same “circles” my mom had been going in, he contacted another lawyer to try to help figure out what should/needs to be done…the story continues and there is now a very large indention of a circle. We are now being told that the only way to possibly move ahead is to re-open the bankruptcy and to then try to get Wells Fargo to reaffirm. However, in the process of all of this, and before trying to re-open the case, a THIRD lawyer, with even more specialty has been asked to join the “team”. Now, please understand that these lawyers are using their time and resources on a pro-bono basis, which we are so very thankful for! We finally decide that the ONLY way we might be able to get anywhere is to re-open the case…..We do that….the case is reopened….but it seems we are still only making that circler rut even deeper. My mom and I have been weighing our options…..Do we go ahead and move forward with a reaffirmation (which we have ALL been worried about) and is now the last option. A second option is for me to buy the house, but after taking over the 1st and 2nd mortgages for the last seven months, I am lucky to have 10 dollars in the bank at the end of the month. My mom is no longer in any position to help financially. A third option is to sell….but from what I understand, we are also “lucky” enough to have a home that is drowning. Another option we THOUGHT we had (because when we went back to the original lawyer, told us we could)….was to walk away. However, because the 2nd WAS reaffirmed, that was not an option we could do. Otherwise, we would have, and nobody would have had to replace their shoes. We are still waiting to hear back from the lawyer who has been doing the best he can to help regarding what he has learned from Wells Fargo, regarding a refinance and fixing my mom’s credit. One question my mom has now, is there any possibility, since the case is now “reopened”, is there a way to “reverse”/”undo” the reaffirmation with the 2nd? Are there any other options that we may not have thought of? I also know that it is not absolutely necessary to reaffirm to refinance…..however, Wells Fargo refuses. It is so frustrating to know that the “Big Guys” will probably win because of unethical practices….but yet legal (in some way), and us tiny peons will lose. The lawyers we have been working with are well aware of this and also feel it is not right and at one of our last talks, talked about trying to move this into a class action lawsuit. I know our case CAN NOT be the only of its kind. We know there is at least one other out there (and Wells Fargo is involved). Mr. Weed, If you or anyone else has stuck with this very lengthy post, thank you for your time! I am sorry it is soooo long.

    • Robert Weed

      December 22, 2013, am31 11:58 AM


      I’m starting to see this problem myself. Several years after bankruptcy you SHOULD be eligible for refinance the first at a lower rate–but you can’t, because you did NOT reaffirm it. (In your case its worse that you DID reaffirm the second, so you can’t just walk away. You could at some point in 2014 file another bankrutpcy and walk away that way.)

      You now have reopened the case….I do NOT think it’s possible now to un-reaffirm the second mortgage. You’ve got just a few months to change your mind on a reaffirmation and it’s been years.

      Just a week ago, I got this email from a person at Wells Fargo who is trying to help one of my clients to refinance. Here it is:

      Ron ask me to send you an e-mail regarding the refinance of a Harp. Here is a little info. Please let me know if you have any questions.

      • Customers who want to refinance a WFHM loan that existed prior to a
      Chapter 7 bankruptcy may now provide a court order from the
      bankruptcy court to allow the refinance if they did not reaffirm the
      mortgage at the time the bankruptcy was filed


      Tina Coffey

      Mortgage Consultant
      NMLSR ID 297709

      Wells Fargo Home Mortgage | 216 S Wayne Ave 2nd Floor | Waynesboro, VA 229980

      I spent several hours trying to figure out what that could possibly mean–what kind of order would be needed. Asked some friends around Virginia and nobody had any idea. I’d hate to go through all that and face one of two things–the judge won’t enter an order because he has no authority; or we get some kind of order but they don’t like it. I could not get any further guidance out of Wells Fargo; they say this is no so they don’t have any samples. You might go back to them and see.

      I also located a lender in Virginia who will refinance a pre-bankruptcy mortgage without a reaffirmation, but that may not help you where you are. It’s Primary Residential Mortgage in Fredericksburg VA. Betty Moose is the branch manager. http://teamprimary.com/fredericksburg-va/.

      If you do a RESPA request to Wells Fargo, that should get you the payment history that US Bank needs to know that it’s being paid. http://www.consumerfinance.gov/askcfpb/207/what-is-a-qualified-written-request-what-is-a-qwr.html.
      Because it’s not reaffirmed Wells Fargo should NOT be reporting on the credit report. You could send Welsl Fargo’s reply to RESPA showing you are current, to the credit bureaus and see if they will then update.

      Keep me posted on this–we all need to work together because I think this is about to hit a lot of people.

  • Craig

    December 28, 2013, pm31 10:03 PM

    Dear Mr. Weed,
    My ex wife and I separated in 2008 and our divorce was final in Oct 2012. We stopped paying our mortgage in 2010. I filed for chapter 13 bankruptcy in 2010 and included the first and second mortgage to the condo. My wife at the time did not file bankruptcy. My chapter 13 bankruptcy was concluded this year with those debts discharged. in addition, our divorce decree stated that my ex would be awarded sole possession of the condo and not hold me responsible for any fees, taxes etc. she finally signed the quitclaim awarding her the property and it was recorded Nov 7 2013. Yes it took her that long to sign it. Now before the quitclaim was recorded, a legal firm for the HOA contacted us that we had back HOA dues to the tune of $5000 due with fees of another 1000. They explained they were post bankruptcy debts. My ex paid those in full up to the point where the quitclaim was recorded. Now I’ve just learned that BOA filed for foreclosure on Oct.26 2013, about 10 days before my interest in the property was quitclaimed over to my ex. My question is what am I liable for here? I’m assuming that my name is no longer on the property as of the date that my quitclaim was recorded and I included both mortgages in my CH 13 which has been concluded and discharged. Could I be liable for any legal fees associated with the foreclosure? Will the foreclosure be on my credit record? Thank you so much .

    • Robert Weed

      December 29, 2013, pm31 9:19 PM


      I don’t know what you means by “included the first and second mortgage to the condo” in your Chapter 13. Did your Chapter 13 say you were keeping the condo, or giving it up? (And why can’t you ask your bankruptcy lawyer about the effect of your bankruptcy?)

      If your Chapter 13 said you were giving up the condo, then you don’t owe anything on the mortgages past the 2010 filing date. (You would owe the associaiton–you THINK your ex paid those, and hopefully she did. If you were behind on the association in 2010 when you filed the Chapter 13, they could apply her payment to those debts and both of you would still be on the hook for the ones since the Chapter 13 was filed.)

      I hope that was what you were doing–but then people usually use Chapter 13 to CATCH UP the house. If your Chapter 13 was catching up the condo, then the mortgage was NOT discharged and you still owe them.

      Your lawyer, or somebody, need to look at what your Chapter 13 plan said.

  • Kita

    January 17, 2014, am31 5:12 AM

    Hey. Living in North Carolina.. I stop making mortgage payments in June 2013. Started the short sale process and the realtor that I was working went advised me to go ahead and move out of the home so that they can get the house prepared to sell. She thought it would be easier to sell the home vacant. Well already going thru the long short sale process. I have received a foreclosure notice to go to court next month. I just got more info on bankruptcy..but I’m no longer in the home. Can I move back in the home? Or rent it out? I owe over $100,000 on the home but the market value is $65,000 in the area due to the many foreclosure already in my neighborhood. Recent property has been sold for ~$55,000. I am currently renting because I was afraid no one would rent to me in a nice area with a history of late payments. The short sale process has had to be started over at least 4 times now. I don’t know what my best options are. My plans were to rent for a year and then buy another home, in which was my main desire. Having two boys with cancer within the last 10 months, been closer in the city limits were a big help on gas for my husband and I. I don’t know what to do any more about anything.

    • Robert Weed

      January 17, 2014, pm31 9:18 PM


      If you were in Virginia, I’d tell you to move back in. Live for free for as long as you can–and maybe after the bankruptcy they’d give you a loan mod. If the vlaue has dropped as much as you say, you should have a good shot at a mod. Some of these real estate agents just want a commission, and don’t really ask what’s best for you.

  • Yolanda M Tucker

    January 20, 2014, pm31 8:51 PM

    I live in Florida. My homeowners association continues to harass me for fees that were filed in a bankruptcy proceeding in 2012. The bankruptcy was discharged in February 2013. I’ve provided the information to the homeowners association management company several times in writing and I recently received a collections letter from a collections attorney. I’m tired of being harassed and want to take action to ensure the harassment stops. Please advice next steps. Thanks!


    Yolanda M Tucker, MBA

  • J Williams

    January 21, 2014, pm31 4:31 PM

    First of all, thank you for taking my e-mail . Wish there was a national agency that was willing to listen and then direct all the people that have worked so hard only to have their dream snatched right from under them by this greedy system of banking.
    I am in a situation that I didn’t see in your blog. My wife and I purchased our home back in 2005 in Florida. This home is in a gated community where we have a 1st and 2nd mort. We also have a fee called our CDD fee which adds about $1700 on to our tax bill each year that takes the amount due up to about $3900 , our HOA is only about $100 annually. Fast forward to 2009, we take in our granddaughter because her parents are unable to care for her because of their no job situation. This obviously puts an added hardship on our finances. About mid 2010 we file chap 13 trying to pay down our bills. After paying about 1and 1 half yrs into this program my wife gets laid off. Our lawyer informs us that this case would now be dismissed because we can no longer afford to pay the agreed on monthly payments to the trustee.( I was informed about a year later by a different lawyer that my case should have been converted to a chap 7 due to hardship when my wife lost her job. ) After about a year of not working my wife does land another job at about half her former salary. We again try to file chap 13 but the means test that is determined by our salary says that Chap 13 is out so we go for Chap 7 again (which again was dismissed not discharged) and we informed the trustee that we are trying to work something out with the lenders . He informs us at that first meeting that his intent was to take and sell this house. We contacted the bank and they sent us modification papers. So I decide that I would like to change the homeowners insurance company to see if I can get a better rate, that is when I was informed that the deed was no longer in ( our ) my wife and I names but a trust company now were listed. We even came home to a notice on our door informing us that we were no longer the owners of the house and if we wanted to keep living there we needed to call the number given within 10 day of face eviction. Our lawyer responded to their note and we never heard from them again. How is it that a trustee can transfer a deed and then sell your house for $2500 with the courts blessings. What I don’t understand is , since I didn’t go through with the bankruptcy how can the trustee appointed by the court snatch my house? Our bank did say that they would consider a short sale but since the deed isn’t in our name that makes that impossible.

    • Robert Weed

      January 21, 2014, pm31 4:53 PM


      Yeah, what a mess. It sounds like your bankruptcy lawyer was not entirely clued in. Anyway, I don’t like Chapter 13 much, but one advantage is that you can always bail out of Chapter 13. If you get into Chapter 7 and your Chapter 7 trustee decides to sell the house, you are in a bad way. Unless you can get court approval to go to Chapter 13 and can then pay it out, the Chapter 7 trustee can sell your house. You can’t change your mind and back out of Chapter 7. Not clear, but sounds like that’s what happened to you.

  • Shannon

    January 26, 2014, pm31 3:54 PM

    Hello, I had a bankruptcy discharge in 2009. I went for a loan modification and after the one year trial they said I did not qualify for the modification and put me in default. I hired an attornney to assist me with the mod. Wells Fargo would not mod the home so the attorney advised me to stop paying un til they did a modification. I did not pay for three years. Finally Wells Fargo put me on a three month trial plan. I made the first payment, they collected on PMI and sold the loan to CHristina trust and Carrington Mortgage is servicing the loan. They want to honor a modification and re affirm the loan for the original amount. ( this is 80,000.00 more than the home is worth). Where should I go from here? I do not want to send them the trial payments with no modification paper work. They say I am not responsible for the loan but for a lein their client holds on my home now.

    • Robert Weed

      January 26, 2014, pm31 9:14 PM


      I’m not sure what to say, because I’m not sure where you are hung up. You wanted the loan mod from Wells Fargo, so I don’t see why you shouldn’t follow through with Carrington. If you send in payments for three months and don’t get the final mod, well you’ve still lived there for three more months. The attorney you hired to help with the modification would know more about that than I do.

      Maybe you are asking me about reaffirmation. A loan mod is NOT a reaffirmation. You can still change your mind, stop paying, and not owe them anything. And that’s still true even if the loan was assigned from Wells Fargo to Carrington. If the value never goes back up to what you owe, you can stop paying, move out when they kick you out, and owe them nothing.

  • Francine

    February 7, 2014, pm28 6:36 PM

    Due to illness that resulted in trying to live permanently on Social Security Disability, my house in Washington State was headed toward foreclosure. I received a notice of intent to foreclose in December, 2007. Since I was not aware of how smart it was to stay in the house until you actually lose it, we decided to move to Arizona. We couldn’t afford to rent in the Seattle area. We filed bankrupcy in June, 2008, which was discharged in August, 2008. My loan went to Bank of America. Now it is February, 2013. In the years since the first notice of foreclosure, I have found two different buyers for the house, but Bank of America ignored them, even with the help of a realtor. One of those buyers still wants to do a short sale, which we initiated again last August, 2013. Right after we started the process, Bank of America sold my loan to Nationstar Mortgage. It seems like Nationstar is going to be a lot more responsive and actually take care of business, but, since the house has been sitting empty for over 6 years now, it will need to be torn down, instead of repaired to be lived in again. Nationstar has offered to pursue a Deed in Lieu of Foreclosure and the realtor/broker I’ve been working with still wants to proceed with the short sale. The tax assessed value of the house has gone from $270,000 down to $120,00, as of 2013. . I expect it will be under $100,000 this year. My question is whether it would be better for me to do a Deed in Lieu or a Short Sale? I read that Washington State won’t let a Mortgage company come after me for the difference between what I owe and what the house is worth in either kind of transaction, but after a short sale the loan company can come back and charge me for that amount, unless a disclaimer for that payment is put into the short sale contract. Is there a difference on the impact my credit score between the two options? Sorry to be so wordy, but there is one other item that impacts my decision. Bank of America paid between $2000 and $3500 a year for homeowner’s insurance that used to cost me $250 a year. ( I paid the insurance myself, until State Farm cancelled the policy, due to no one living in the house.) Those amounts were added as liens to my loan. There are also liens because the local water company refused to turn off the water after numerous requests. Thanks, in advance, for any help you can give me here. And thanks for all you do to help others.

    • Robert Weed

      February 7, 2014, pm28 6:43 PM


      Since you filed bankruptcy, the mortgage company cannot come back at you if there’s a foreclosure or short sale or deed in lieu or anything. Your problem–like you pointed out–are the water company liens–but probably they won’t track you down in Arizona. Since your only income is social security disability you are never going to get back to good credit anyway, so I suggest you stop worrying. What happens to the house is not your problem.

      Thanks for your nice words…I’m grateful when people appreciate what I do here.

  • Deanna Metzinger

    February 7, 2014, pm28 10:51 PM

    Hello Robert —

    I apologize if you received a previous imcomplete message from me; my computer froze.

    I plan to file Chapter 7 bankruptcy in North Carolina pro se. I have a home that I own and have not made mortgage payments for six months. I was sort of waiting for a foreclosure notice before filing bankruptcy, but now feel I should go ahead and file. I know you say never move out! And I understand that the bankruptcy will discharge the debt on the home, but will not legally take the property from me until after the foreclosure process. Here is my question: One of the forms I need to file in bankruptcy is a “Statement of Intention,” which I shall complete and note that I wish to surrender the property. I have read that I then have to move out approximately 60 days after filing the bankruptcy petition. Is there some penalty for not moving out even though I “told” the bankruptcy court that I would be surrendering the property? Thank you for your consideration and I look forward to your advice. Thank you for the help you give here!

    • Robert Weed

      February 7, 2014, pm28 10:55 PM


      No you do NOT have to move out approximately 60 days after filing the bankruptcy petition. I guess you are supposed to “perform your intention” within 60 days. But your intention on the house is to tell them you can foreclose whenever you get around to it. Then it’s still up to them to get around to it.

      • Deanna Metzinger

        February 9, 2014, am28 12:51 AM

        Thank you!!!!!

  • Jim

    February 19, 2014, pm28 4:56 PM

    Hi Mr. Weed,
    Great post!
    I am staying in my house payment-free since my discharge in January 2013. Prior to the Chapter 7 bankruptcy, I had fought the foreclosure proceedings for about 2 years, and then just before the bankruptcy I signed a modification with the lender and they officially took out the foreclosure proceeding from the court (all this happened before my filing). My question is: If the lender now wants to take over the title and evict me, do they have to start the foreclosure process all over again? Or is there a simpler process for title acquisition and eviction since the house was included in the bankruptcy? (I am in Illinois.)
    Many Thanks

    • Robert Weed

      February 19, 2014, pm28 5:14 PM


      In Virginia they have to start over. I don’t know anything about Illinois.

  • Ly Camacho

    February 26, 2014, pm28 5:58 PM

    Please help.
    my friend and husband applied for re-modification bank two years ago, bank of america keeps dragging their feed. The they moved out of the house last year, the bank changed the locks in January of this year … they have no means of entering the house if they wanted to .. in the meantime, the bank h
    ave yet to officially foreclose or change deed to show the bank as owners. What can they legally do to put the legal burden on bank of america?

    Please help!!!

    • Robert Weed

      February 27, 2014, pm28 2:41 PM


      I don’t know any help for that–that’s why I tell people Don’t Move out.

  • abdou

    March 2, 2014, am31 6:28 AM

    I filled for chapter 7 in 2009, and I arrived to obtain loan modification from my first mortgage lender after bankruptcy. For the modification, the lender added unpaid mortgage to the principal. Do you think this is normal. I am in Maryland.

    • Robert Weed

      March 2, 2014, am31 10:59 AM


      Yes, that’s normal to add what you are behind back to the principal in a loan mod. Sometimes they will forgive what you are behind, but it’s very rare.

      • abdou

        April 11, 2014, am30 3:34 AM

        Thank you very much for the clarification. So if it is normal to add what I had behind to the principal, in which way the bankruptcy helps me?

  • Melinda

    March 28, 2014, am31 10:14 AM

    Wonderful and insightful blog! Here is our situation. Bought a house in 2010. Had to move out in 2011 due to job relocation. Weren’t able to sell home so we rented it out in 2013. Renters are now moving out of home, and we currently rent a home in our new town. There is no way we can move back into the home we own because it is 3 hours away from our jobs. We are considering filing chapter 7 bankruptcy to get out from under the huge mortgage payment since we can’t sell the home. We are current with payments on the mortgage. How would this process work? Is there going to be an issue with the bankruptcy court since the home will be vacant when we file for bankruptcy and we have no intention of keeping the home? We are in Illinois.

    • Robert Weed

      March 28, 2014, am31 10:27 AM


      Well you definitely need to talk to a lawyer and you can probably file a Chapter 7 bankruptcy.

      BUT, I really can’t answer a “will there be any issue” question. Nothing you’ve told me seems like a problem, but your lawyer will ask a lot more questions before deciding that everything is ok. You haven’t told me what you income is–just as one example–and family size, so it’s possible you could have income eligibility problems. (Having the house empty after you rented it for a while may be a help to you–but again it depends on all the factors.)

      Should be ok but talk to a careful lawyer.

  • Pasha

    March 31, 2014, pm31 8:37 PM

    I have been currently unemployed for the last year. Looking for a job but no success. Part of the crowd of people who lost extended unemployment benefits so income is at zero. The little bit of help I get is from my mother. Expecting a small insurance settlement in a week or so. I am so far behind on my bills it makes no sense to make any payments knowing I can’t keep it up. So i will be paying lights, water, etc.

    My issue is that I will never be able to play catch up on my bills, so I am afraid that as soon as I start working my main creditor Navy Federal will garnish my check and I will be back at Square One. I paid all my bills with them on time for 10+ years, now that I can’t pay they are coming for blood. Received a court papers today that they are trying to get a judgement, so that is why I want to go ahead and just file the BK7. I have high blood pressure and I am afraid all stress will complicate my health.

    How long do I need to wait before I file BK7 after I receive the insurance settlement? I was told atleast 2 months until after the insurance funds have been exhausted because the court will ask for 2 months of bank statements? I know longer put in anything in the bank because I don’t have anything to put there, so I will not depositing the insurance payment.

    Do not know what to do about the house, NACA has housing programs that help homeowners to lower payments but I can’t do that until I get a job. I want to keep the house, I am prior military and worked very hard for it. My house is currently on a $50 a month payment with the bank until June. I don’t know what to do, I am thinking if i file now and reaffirm my home loan and let them discharge everything else. That way I can go get a job paying way less that what I was making before and be in time to apply with NACA for a permanent mortgage reduction. That way I do not have to worry about then garnishing me and ending up back at square one. I made really good money before, I know I will not be able to find a job making that right now in this economy so them garnishing me for all the debt I had would be a big hit and take me forever to pay off. I have learned my lesson and will not go acquire debt regardless of salary in the future.

    Any suggestions?

    • Robert Weed

      April 1, 2014, am30 10:24 AM


      In some places the bankruptcy court cannot take insurance settlement money–and in some places they can. Depending on what the settlement is for, and where you are, I don’t know the answer to your question.

      You said you were told you needed to wait two months after the insurance funds were spent down. Did your LAWYER tell you that. Your LAWYER probably knows more about the law where you are than I do, since I don’t even know where you are. If “somebody” told you that, you need to talk to a lawyer.

      Sorry on not much help on this.

  • Harry Murphy

    April 7, 2014, am30 3:53 AM

    We filed Chapter 7 bankruptcy with debt discharge in 2011. The mortgage servicer has continued to pay the taxes, pay insurance, and keep the escrow current (even after the bankruptcy discharge). They send us bills and information on the insurance that they buy and continue to add the costs to our escrow (which I thought was discharged). As of this date, the taxes are current, insurance is maintained, and the house is still in our name…it has not been foreclosed nor sold. Do we have any responsibility for the escrow that they keep maintaining in our name? What can we do with the house?

    • Robert Weed

      April 7, 2014, am30 10:12 AM


      I don’t know any more than what I’ve said here. That’s why I tell people, don’t move out.

  • Elizabeth

    April 10, 2014, am30 3:22 AM

    Mr. Weed, I wish I would have found this blog couple years ago. I also did chapter 7 in 2010, and was told by my lawyer I needed to move out. Now its been almost 4 years I been renting and the house has not been foreclosed on yet. I recently contacted BOA to try to do modification but they are still giving us the same run around they did 4 years ago. One tells us we qualify and another one telks us we need to come up with 50,000 to 105,000. We would really love to stay with our home because this renting is no joke! We reside in Florida. What do you think I should do? The csr we spoke to said we need to be in the house to qualify.

    • Robert Weed

      April 10, 2014, am30 10:14 AM


      I don’t know what to tell you. I had one client who moved back in after being away form a house for about 18 months and was then able to get a loan mod. But four years?

      I don’t know enough about conditions in Florida to even guess.

  • fran

    April 16, 2014, pm30 8:01 PM

    Dear Mr. Weed,
    Prior to getting married I purchased a home in NY state, with my sister & I on the mortgage. Since getting married (now 8 years), I no longer live in the home. My sister & her family live in that home and pay all the expenses, mortgage etc.
    Unfortunately, she is likely leaning toward foreclosure as she & her family have had some hard times recently.
    My question is if her house does go into foreclosure, since I am the first name on the loan, does my husband and ours finances get dragged into this? Please note, my husband has nothing to do with that mortgage and is not on the loan, he has never been involved with that loan what soever.
    Just FYI, since being married my husband & I have files taxes jointly.
    Any other consequences I should be made aware of?
    I thank you sincerely for your time!!

    • Robert Weed

      April 16, 2014, pm30 8:40 PM


      Yes, sadly, you are co-signer (first or second doesn’t matter) on the loan that your sister is letting go to foreclosure. At the very least, that will really hurt your credit, and you may get sued for a big amount of money. You need to talk to a bankruptcy lawyer where you are soon.

      Some states they rarely or never come after people once there’s a foreclosure (although it still hits your credit). Some states they usually do and some mortgage companies almost always do. You need to talk to a lawyer who knows about New York law and what mortgage companies usualy do there.

  • Steve

    April 17, 2014, pm30 7:53 PM

    My condo was included in CH.7 bankruptcy and discharged in 2010. It is a half duplex condo, so the other half is the only other unit in the association, and I think the owner is the trustee. There are no HOA dues defined, we had just been splitting expenses like water and sewer, trash, etc.. I bought a cheap condo nearby for cash and fixed it up, and would like to move into it, although the condo that was included in bankruptcy is not yet foreclosed on. It has been 2 years since my last 1st mortgage payment. The bank has been paying the taxes via escrow, and up until the mortgage was recently transferred to another servicer, paying the insurance as well.

    My question is, can the other unit owner/trustee sue me for expenses such as water and sewer bills, grounds maintenance, etc.., when there is no trust account or fees?

    • Steve

      April 17, 2014, pm30 8:04 PM

      I know my question sounds more like a condo association question than a bankruptcy one, but i’m trying to decide if there is reason to stay living there longer or not, since it was included in bankruptcy and I have another place now with no mortgage, just small HOA dues and small taxes.

    • Robert Weed

      April 18, 2014, am30 12:58 AM


      Yeah I think its more a Condo association question than a bankruptcy question, so I don’t know the answer. There’s no bankruptcy reason why not.

  • Juanita Bradley

    May 18, 2014, pm31 5:58 PM

    I live in michigan filed chapter 7 bankrupcy in June 2009. Stopped paying on my house last year Nov. 2013, due to the declining neighborhood, not getting credit for paying on the home, and owing more than the home is worth. My home is now in redemption period, and I have just been approved fir a new loan. The problem is that the previous lenders did report on my credit report that a foreclosure started 11/2013. I did claim last year property taxes, and interest on my income tax returns. I have to bring check stubs, ny returns to the new lenders to review. I did not know that a foreclousure could hurt my chances in getting a new house. If the house is in the redemption period, would I be able to purchase my new home. I have found a home and the realastate agent is putting a purchasing agreement together. What do I do at this time? I am confused, as to how this could turn out. I do want very much to purchase this new home. How can I get the foreclosure off my credit repot, since it should not be there anyway, after filing a chpt. 7.

    • Robert Weed

      May 19, 2014, pm31 9:51 PM


      Definitely the foreclosure should NOT be on your credit report. You should do a dispute with the credit report company and if that doesn’t fix it, talk to a lawyer in your area who does Fair Credit Reporting law. A good place to look is here. http://www.naca.net/find-attorney

      I don’t think fixing your credit report will fix your credit. If you give up your house in a bankruptcy, which is what you end up doing, you can’t get approved for a new mortgage until three years after that house is out of your name. Now if somebody gives you a loan, that’s great. But I think you will get turned down in the end.

      See this application through, and if you do get final approval, PLEASE let us know.


  • Chuck

    May 24, 2014, pm31 6:06 PM

    So here is our situation, my in-laws bought a house in 2008 which met their dreams if being a house with area for gardening, near their jobs, at the time, and the cozy setup they needed as new grandparents. They purchased the house for 125k knowing that there would be some repairs needed. Since then they have fixed a pretty significant leaky roof, which caused some flooring damage, refinished the bathroom, and had their electrical work checked out (which they found out is not wired correctly and needs a total overhaul ).
    Recently they decided to fix the slanted floor in the kitchen and a leak in the bathroom, needless to say that the findings from the contractor checking into the issues were quite concerning. They are now aware that a large part of their house is supported by a jack, like the ones used for cars, along with other various jacks in other parts of the house, and their foundation (under the crawling) space has settled water which has possibly contributed to the appearance and spreading of black mold which is starting to come through the walls of the bathroom.Neither the contractor or a real estate agent (other than the one who assisted the original purchase of the house) who studied the house’s inspection report from 6 years ago were able to locate information about the jack supporting the house, both of them suggested to bulldozed the house or try to get rid of it in some way…. The repairs would far exceed the value of the house and there would be still very important repairs needed to be done within a few years… Roof, windows, sewage issue, the list goes on. My In-laws barely have enough money to make payments and live a humble life. They would have to borrow against the house just to repair the mold and just the one part of the floor. I informed them that they should not repair it, I feel as though it is a hole they will never get out of. Which is what has brought us here… Do you have any suggestions? One piece of information the real estate agent shared was that on the county auditor website the house had been purchased by the previous owner for one third the amount the house was sold for, although when that had taken place was not released. The real estate agent that we ask to take a look at it thought the property would be worth about $70,000 with the mold and bathroom floor fixed. They owe $109,000.00 yet. My in-laws want to just be finished with this whole ordeal as they are aware of the potential health hazards of black mold. We would like for them to foreclose on the house and just rent. They were reluctant at first but now understand that the hit on the credit is going to be better than living in mold. We have no idea what rights or what is the best way to go about foreclosing or bankruptcy. They found a place to rent next to us and are wanting to move there.

    Loan is with Chase.
    Live in Ohio
    They are 62 years in age.
    Father in law was let go from his 10 year job about 6 months ago. Found another job with about a 40 percent decrease.
    Together, his wife and him make around 57,000 per year.
    They can make the payment if they tried but cannot afford to dump that money into a money pit to make it livable.
    They are 2 payments into not paying.
    They moved from Argentina to Ohio about 11 years ago and has rented until they bought this place. They now both have their citizenships.
    The only other loan the have is a car loan. No credit cards.

    • Robert Weed

      May 24, 2014, pm31 9:00 PM


      That’s awful. they definitely need to talk to a bankruptcy lawyer. Don’t know how old they are, but three years after their names are off the house, they could get approved for a mortgage and buy again. MAYBE, shorter, as I explain here. https://robertweed.com/2013/08/30/how-soon-after-bankruptcy-can-i-buy-a-house-again/

      Hope they get a more careful inspection next time they buy–a few years after this nightmare is over.

  • Wendy

    June 12, 2014, pm30 7:17 PM

    filed chapter 7 2009, stayed in home and continued to pay mortgage, no longer can afford, Just confirming that we will stay until forclosed, however are we responsile for insurance and taxes? and will the forclosure show up on the credit report or only the bankruptcy?

    Thank you for your time.

    • Robert Weed

      June 12, 2014, pm30 7:52 PM


      The foreclosure SHOULD not show on your credit report. It should be showing just BK 2009 now and that should not change. YOU SHOULD however get your credit report and check.

      You are responsible for the taxes, but usually the mortgage company will keep paying them. I don’t know what happens where you are or in your case. You also want there to be insurance as long as you are living in the house–usually the mortgage company keeps paying those even if you don’t pay the mortgage, but I don’t know for sure what they are doing in your case.

      • Wendy

        August 5, 2014, pm31 6:58 PM

        Mr. Weed, month 4 of not paying and Suntrust still has not referred the loan to the forclosure unit. THey still would like to work something out… I requested a deed in Lieu and submitted all the paperwork infull. In the mean time I got married and moving in with my spouse in his home. Will his income and or credit be affected by any of this?
        And yes the mortgage company will continue to pay insurance and taxes. Is there anything else I should be doing during this process?
        Thank you for your time.

        • Robert Weed

          August 6, 2014, am31 10:58 AM


          I don’t know where you are living but I’m not surprised that there’s no foreclosure activity after four months. It usually takes longer than that–sometimes a lot longer.

          No, don’t worry. Your new husband in 2014 is not affected by your Chapter 7 bankruptcy back in 2009.

  • Greg narez

    June 14, 2014, pm30 2:29 PM

    A friend filed ch 7 did not reaffirm his house and was discharged. He lived in the house three years and continued home insurance. Neighbor burning leaves burned the house down. The mortgage co filed br bank America assumed mortgage. State farm ins has a check for 70,000 made to him and ba He owed 62,000 at time of br. Ba wants him to pay $85,000 which includes penalties and interest. Now he is getting foreclosure stuff from ba even though he was discharged in br. It seems t me ba should take check and give him the $8,000 equity or t the trustee in br?

    • Robert Weed

      June 14, 2014, pm30 8:48 PM


      The payment on the house continues attached to the house until the bank takes over the house. Would three years of missed payments come to $23,000? Was his payment around $600 a month? There may be some issue here, but you seem to think the payments were frozen by the BK, and they weren’t. I wouldn’t take their word for it that their math is right, but he obviously owed more than the $62,000 you think it should be.

  • Stacy

    July 4, 2014, am31 2:57 AM

    My house went into foreclosure and a default order was entered at the beginning of June. I then filed a chap 7 bankruptcy and go to court July 15th. My question is how long will I be able to stay in my house after my first chap 7 court date if the default order was already entered in my foreclosure? I am in Illinois. Also if my bank pays for my house insurance since it was escrowed will I have to pay them for that even though I filed bankruptcy?

    • Robert Weed

      July 4, 2014, pm31 2:20 PM


      I know zero about Illinois foreclosure law. Sorry.

  • Thomas – Seattle WA

    July 9, 2014, pm31 10:57 PM

    Mr. Weed – Thank you for your post. It is timely.

    You wrote that even if you’re going to move out, “rent it”. I’m in Washington state.

    If my mom still legally owns the property, if she rents the condo to a tenant on a long-term lease (at least 12 months) and collects the rent… can the bank get this rent money back through legal action?

    * I stopped paying my mother’s condo mortgage two years ago. Originally, I simply requested the bank to adjust the interest rate. Since I had been making my mom’s mortgage payment for years, and showed the bank this through bank statements, they said, “We don’t care. The mortgage is current. We’re not changing anything.”

    * So I said the heck with it. Sure enough… values then plummeted. First mortgage balance is $90,000. Assessed value is $54,000. Realistically it’s worth $40,000. There are no additional liens or mortgages.

    * I’ve continued to pay all homeowners dues and assessments.

    * I’ve told the bank I’ll buy the property if they short-sale it to me for the current market rate, minus the money they’d pay the trustee to auction. I’m waiting to hear back.

    * My mom hasn’t declared bankruptcy because there’s not point. She’s nearly 80 years old, social security income only, and Washington is a non-recourse state for first liens.

    * My thinking is, with the property encumbered with a long-term lease, the bank will be more apt to negotiate.

    Thanks in advance.

    Thomas, Seattle

    • Robert Weed

      July 9, 2014, pm31 11:05 PM


      I think the answer to your question, is Yes they could, although it would be hard. But I know NOTHING about laws in Washington state, so that’s a shot in the dark. I’m just guessing that they’d have recourse to the rents in a non-recourse state. But I know nothing about the laws there.

      • Thomas – Seattle WA

        July 9, 2014, pm31 11:22 PM

        Mr. Weed – Thank you for your quick reply.

        Truthfully, I’m not trying to ‘get one over’ on the bank. Frankly, I want to encumber the property so they’re more apt to sell.

        It wouldn’t be a problem to refund any rent collected if/when they come asking for it; if they even did.

        But, am I correct about tenant leases trumping the rights of a new owner/title holder? That the tenant is protected for the duration of the lease?

        Thanks again!

  • Pat

    July 16, 2014, am31 3:22 AM

    Mr. Weed,

    I am in the process of filing chap7, here in VA losing the house, credit card, reason decrease of income. I have a USDA direct loan. Do you know if the forclosure process is the same. I have recv’d my 60 day notice from the mortgage company this week. My loan is escrowed, to incl insurance & taxes. I guess what I want to know is how long in your experience do you think we can stay in our home? once their is a forclosure sale date set do we have to move out then? I am divorced with 2 kids 18 & 21 don’t have anywhere to go.

    My understanding is the mortgage co pays ins/taxes, will I be responsible for these expenses in the future?

    thank you for your time.

    • Robert Weed

      July 16, 2014, am31 10:06 AM


      I see very few USDA Direct Loans here in Northern VA–it’s not very rural. So your lawyer is probably a lot more familiar with them than I am.

  • Colette

    July 18, 2014, am31 4:18 AM

    Mr Weed,

    I was married for over 20 years to a still active duty soldier. We bought a house in 1987 it was solely in his name. We separated in 2009 and we were behind on payments then. In the separation agreement he immediately moved out and asked that I move out as well. Almost 5 years later, the house is still sitting (no foreclosure or anything) I do know he hasn’t paid taxes or hoa fees. Is the home not in foreclosure because he is still on active duty? Will they eventually go after him? If everything was in his name and we are divorced as of nov 2013…will they come after me? We live in nova.i too wish I would have found this site years ago because the house has sat for 5 years!!!! Any help would be appreciated thank you,

    • Robert Weed

      July 18, 2014, pm31 1:33 PM


      No idea why they haven’t foreclosed. Other than to say it does happen a lot. You didn’t tell me if you were added to the deed or to the loan somewhere along the line. Has there been a bankruptcy from either of you? Didn’t tell me that either. Also what state is the property in?

  • C.Vincent

    July 27, 2014, am31 12:27 AM

    Mr. Weed,

    I own a house in Nj since 2005 and have only been late on a mortgage payment one time. We purchased our home in an inflated sellers market and are currently underwater. The purchase price was 183,500 and is now worth between 130 and 140,000. We owe the bank 163,000. We are current on payments but we eventually want out but will not have the means to do so unless we stop paying the mortgage in order to save money to put down on something thats worth paying and in a better neighborhood. My wife and I are both on the mortgage. She has A1 credit and I have decent credit. My questions to you are: 1. Can I have my wifes name removed from the mortgage so that if we stop paying her credit is not harmed so that we can save and eventually put our new home solely in her name? 2. I just read that the avg time it takes to foreclose in nj is now 850 days, so in your opinion would it be a good move to stop paying now and file for bk when they start the foreclosure process? Your time, expertise and advice are greatly appreciated!!

    • Robert Weed

      July 27, 2014, pm31 12:49 PM


      Thanks for your nice words about my blog, but I have no expertise on how long it takes to foreclose in NJ.

      I can’t imagine any reason the mortgage company would let your wife off the loan.

      Looks like you need a plan to stay in the house long enough to get together a down payment and then move out and buy a new place. Bankrutpcy needs to be part of that plan.

      I’m not sure you can do it. If the foreclosure drags on for years–and you tell me it would, I don’t know–your credit score would be good enough to buy again. But the regulations won’t allow you to get approved for a (federal guaranteed) mortgage until three years after the foreclosure.

      The key, like you say, is to get one of you off the house now, so the foreclosure is not hanging on them. Sorry, I don’t know how you can do it. I just don’t know.

  • Melanie Carlson

    August 1, 2014, pm31 8:10 PM

    Mr Weed,

    We purchased a home in Ohio in 2010 for 45,000 and the house is now worth 20,000. We declared bankruptcy in 2012 because of medical bills I had from cancer. The house mortgage is in my husband’s name only and we reaffirmed the debt.

    Someone just drove their car into our house and the damages are significant but could be a lot less than originally thought. and insurance will cover everything even though right now we are in default and two months behind our payments. If the insurance company issues my husband a check and I buy a house in my name that is far less than our current house is worth will they insist on getting money from us, even though the house can probably be fixed and resold?

    Our current damaged but insured house has 40,000 left on the mortgage but we want to buy a 10-20 thousand dollar house and it would be our primary and only residence.

    Thank you so much for your informative blog.


    • Robert Weed

      August 2, 2014, pm31 8:34 PM


      Please, I HOPE you did not really reaffirm the debt. That could have been a horrible mistake–to make a new promise to pay $45,000 on a $20,000 debt. PLEASE check with your lawyer. I hope he did not let you do that.

      I’m guessing that they insurance company will NOT write a check to your husband; they will send the check either to the mortgage company, or to your husband AND the mortgage company together. If they send it just to your husband, I’d research carefully before you either cashed it or cashed it and then transferred it from your husband to you. I don’t know anything about Ohio mortgages or Ohio insurance law, but I can imagine a lot of bad things that MIGHT happen to your husband if he took the money and did not put it back into the house. You need to talk to somebody who knows.

      If you kept paying, but did NOT reaffirm, you can stop paying on the house, move out when they kick you out, and not owe them any more money. If you did reaffirm, then if you don’t pay, they can sue you for what they don’t get. I have no idea how hard or easy that is in Ohio, so if you did reaffirm you need to find out whether they really do come after people there. Some places they can but usually don’t bother.

  • Hope

    August 11, 2014, am31 7:26 AM

    Mr. Weed, I live in WV and have a loan through USDA. I was diagnosed with leukemia and lost my job shortly thereafter. I was no longer able to keep up with payments. I was on moratorium with my payments which supposedly only lasted 2 years. However, I haven’t made mortgage payments of any sort for 3 years at this point and have received no correspondence whatsoever from the USDA. I am afraid to contact them because I still cannot possibly keep up with payments….I can barely keep up with utilities alone. Plus, I’m not sure where we will go if they make us leave. I have 2 children and we are the only people living in our home. I’m just confused as to what’s happened. No phone calls, no letters, nothing! How will I even know if they’re foreclosing? Do you have any idea how USDA foreclosures take place? I’m lost and I don’t want to call them and speed this process up. This just makes me feel like I’m being dishonest. If you have any advice, I would truly appreciate it. I don’t know who to talk to really.


    • Robert Weed

      August 11, 2014, am31 10:39 AM


      I’m sorry about your medical problem and glad you were able to get the moratorium.

      Around here, there are very, very few USDA loans. I think I’ve only seen two. So, I don’t know enough to tell you anything. Maybe you should check around with a bankruptcy lawyer near where you live; they might have more info.

  • Heather stream

    August 20, 2014, am31 5:24 AM

    Instead of agreeing to file bankruptcy or agreeing on a foreclosure, we have chosen to release our property back to the lender (it was one of three options, and the only one we could realistically do) to avoid foreclosure. How long do most people get in such a situation to move out?

    • Robert Weed

      August 20, 2014, am31 9:58 AM


      Sorry, no idea.

  • Blair

    September 16, 2014, pm30 3:37 PM

    I filed chapter 7 in May 2014 and and my BOA mortgage of 367k was included, I also owe 27k (4 yrs) in delinquent property taxes which includes approx 12k in penalties and interest Tax deed sale pending. Based on the comps the property is worth approx 280k. The mortgage payments are current. I received the Chapter 7 discharge late Aug 2014. I did not receive reaffirmation letter from BOA. Should I contact BOA and try to get a mod to lower the balance and for them to pay the taxes in lieu of reaffirming the loan? Any thoughts? I live in Florida. Thanks.

    • Robert Weed

      September 16, 2014, pm30 3:40 PM


      Sounds to me like now would be a good time to try for a mod.

  • Jack

    October 3, 2014, pm31 11:27 PM

    First, thanks for the very insightful commentary.

    Second, my situation and question:

    I am a resident of Illinois. In Jan 2013, I was discharge of my debts through Chapter 7. Prior to that, my HOA had secured a judgment against me which allowed them to take hold of my property for non-payment of dues and attorney fees. Post-discharge, they tried to collect the dues and attorney fees by the “in rem” route. Now the amount due has gone from around 3K to 8K, and they have initiated eviction process. I am still in the property (bank just started foreclosure process) – My question is: Can I go to court and discharge the judgment they have against me, although the content of the judgment grants them “in rem” access to my property, I as a defendant was only sued “in personam”. That way I am thinking they have to re-initiate the process to get a judgment against me.

    Any thoughts are appreciated.

    • Robert Weed

      October 4, 2014, pm31 9:26 PM


      Wow! Obviously you’ve done a lot of reading in the law to even ask the question. But I think the answer is controlled by Illinois civil procedure and I don’t know anything about that.

  • Mark

    October 8, 2014, am31 1:34 AM

    We filed bankruptcy, chapter 7 and was discharged back in Dec. 2011. We choose to stay in our house for a while and continue to make payments on the first mortgage. We are now ready to move on and will stop making payments. We are trying to figure out our time line to actually move out, how much time do you predict we have before being forced out.
    1st mortgage is with Suntrust, house is located in Prince William Va. Yes I know it’s a best guess, but I think you guess would be a good one. Thank you.

    • Robert Weed

      October 8, 2014, am31 10:28 AM


      Six or seven months is my best guess.

  • Theresa

    November 2, 2014, am30 4:54 AM

    We filed Chapter 7 in 2010, missed our first mortgage loan in April of 2009. It’s been almost 6 years and still the bank has not foreclosed our home. We now have a zombie title. We moved out because that’s what our bankruptcy attorney said to do. No one has lived in the home since 2010. What can we do to get the title out of our names? I’m assuming we still own this home but at what point in time does it either revert back to us if at all or the bank finally takes it? We don’t want to put money into something the bank will take. We would like to purchase a new home. Is that possible? Any advise is greatly appreciated. I’ve been trying to get answers but no response. Please help.

    • Robert Weed

      November 2, 2014, am30 11:30 AM


      I have no answer to how you get the title out of your name or when does the bank finally take it. That’s why i say, don’t move out.

      But I do have good news. In July 2014, Fannie Mae announced a new policy, where you can buy another house after the BK, even if they haven’t gotten around to foreclosing the old one. I have info here. https://robertweed.com/2014/08/26/soon-bankruptcy-can-get-mortgage/.

      I’m not sure the full implications of that change are understood. I’ve seen some people able to buy and some have trouble. But read what I have there, and start shopping carefully for a new mortgage.

      • Theresa

        November 20, 2014, am30 5:25 AM

        I talked to my bankruptcy attorney and he said there has been no foreclosure on the house. He also said there’s been no movement regarding the foreclosure so if we wanted to do a deed in lieu to contact his partner who handles that. After researching many different blogs I’m still responsible for paying my HOA, maintaining the home, paying taxes, and paying for the home insurance. I just got a certified letter in the mail today from Ocwen telling me my home insurance has lapsed and that I need to provide insurance for the home. I went to the home today to see what we would need to do and someone contracted from Altisource was there. They told me I had no right to be there at the property because it was foreclosed on. I had to leave the property immediately. I told him if they foreclosed on the home why am I receiving certified mail from Ocwen telling me I need to insure my home. I also told him why is the title still in my name if they foreclosed on it. He got mad at me and told me to leave and to contact Altisource tomorrow because no one is suppose to be in the home or on the property. What sort of attorney will I need to get? I want them to either foreclose on it or I’m moving back in. What are my options at this time?

        • Robert Weed

          November 20, 2014, am30 11:12 AM


          I’m sorry that I have never actually figured out the answer to what’s happened to you.

          Somewhere in all the papers you sign when you take out a mortgage, you agree that they can keep the property safe if you abandoned it. That’s what these Altisource people are doing. Do you have the right to un-abandon it and move back? Did you actually abandon it?

          I would not know the answer to that even here in Virginia; and where you are might be different. Sorry, I just don’t know.

          • Theresa

            February 1, 2016, pm29 7:57 PM

            It’s been 5 years since my bankruptcy has been discharged. However, my primary lender has offered a loan modification approval letter. Where does that leave my 2nd mortgage since both have already been discharged. If I do the loan modification with the primary will I have to apply for a loan modification with my 2nd mortgage as well? I’m not sure if that’s a good idea but with rent being $3500.00 a month and homes $900,000.00 to buy it’s more worth it for me to accept the modification my primary lender has to offer. Any advice?

          • Robert Weed

            February 2, 2016, am29 6:29 AM


            Well the second mortgage is still out there, attached to the house, eating up your equity. And, no, the loan mod on the first won’t apply on the second. But looking at high rents (are you in Hawaii?) accepting the loan mod and living in the house may be your best choice for now.

            Assuming you did NOT reaffirm the first mortgage during your bankruptcy, accepting the loan mod doesn’t reaffirm it now. https://robertweed.com/2012/01/16/does-bankruptcy-still-protect-me-if-i-get-a-loan-modification/. You can still move out and NOT owe the mortgage later on.

  • Samantha

    May 21, 2015, am31 10:49 AM

    Hi Mr. Weed,

    I’ve been searching for an answer to this question and hoping you can help…
    Our Chapter 7 was discharged in 2009 — we picked back up payments on the house in 2010 in what we believed to be a loan modification, however it turns out the bank sold our mortgage in 2011. Is it legal and even possible to sell a mortgage after it has ben “satisfied” in a Chapter 7. The public records show us as the owners of the new loan. We are now in danger of foreclosure and want to know if we have a legal leg to stand on for negotiation purposes.

    Thank you!

    PS We did NOT reaffirm the loan… live in Maryland.

    • Robert Weed

      May 21, 2015, pm31 1:45 PM


      Yes, it is legal for them to sell your loan after there’s been a BK. What they are selling is NOT the right to come after you. That right is gone. It is the right to come after the house and yes they do still have that right.

      • Samantha

        May 21, 2015, pm31 5:40 PM

        Thank you– I guess I thought once the loan was “satisfied”, it no longer exists so how can the new loan holder say we are breaching a contract with them that we never entered into? Did the house go to our old lender (BOA) when the Bankruptcy was discharged and they can do what they want with it? I’m so confused!

        • Robert Weed

          May 21, 2015, pm31 9:36 PM


          The debt isn’t “satisfied” it’s discharged. Discharged means they can’t come after you. But the debt is still there–and they have the same rights to your property that they had before the bankruptcy.

  • Goy

    May 29, 2015, am31 6:15 AM

    It’s start with BOA put us on trial for a year and tell us that we can’t not keep the house. so my x and me filed bankruptcy in 2012 with chapter 7 before we get foreclosure and a year after my x moved out, still me and my 2 girls. then last year we’ve got letter owner changed, inspector came by a couple day later and seem like the house need a lot of things to be fix, then we’ve got a letter saying that we have to pay rent to stay at the house, I tried to contact the new owner and tell them if they could fix the house first and I will pay the rent…. can’t get a hold on them. basically i’ve been living in the house without paying anything beside water bills utilities bills.
    and in April this year a guy came by and said that if he buy the house can me and my kids move out? by offer $5000 to help me get a place. so we move out and renting the hotel during that time I were trying to get a mortgage loan. because of i’m sure that i only have bankruptcy on me and it’s been 3 years so FHA should have no problem prove my loan. I’ve done every process of buying a home till last minute that my loan officer said they denied me from foreclosure…..
    the house was foreclose on Jan this year under me and my x name !!!!!!! in my bankruptcy report said
    ” The following recipients may be/have been bypassed for notice due to an undeliverable (u) or duplicate (d) address.”
    on the top of Wellfargo which is seem like BOA sold the house to them.
    I were drop dead after knowing that I can’t but the house…
    my question is how come they still can foreclose on us and seem like we had a bad lawyer who’s didn’t finish his job in this case can I sue my lawyer ? or can I do anything?

    • Robert Weed

      May 29, 2015, am31 10:07 AM


      I’m hoping all you need is to talk to another lender.

      • Goy

        May 29, 2015, pm31 2:26 PM

        do you think that they still give me a loan after all? there are nothing show on my credit report about foreclosure but when they check from the old address they said the place foreclose this year.
        and thank you for your replied …. its mean a lot to me.

  • Goy

    May 29, 2015, pm31 5:10 PM

    Thank you sooooooo much …. and I won’t give up, I’m trying to take care my girls and have been work so hard for all those year without any help from anyone and I deserve this. thank you to you and your website that here to give all of us hope and open our eyes to see in the otherside that we have no idea what are we dealing with.

  • CB

    July 18, 2015, am31 12:10 AM

    Ok – I am in FL. Discharged Chap 7 two years this coming July 31st. I have been in my house ever since but stopped paying on the mortgage last August. There has been no attempt by the bank to even ask me to speak to them. Of the last years I rebuilt my credit to a point where I just closed on another house and got a mortgage. Yep – I got a full mortgage. So now I am going to leave the house that I haven’t been paying on for a year and it was discharged and not reaffirmed two years ago. I am considering to ask them to do a Deed-In Lieu of foreclosure. My lawyer told me two years ago that if I stopped paying on the mortgage, in FL, I am not responsible for the property taxes – though I am liable for any accidents that may happen on the property. Is asking for the DIL a good idea? I have heard that many banks are even offering incentives so as not to file a foreclosure motion.

    • Robert Weed

      July 18, 2015, am31 10:32 AM


      I’m in Virginia, where foreclosures are very fast, so they don’t do many deeds in lieu here. I’m sure in Florida it would be a lot different, but that’s all I know. If they offer you an incentive, I’d take it.

      I’m glad you shared your experience, that you were able to buy a new house, even with the old one still sitting there.

  • Duna

    October 13, 2015, pm31 3:29 PM

    Mr. Weed,
    I filed Ch 13 in 2011 to save my home after my mortgage payment (only one mortgage) increased from $600 to $1000 and to repay other debts. I bought my house 11 yrs ago for $100k, I don’t know how much i owe because of the ch13. I just recently received a letter from the trustee/courts saying that I’ve completed my plan. However, I’ve also received a letter from Wells Fargo (one of the many mortgage holders that my home has been under) stating that I still owe $46k. My mortgage is now with another lender. After speaking to the attorney that handled the bk, he said that i should have been sending in my regular payment to the mortgage co. and sending the trustee the amount we agreed upon payment for the payment plan. At the beginning of the bk I was sending in a payment to my then mortgage holder until they notified me that i didn’t need to send in a payment because they were being paid by the trustee and I also called my current mortgage holder about sending in a payment and they told me the same thing. They couldn’t tell me the amount owed/behind and they couldn’t tell me what they were doing with the payments that I sent in because it wouldn’t be reflecting in the balance. I want to keep the house and see if nationstar will allow me to modify. But, because the letter is from a local atty that normally handles foreclosure in our state my wife says file ch7 because they may still come after me/us when or if we are allowed to modify. I’ve only been married a year and our household income is $80k. Do you think I should ask my current lender for a modification? Will I be able to include the debt that Wells Fargo states that I owe to the modification? Should I file for ch7 on that debt? How will this negatively affect my wife, she filed for ch7 6years ago? Should we just leave the home? Please help.

    • Robert Weed

      October 13, 2015, pm31 6:22 PM


      That’s way to complicated to answer by email. You need to meet with (another) BK lawyer in your area and go over all your choices. And figure out what your goals are.

      I’m NOT SURE in SC that you can meet the income qualifications to do a C7–again somebody needs to go over your situation real carefully to figure that out.

      A FEW judges around the country have started to say that if you didn’t make your mortgage payments your C13 is now disapproved. I don’t know if your judge is one of those.

      What you should ask your lender depends on what your choices are–and also on what you (and the new wife) want to do with this house.

  • Adam

    April 3, 2016, pm30 12:44 PM

    Hi i filed bankruptcy back in 2010 chapter 7. It included my house the mortgage company still has not foreclosed on the property 6 years later and say they have no plans to until at least may of 2017. What kind of repercusions could there be if i wanted to move back into that house for a year?

    • Robert Weed

      April 5, 2016, am30 10:28 AM


      Don’t know the state laws where you are, so I’m not sure what I can add to my original advice. Don’t move out.

      I should add I had somebody who had moved out three eyars before who moved back in; and then they gave her a really good loan mod, so she’s still there.

  • Steve

    April 6, 2016, am30 8:48 AM

    When a mortgage is discharged in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, and the owner does not maintain insurance on the house after discharge, can the bank purchase it’s own insurance and then sue the owner to recover the costs post bankruptcy?

    • Robert Weed

      April 6, 2016, pm30 3:56 PM


      I don’t think so, but it’s a close case. If the insurance is a covenant that “runs with the land” then yes, they can. I don’t know for sure what the judges here would say, and no idea what they would say anywhere else.


    January 17, 2017, pm31 2:17 PM

    Good Afternoon Mr. Weed

    I was notified by a realtor that they have been notified that a foreclosure date of Feb. 15, 2017 has been established for my property. He indicated that if i agree to a short sale they could stop the foreclosure and give me more time in the property. What do you think? Your advice as always is greatly appreciated.

    • Robert Weed

      January 17, 2017, pm31 6:35 PM


      Since you filed Chapter 7 bankruptcy in early summer 2013, your credit report will look the same whether there’s a foreclosure or a short sale now. So you should do whatever is more convenient for you. The realtor wants to do a shortsale because he gets a commission out of it; sometimes with a short sale they will give you a little money, for your cooperation. But you are going to have to put up with some inconvenient to try to sell it.

      Is it worth it to you? that’s really the only question.

  • Howard

    December 28, 2017, pm31 11:24 PM

    Dear Mr. Weed,
    I’ve taken the time to read through all of the postings here and your replies. I found it all to be extremely informative while also very sobering. Our specific situation following my loss of income in 2011 and a serious decline in my wife’s health and significant increase in related medical expenses is as follows:
    We live in Goochland County, VA and our last mortgage payment made to BOA was in November 2014 (purchased in 2004.) We continue to live in this house to date while only paying a portion of past due property taxes and maintaining HOA dues, the latter of which is minimal. We received the first notice of intent to foreclose in August 2016 while attempting to modify the mortgage. We prevented foreclosure by filing Chapter 13 that August. Due to further loss of income and increasing health expenses associated with my wife’s further declining health our Ch.13 was dismissed due to lack of payments in March 2017. We were also unable to accept a loan modification offer from BOA during that time for the same financial reasons. The mortgage was then assigned in May/June 2017 to Rushmore Loan Management Services, with whom we began discussing short sale and deed in lieu options. I also received notice from the IRS that they would temporarily cease collection for past due income taxes but would put a lien on this property in August 2017 for some $26k (total mortgage, interest & property taxes owed ~$555,000+; property value ~$520,000.) We then received our second intent to foreclose scheduled for November 6, 2017 and filed a Chapter 7 including the mortgage qon the foreclosure date stopping the 2nd foreclosure. We concluded our debtors meeting in Richmond on December 12, 2017. We have not made a mortgage payment in three years and I am guessing that the mortgage company will likely be moving quickly to start the foreclosure process again, although I realize there is a chance it may not happen that fast. We have not heard a word from them since the Ch.7 was filed on 11/6. While I realize that the timing of these things can be anyone’s guess your opinion would be helpful. At minimum how much time do you think we have at this point before we will have to vacate? I’m just trying to manage time and cash flow expectations over the next several weeks to prepare for a possible move and living arrangements. Any other thoughts you have would be welcome as well. Thank you in advance for your time and advice especially during this time of year. It is greatly appreciated.
    Kind regards & wishes for a better 2018.

    • Robert Weed

      January 1, 2018, pm31 12:52 PM

      Good question, but I just can’t be very specific. I doubt you will have a foreclosure before February 1, but that’s only a guess and it really doesn’t tell you much.

  • john p long

    August 8, 2018, pm31 4:18 PM

    I live in Hampton Virgina. Chapter 7 will have been 2 years passed in February of 2019. I did not reaffirm mortgage and want out of it. My last payment made was June 2018. I have not had any contact from mortgage company. Do they care about this home? It’s upside down by about $10 thousand.

    • Robert Weed

      August 12, 2018, am31 9:44 AM


      You say you made your last payment in June, 2018. That means you are only two months behind now. I’d expect a foreclosure in early 2019, although it could be sooner. Because of the bankruptcy, they are NOT allowed to call and nag you. All they can do is start the foreclosure process if they think you have given up, or offer you info on loan mods.

      • John

        August 22, 2018, pm31 12:29 PM

        Thank you. I received a letter threatening acceleration. I was only 45 days behind. I paid July 2018 so now I’m 23 days behind. I really want out but I want to own a home just not this home. I know there is a deed to the home. Not sure how to release my name. Maybe sell or short sale. Not sure if a lender can help me. I guess I will call a lender and tell them the situation. I will let them know I want out of the house and into a different house. My reason for wanting out of this house is because of a religious building next door. I recently resigned and they are shunning me. Wife still attends and we are headed for divorce. She is not on the mortgage or the chapter 7.

  • Maeitza Figueroa

    August 21, 2018, pm31 1:40 PM

    I Live in Mass my husband has didn’t paid the mortgage for 2 months, I’m still paying but behind the house is under his name but I ha everything late, I lose part of my income for paid my dad treatment.. and my husband is sick with MS, the bank can put the house in foreclosure?

    • Robert Weed

      August 26, 2018, pm31 7:11 PM


      I don’t know about Mass law. I know that Virginia has about the fastest foreclosures in the country, so Mass is probably slower, but I just don’t know.

  • kymbo

    May 2, 2019, pm31 6:39 PM

    I live in Georgia. I filed chapter 7 in fall 2018. Was discharged but not dismissed in December 2018.

    There was not enough equity in my home to take it from equity stand but they said security deed is missing signature and so the trustee hired and attorney and they are suing the closing attorney/ current mortgage company for my debt. I guess called strong arm. It is my understanding that if the mortgage company does not settle the trustee will use the strong arm and strip mortgage company of lein to pay the trustee, attorney fees and my debtors.

    So my question is should I keep making the mortgage payments during the lawsuit ? If I continue to make payments then I will have no money when they take home

    but I think by not payments puts me at a higher risk of mortgage company not settling? I am confused how to handle. And I am also worried if they can foreclose on us while the law suit is going if I don’t make payments. And also if I could stay here a year or more and just save the payment I would have more than current equity I have now but another concern is could they sue me for the back payments? this is soooo confusing, I really hope you can help with some advice 🙂

    • Robert Weed

      May 12, 2019, pm31 6:54 PM


      You, and your bankruptcy lawyer, need to talk to a lawyer who understand real estate law in your state. I sure can’t sort it out from here, sorry.

  • kymbo

    May 2, 2019, pm31 6:48 PM

    I live in GA and filed chapter 7 in December. They discharged then told me they are going to try to take our home, not because of equity stand but because when we refinanced a couple years ago they did not get a second signature on security deed.
    Trustee hired and attorney to sue the closing attorney and mortgage company. If they don’t settle then they will strip mortgage co. of lein and sell property.
    I am confused if I should continue making payments during lawsuit or not. If they sell home I get nothing.

    • Robert Weed

      May 7, 2019, am31 10:56 AM


      You certainly need a lawyer there in GA to help you with that.

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