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Should I Reaffirm My Mortgage Debt After Bankruptcy?

Written by Camille Puschautz on August 8, 2014 in Real Estate  |   125 comments

If you’ve found yourself in financial difficulty, you may be considering bankruptcy, which allows you to settle with your creditors in court. In a bankruptcy, you may be able reorganize your debts to make your payments more manageable—or even eliminate your debts completely. While a…

should-i-reaffirm-my-mortgage-debt-after-bankruptcyIf you’ve found yourself in financial difficulty, you may be considering bankruptcy, which allows you to settle with your creditors in court. In a bankruptcy, you may be able reorganize your debts to make your payments more manageable—or even eliminate your debts completely.

While a bankruptcy can help you get rid of your debt in general, you may want to recommit to the terms of your mortgage if you can afford to pay it and you want to keep the home. The promise to repay a mortgage after bankruptcy is known as reaffirming your mortgage debt, and whether you want to take this step depends on your circumstances and the type of bankruptcy for which you have filed.

What does it mean to reaffirm your mortgage debt after bankruptcy?

A reaffirmation agreement is a legal contract that states your promise to repay all or a portion of a debt from which you might have otherwise been released in a bankruptcy case. Reaffirming your mortgage debt means recommitting to the terms of the loan and promising to pay it. However, if you default or fail to pay the mortgage, you could still be subject to foreclosure.

“Bankruptcy has given you the right to discharge a debt and no longer have to repay it,” says Sam Tamkin, a Chicago-based real estate attorney, “If you are reaffirming that debt, you are agreeing to repay it.”

People usually opt for bankruptcy because they cannot afford to meet their financial obligations. If that’s the case for you, reaffirming a mortgage debt might undo the positive aspects of the bankruptcy, Tamkin cautions.

Why reaffirm your mortgage debt?

If you are current on your loan payments and able to meet future payments, reaffirming informs the lender that you intend to pay the mortgage. This allows you to keep your home during bankruptcy as long as you abide by the terms of the reaffirmation agreement and make the payments.

Reaffirming your mortgage ensures communication between you, the bank, and the credit reporting agencies, says Jennifer Brown of Fifth Third Bank.

“When you reaffirm, it’s going to alert the credit bureaus that you’re going through a bankruptcy so it looks like you’re paying your mortgage and shows that you have a history of making payments,” Brown explains.

Some lenders require borrowers to reaffirm their mortgage in order to have future payments recorded on their credit report.

“In the lending world, we want to see it’s been reported to the credit bureaus,” Brown says.

Those who do not reaffirm their mortgage debt but who still continue to make payments may find that their payments do not show up on their credit report. “If you don’t notify the lenders that you want to reaffirm, [those lenders] won’t alert the credit bureaus that you’ve been making payments on time,” Brown says.

Reaffirmation may also give you an opportunity to negotiate new terms with your lender in order to reduce your payments, your interest rate, or the total amount you owe.

How do you know whether or not you should reaffirm?

Each situation differs based on your payment history and your ability to pay in the future. If you are able to keep your mortgage debt, reaffirming may help ensure that the mortgage lender will report your payment activity to the credit reporting bureaus.

(Read more: What to Know When Filing for Bankruptcy)

On the other hand, if financial difficulties prevent you from making this commitment and you want to be released from your mortgage in bankruptcy, you should not sign a reaffirmation agreement. Reaffirmation leaves you personally liable for the debt, and you can’t walk away from it after bankruptcy.

“If the lender is foreclosing on your property, there is no need to reaffirm because the lender is going to take the property,” Tamkin says. Additionally, if you are delinquent on your payments, your mortgage lender simply may not allow you to reaffirm your mortgage debt.

“[Borrowers] should work with their bankruptcy attorney and the lenders to see what their goals are and decide whether they need to, want to, or should reaffirm any debt,” Tamkin says.

Because bankruptcy remains on your credit report for 10 years after the filing date, it’s important to maintain other aspects of your credit. As you move on from the bankruptcy, consider taking steps to rebuild your credit file, such as applying for a secured credit card or a retail credit card with a low limit. By making on-time payments and responsibly using credit, you’ll be able to build a strong credit history and make positive changes to your financial life.

Camille Puschautz is a researcher, writer, and Web producer at Think Glink Media, with a background in print and digital media. Previously, Camille worked for Bloomberg News in New York and MediaTec Publishing in Chicago. She is a graduate of the University of Dallas and Northwestern University, where she received a master’s degree in journalism.

The information contained in this blog post is designed to generally educate and inform visitors to the Equifax Finance Blog. The blog posts do not give, and should not be assumed to provide, personalized tax, investment, real estate, legal, retirement, credit, personal financial, or other professional advice. Before making any financial decision, you should always consult with the appropriate professionals who can explain your options, rights, and legal responsibilities, and advise you on any tax, legal, credit, or business implications that may result from those decisions. The views and opinions expressed by the authors of blog posts are their own views and may not be the views or opinions of Equifax, Inc. and/or its affiliates.


  1. Ella N., Detroit says:

    Well it all sounds great, but what do you do when the mortgage company ignores you and refuses to work with you? They didn’t even offer a reaffirmation and the judge was pretty upset about it but no matter how many times we contacted the mortgage holder, no response. We let it go to bankruptcy, continued to pay the mortgage until my spouse died and then allowed it to go into foreclosure. I will pay a dear price for this now as I have nowhere to live, cannot get another mortgage and they continued up until the absolute end to refuse to talk to me or assist in any way shape or form. I wonder how they sleep at night.

    • Helen says:

      Ella, could you tell me how you managed? I’m now going through the same situation. I can’t afford to keep up the payments but if they foreclose and can’t sell my house for what the mortgage is, then I’m liable for the difference……..it’s neverending nightmare.

    • ralphy says:

      What is this business about reaffirmation of debt? Shouldn’t our BK attorney had put us heads up on this when we first opened the claim or even during the course of the chapter? please reply.

    • Vicki says:

      If this was Wells Fargo, you might ask someone if you have any legal recourse against them.

  2. Nancy says:


    Thank you for writing this very informative article. I have a question related to what you wrote. I went through bankruptcy and didn’t reaffirm my mortgage debt with the lender so it was included in my Chapter 7 bankruptcy. I am still living in the house and now going through foreclosure now. I’m wondering if the lender can still go back and put the foreclosure on my credit report since it was already reported as discharged in bankruptcy?

    • Tracy says:

      What response did u get regarding if your bankruptcy was discharged can forclosure report again negatively on your credit report

      • Taylor says:

        I went throught the same thing. I was not informed that my house was going to be a part of my Chap 7 bankruptcy so I kept making payments for 3 more years. I tried to do a loan modification and after 4 months of making the trial payments the bank told me to sign a letter to reaffirm the mortgage. Thats when I first learned that I was never responsible for the mortgage sincw we were discharged from chap 7. I immediately stopped paying they foreclosed a few months later. It’s been 2 years since the foreclosure and nothing is on my credit report. Its almost like the foreclosure never existed, and you can get another mortgage!

    • Valerie says:

      Dear Nancy I filled bankruptcy 8 years ago and my second mortgage wasn’t re affirmed only my first. I have made payments on my second and it doesn’t show on my credit report. I do not receive monthly statements and I keep on paying on time. Can I now re affirmed that debt? Because I’m trying to sell me house should I just pay off that second mortgage?

      • flower says:

        Why don’t you refinance ?

      • sanpat says:


        I filed for bankruptcy 10 years ago, I reaffirmed the first but not the second and made payments on both. I just got divorced, fell behind on my payments and found out that the reason you don’t receive statements on 2nd loan and the payments don’t show on your credit report its because that debt was discharged in the bankruptcy and you are not legally required to make payments but the bank will still hold a lien against the property.
        I wish I had known that because I could have stopped making payments on it until it was charged off (usually takes 6 months)then start making payments again and it would be paid off by now because after the bank writes off the debt, it does not accrue interest so all your payments are applied to the principle.

        • Emily says:


          Are you saying that if you don’t make payments on the second loan…the one that you do not receive payments for will charge off?

  3. Nancy says:

    Ella, I understand there is a moderation process that people go through in foreclosure. What did the bank do in that process, if anything? I am sorry to hear about the loss of your husband an current living situation.

  4. You should know who I am says:

    I’d like to know how Equifax can show a judgment entered against me on an account that was included and discharged in Chapter 13 bankruptcy. I’ve disputed 3 times unsuccessfully even though I’ve provided many, many supportive documents showing the judgment amount and creditor that sought judgment were covered under the Chapter 13. Why in the world do they have a dispute process if you can’t win a dispute even with supportive evidence? The other 2 credit reporting agencies do not show the judgment as they obviously know it was included in the bankruptcy.

  5. Lynn says:

    I did not reaffirm my mortgage and have faithfully made payments on my house. If I send all information showing that I have paid / never late to the credit bureaus will the bureaus put it on my credit report?

    • flower says:

      No I tried that several times and I mean more than 10, don’t waste your time, the only way it will show up in your credit again is if you refinance.

    • Anonymous says:

      I filed a bk 2012 and also continued making my payments, and wasn’t late. My loan was taken over by a new company, looked on my credit report,now the payments shows up as though it a new loan

  6. Peter C. says:

    By reaffirming the debt, most lenders will report it to credit reporting agencies. This can hurt your credit rating as much as help, for instance: You have a higher debt to income ratio, and any missed future payments are negatively reported. But the main reason not to reaffirm is to protect against future unexpected changes that cause your plans to change, and you decide you need to let the house go. Never reaffirm if the debt exceeds the value of the property.

    Reaffirmation agreements primarily benefit lenders, not consumers. Consumers who did not reaffirm can still contact their lender to obtain a payment loan history, which can be shown as evidence of good payments.

    Nancy: The short answer is Yes. A foreclosure is reported as a “public record”, not a debt.

    You should: The judgment is a public record. The bankruptcy discharged the debt, but did not remove the judgment from your county court record, and it is still a lawful judgment until it expires, or you go through the process of removing it.

  7. Mimi says:

    what if i never affirm the mortgage?
    and if I do…how do I do it?
    what forms to fill out?
    do i contact the mortgage company?

    • Greg says:

      what did you find out? I also have made all payments.

    • Mary says:

      If we reaffirm the 1st and not the 2nd can they foreclose ?

      • EFX Moderator says:

        Mary, A reaffirmation agreement is a legal contract that states your promise to repay all or a portion of a debt from which you might have otherwise been released in a bankruptcy case. Reaffirming your mortgage debt means recommitting to the terms of the loan and promising to pay it. However, if you default or fail to pay the mortgage, you could still be subject to foreclosure. Hope this helps.

        • Cristie says:

          Also if your mortgage has already been discharged in bankruptcy and you did not reaffirm you can’t get home reaffirmed. I tried to because my ex abandoned me with bills but I continued making payments and occupying home.then I asked bank if I could refinance but they denied me due to one late payment in past year I’ve paid on home 11 years and that was my only default besides bankruptcy that my ex refused to reaffirm so I couldn’t either we were still married.

  8. Cassie says:

    I didn’t know I could reaffirm my mortgage. I almost always paid it on time, maybe late a few times. In fact I sold the house and paid off the mortgage less than a year after my bankruptcy. However, it shows up on my credit report as included in the bankruptcy. Can I contact the lender (Wells Fargo) to change this?

    • Taybey says:

      I have the same problem.

      • dabsmum says:

        I am having the same issue…….filed BK in 2010, want to now refinance my home (which had been pain ON TIME every single month since I bought it), Wells Fargo is saying it was never reaffirmed and may not be able to refinance!!!

        I guess I will just simply go with another lender…..

        • Cooyon65 says:

          I had a lengthy conversation w/ Wells Fargo yesterday regarding ‘failed to get a reaffirmation” when I filed Bankruptcy 3 years ago. they will not refinance a loan not reaffirmed and won’t reaffirm one after the discharge. I’m desparte to find a lender that is willing to refi w/o a reaffirmation.

          • adt0315 says:

            I’m in the same boat. Have you found a lender that will refinance without reaffirmation? Help!!

  9. jenny h. says:

    If you are feeling like you are entirely trapped and overwhelmed by debt, and If you are thinking of bankruptcy there is one very important concept you must be aware of, and that is that the quicker you act the more options you will have. And also ask your attorney advices.

  10. Tru says:

    I applied for bankruptcy and submitted my reaffirmation of my home loan. A year later, my bank tells me I never reaffirmed the loan and that the debt was discharged. Now they have charged me more interest on my home than prior years with no indication of principal paid. I have not been late and in fact have paid more towards the principle because I believed the reaffirmation had gone through without a hitch, The bank now says that after 90 days of discharge with no reaffirmation on file they will not reaffirm it even if I requested it. Do I need a lawyer to reopen my case?

    • EFX Moderator says:

      Tru, If you have questions regarding your mortgage reaffirmation you can contact your attorney at any time and he or she should be able to help. Best of luck.

      • Taybey says:

        I emailed my bankruptcy lawyer and he wont reply since by chapter 7 bankruptcy has been discharged. We never reaffirmed the mortgage because our lawyer or Wells Fargo never told us too, I was never sent any papers so now what? I am making monthly mortgage payments and we are living in our home which we would like to sell soon to move closer to my husbands work. I don’t understand any of this please help.

        • Chris S. says:

          The only opportunity to reaffirm your existing mortgage was before the bankruptcy discharge. Once you’ve been discharged, too late to reaffirm. And if you’ve sold the property and paid off any mortgage, there really is no point to reaffirming anything, it’s gone.

          The trade-off you made in not reaffirming was to have no credit bureau points for paying your mortgage, in exchange for the peace of mind of not being sued for the mortgage amount, ever.

          • Maria says:

            I am in the exactly the same situation, the attorney did not reaffirm, the bank Wells Fargo did no send papers, and now the bank changed the systems and everything became a mess the are charging different interest. If the debt was discharged I should no have any debt, therefore i should not be paying any interest?

        • Anonymous says:

          You still own the property and can sell it at anytime. You’re not liable to pay off the loan by not reaffirming but the bank will give you a payoff letter. You’ll have to sale your house for the full amount of your loan balance. Anything you receive over the loan balance is your profit.
          The bank will have to give you permission to sort sale your home (sale for less than what you owe) more then likely they won’t allow you to.

          • Anne says:

            You can short sale but why bother. You are not responsible for the debt and can just walk away. True, they will foreclose and the foreclosure will be posted, but they can’t collect anything from you.

          • Kathy B says:

            Having NOT reaffirmed my two mortgages (on my attorney’s advice) but having continued to pay for it, do the mortgage holders still have active liens on the house that must be satisfied before a sale can be made?

    • Sean says:

      After I filed and reaffirmed my mortgage before the judge, I had noticed 2 years later that Chase was not reporting to credit bureau. I knew I had reaffirmed. I had to get my public documents and fax to Chase’s bankruptcy Dept like 3 times. finally they show on my report that I had reaffirmed.

  11. Khoy says:

    Hi My name is Khoy. I also have file for chapter 7 bankruptcy in 2009 and discharge in 2010. I don’t know if talking to lawyer will help me to resolve this issue. I am trying to refinance my home but the lender is asking for the reaffirmation on my mortage loan. The lawyer was suppose to help me to reaffirm the debt for the house because i was planinng to keep my home. But recently i look on my bankruptcy paper it state that he had surrenderd my debt. I am up to date on my loan. My question is Can i refinance the home without reaffirming my debt? And if i want to sell this home can i still do that? Is the home still legally belong to me?

    • Lucy W. says:

      I am currently in the same situation like you, so are you able to refinance your mortgage w/o reaffirming your first mortgage

    • Cindy says:

      I am in the same boat as you, did you find anything out as far as if you can sell your house legally? Please share whatever you may have found out

    • Mike says:

      Did we all go to the same Bankruptcy Attorney? I was never told anything about reaffirmation although I had made it specifically clear I wanted to keep the property. I am now being told by the Mortgage company I need to submit a reaffirmation letter. Payments have always been current. Any ideas?

      • Renee says:

        Hello Mike, my husband and I have gone through the same thing. We found out 2yrs after our chapter 7 was discharged that our home was not reaffirmed. The mortgage company said they did not receive a letter. I researched and found that this is a common practice. If you try to reaffirm the loan the other debt collectors can come after you for choosing to pay a large mortgage but choosing not to pay them. A chapter 7 bankruptcy is to clear all debt so the debtor can make a fresh start. This is why trying to get a mortgage reaffirmed is almost impossible. I read the judge will not reopen the case to resolve this issue. My bankruptcy lawyer would not talk to us unless we paid more money to reopen the case. We felt he should have notified us regarding this before it was discharged. These bankruptcy lawyers are aware of this and we trust them to tell us these things. I found different websites regarding this issue and determine this is not a coincidence. It is to many of us with the same problem. I did learn that you can legally sell the house. We are glad that we didn’t pay the lawyer another dime because the case would not have been reopened anyway.

    • EFX Moderator says:

      I’m sorry to hear that, Khoy. It may be a good idea to speak with another attorney who can help you assess your situation and decide how to move forward. Best of luck.

    • flower says:

      Sure you can,I just went through that process, you just have to find the right lender. I spent a lot of time looking for one finally I found one out of state but it worked just fine

    • x says:

      you own the home if you do not reaffirm, you are not obligated to pay the bank. The bank still has a lien on your home, so if you do refinance or sell your home you will then have to pay the bank off.

  12. Ann v. says:

    We have a mobile that we didn’t sign a reaffirmation agreement on. We are wanting to purchase a new home this summer. So are we able to walk away the mobile home and get a new home loan without it hurting us?

  13. DH says:

    We filed chptr 7 bankruptcy 2009, did not reaffirm our mortgage now 5 years later after job losses we have stopped making payments on our mortgage Our lender never once reported ANY of the payments we made for 5 years ontime but now since we cannot make the payments they have “updated” our credit report. I understand the mortgage debt liability was erased with the bankruptcy (discharged in 2010) ; but why can the lender now update my credit with late payments? The foreclosure will take place against the property. Seems like a violation of the Fair Credit Reporting act to me. I asked Transunion to open an investigation. We even tried to get PNC to report the positive payment activity two years ago trying to refinance into a lower interest rate. They did not do that and would not do that. But now they can just “update” my credit report to show the negative activity?

    • Sharon says:

      It’s been about 2 months since I filled a chapter 7. I filled out and signed the reaffirmation paperwork for my cars and home.
      At the 341 meeting, the trustee asked some probing questions as the value I gave for the home was much lower than the amount they had listed. When I explained the reasons why – (1. My husband left me paying no more bills or loans.
      2. My daughter and her family moved in with me to take care of me and we decided to remodel by adding a second story and finishing our basement. And 3. I had hired a very dishonest contractor who did minimal work on a big renovation project: primarily the deconstruction of most of our house and walked away with most of our money) the trustee did not really ask for any further information.
      I signed reaffirmation papers for my cars and home. I have not heard anything from the bankruptcy court.when can I feel safe that they won’t come after my house? I’ve made all of my payments on time and continue to do so.
      I also have some 401k savings. When can I take out some of that money for working on my house and not have it taken from me by the trustee?

  14. Kathryn says:

    Filed Chapter 7 2011, didn’t reaffirm mortgage. Foreclosure October 2013. Do we pay taxes on the difference the house was sold for?

  15. Vicki M. says:

    I also filed a chapter 7 in 2011, the house was not included.I refinance the house and had no problem what so ever. Now I.m trying to refinance again with the same company and they are telling me I need a reaffirm letter to be considered for refinance . The court will not touch this because the case is closed and the house is worth less than the loan. I’m at a loss.Don’t know where to turn.

    • Mike says:

      By law you had to list the home, even if you were keeping it. Did you use an Attorney? If yes, he failed to properly follow protocol in your Bankruptcy. You should contact him immediately.

    • flower says:

      Vicki, you need to look for a lender that do this type of refinance. The only type of refinance that you will be able to do is the FHA, You will have to look for the right lender.
      I took me a while but I finally found one, and we were able to close in 30 days I got the loan I wanted to 15 years at a 3.75%. Let me know if you want his information

      Your mortgage is not listed in your credit because because it wasn’t reaffirmed, it’s the best way to protect your interest if you pay your mortgage on time, you’ll be ok, and if you decided to walk away from your house, there’s nothing the bank can do to you.

  16. Tanya L. says:

    We filed a Chapter 7 in 2009 and it was discharged in 2010. Our primary residence and our rental property were not included in the bankruptcy. Once we received a copy of our credit report we noticed our mortgages were not listed. We received a modification on both properties and have made on time payments on both after the filing. Are the modifications a form of reaffirmation? We really would like to have our on time mortgage payments to show on our reports to assist us in reestablishing our credit and raise our credit score. Are the lenders obligated through the Fair Credit Reporting Act to show our payments on our report?

  17. James M. says:

    Filed Chapter 7 over 10 years ago. No longer shows on credit reports but Mortgage will not report. They are saying I need to reaffirm. Paid on time never late. Do I still need to reaffirm?

    • EFX Moderator says:

      James, If you have questions regarding your mortgage reaffirmation, it may be a good idea to contact your attorney and/or your lender. Best of luck.

      • Anonymous says:

        California doesn’t reaffirm mortgages once discharged. Chase will not report my on time payments for the past 7 years. Is there anything I can do?

  18. Sandy W. says:

    We filed Chapter 7 almost three years ago. We have two mortgages on our home, the second is a balloon that comes due June 2016. Our mortgage company ignored all requests to reaffirm. We have continued to make both payments but are not sure what happens when that balloon mortgage comes due next June. The amount owed far exceeds the value. We’re not even sure of our options or obligations to the loans. Thanks for your help.

    • EFX Moderator says:

      Sandy, I’m sorry to hear that this happened. Speaking with your real estate attorney could help with these issues, or at least shed some light on your options. Best of luck.

  19. Steph C says:

    Hi Nancy~

    I never reaffirmed my mortgage – and when I once attempted to refinance was told that PA doesnt re-affirm and it was not a good idea anyway since I filed bankruptcty in 2004 and my credit score is now up to 720.

    I recently learned when putting this house up for sale that Wells Fargo had been charging me inflated interst each month (my pmt amt due is $563.74, I paid $565 each month and several months the entire payment of $565 was posted to interest. The loan is 14 years old.)I was not behind on payments.

    I was advised by WF own bankruptcy department that I should not even have been charged interest since the time the bankruptcy was discharged. Since I never reaffirmed, is this true? Does WF owe me a buttload of money?

  20. Ted says:

    I have a concern that I need some help with. We have two mortgages on our house one is 80% and the other 20% with a HELOC on it. We filed a CH 13 4+ years ago. During this time the company with the 20% and HELOC went from cutting me off the online site to where I had to call them every month to make the payment. Then it was, well we will take your payment if you want to make one, to your loan is included in the CH 13. Now, they won’t even talk to me. Since then we got behind on it using the money for other things and they passed it over to their law office saying to send payments there. But they won’t talk to me either. All I want to do is fix it. Now I get a letter from the other company (80%) saying that I can no longer make a payment online with them that I have to mail it. A new law beginning May 2015, for mortgages with people under a CH 13. Considering that the bank that has the mortgage is also where the money gets deposited, I just transfer from one account to another with the same bank. (Checking to Mortgage). Any ideas???? What I’m worried about is that they all tag team us when the discharge goes through next April.

    • EFX Moderator says:

      Ted, This sounds like it could be a question for your attorney. He or she should be able to help. Best of luck.

  21. Laurie says:

    My Chapter 7 was discharged January 2011 due to several hospitalization, during the period between COBRA exhaustion and the two year waiting period for Medicare due to disability. Although I hired a BK attorney, I was naive in accepting very limited documentation that I had retained their services. No guidance was provided, then I was informed he was no longer with the firm. On three different occasions I was informed they had no record of my case and waited days, while they looked into it further. Finally I was given a court date, but no guidance whatsoever. I later learned that a reaffirmation existed and I contacted my lender who said they do not do reaffirmations, ever. The lender then sold my first to an organization that now reminds me, every time I speak with them that they are a collections agency. My second remains with the origanal lender, and is a balloon loan that ends in July 2016. My credit score is low, largely due the loans being on my report without the loan amounts and, of course neither is reporting my excellent payment record. Is there any other way to get into a situatin where my loan payments are reported? Sorry for the long post. I do not know how to explain in a more concise manner. I appreciate any information.

  22. Meredith says:

    …yes, apparently we all had the same attorney…LOL 🙂
    We completed our bankruptcy June 2012…we told our attorney that we wanted to keep our home, all payments were always on time. First, even though our attorney knew of judgments, he failed to do what was necessary at time of bankruptcy to find lien on home and include in BK. After nearly two years of effort on our part, we got the lien off so we could finally refinance a nearly 7% interest rate loan…now we find out that our mortgage had been discharged, nearly three years of credit building perfect payments not recorded and our loan was also transferred to that ‘debt collecting’ mortgage company. Our mortgage was legally reported in the BK, but our attorney failed to tell us to reaffirm and now that nearly three years have gone by and we are still trying to refinance and now find out it is too late to reaffirm, something we feel we paid our attorney to advise us on.
    QUESTION, isn’t it our attorney’s job to help us navigate these uncharted waters and advise us to reaffirm our mortgage? Not having ever gone bankrupt, we thought since we didn’t include the mortgage in the BK all was good, how are we to imagine these steps are needed?? Attorney has been very difficult in taking any responsibility for his errors and oversights.
    We would really like to know if this was our attorneys job to educate us or file for us so we know how to respond?

    • Rich says:

      My attorney advised me to NOT reaffirm. He asked my why would I want to do that. Really, the only advantage is that your payments get reported to the credit bureaus. Otherwise, I think it is better that I did not reaffirm. I don’t owe the debt on the house, even though I continue to make payments. I can walk away from it anytime with no repercussions. The bank would foreclose, but can not collect the debt that was wiped out by the bankruptcy. Or, I can continue to make all the payments then get the deed. They also can not report the foreclosure. I had rental properties in the same bankruptcy that were foreclosed, and they were not reported.

      • Maria says:

        Hi I filed chapter 7 in jan. 2015. I was discharged may 2015. I also was told by my attorney NOT to sign a reaff. So I didn’t. I am just a couple weeks late on my mortage. It’s due the 16 example. They won’t get it till 22. And I’ll get a late fee now. Since they can’t contact me bc of the bankruptcy and I didn’t sign the reaff, can they foreclose on my house without any warning? Thanks

        • Anne says:

          Just information. Each state has it’s own rules here, but most require legal steps that must be followed to proceed with foreclosure. I was late for a time after the bankruptcy and they did not charge any late fees, I don’t think they can.

        • cmd says:

          I have always been told by my lawyer that a loan that is not reaffirmed can not be charged late fees. Also, I did not pay my HELOC immediately after bankruptcy and after about 6 missed payments, they sent me a letter telling me they would begin foreclosure proceedings in 30 days if they did not receive some sort of payment. I did reaffirm my first mortgage to refinance with a lower rate but not my second. I like the ability to pay a little later if things get too tight.

      • Krissy says:

        Hi Rich,
        Are you sure the bank cannot attach the foreclosure to your name/report? We filed bankruptcy many years ago and did not reaffirm. The bank won’t even talk to us about a refinance even though we haven’t missed a payment since the bankruptcy. We now want to move—do we sell it or do we just walk? I feel bad doing that—we’ve done so much to clean up our credit which is VERY GOOD now and if we “walk”———-does a new bad mark hit our credit all these years later? I don’t know the “right way” to leave the house (sell or walk?). Thank you. Krissy

  23. Mich says:

    I filed bankruptcy and it was discharged in January 2011. I reaffirmed my mortgage but the bank never reported my payments to the credit bureaus. I got behind in payments in 2012 and started getting threats of foreclosure. I was able to get the payments caught up and then the bank sold my loan. The new mortgage company has no record of me reaffirming my loan and doesn’t report my payments to the credit bureaus. My question is, will no record of reaffirmation affect me selling my home? To date, everything has progressed the same as if I had never file bankruptcy except for reporting to the credit bureaus.

    • Mich says:

      Also, on my credit reports it is listed “discharged in bankruptcy” for both the original lender and the new lender. I’m not as concerned about my credit reports as with if I will actually be able to sell the house or if I will actually own it once it’s paid off.

  24. John P. says:

    My bankcruptcy lawyer for chapter 7 have me sign a reaffirmation for my home since were staying in it, but not i lost my job and behind on my mortgage. I was told that I can get sued since I signed the reaffirmed. Is that true?

    • MC says:

      I believe you reverted back to agreeing to repay the note when you signed the reaffirmation. So, you are on the hook for the mortgage. I would assume the mortgage company could foreclose on the property.

    • EFX Moderator says:

      John, this sounds like a question for your attorney. Consider seeking assistance from a qualified professional. Best of luck.

      • Moroshkina says:

        A personal bacrnuptky can stop you from being hired by a company, that I know for sure. Strange isn’t it. If your already hired I would say no because you wouldn’t have one if it wasn’t needed to do your job and you won’t be able to do your job without it.

  25. china says:

    I’m confused. I received info from my mortgage company to reaffirm my mortgage. I am in the process of filing chapter 7. I was told by a friend that I don’t need to sign that paper. I’ve never been late and its not being included in the bankruptcy. I was told to simply keep paying the mortgage that there’s nothing the mortgage company can do anyways. Is that true?

    • EFX Moderator says:

      If you are current on your loan payments and able to meet future payments, reaffirming informs the lender that you intend to pay the mortgage. This allows you to keep your home during bankruptcy as long as you abide by the terms of the reaffirmation agreement and make the payments. Hope this helps.

  26. In the midst says:

    We are in the midst of chapter 7 bankruptcy, we are trying to decide if we should reaffirm our mortgage on our mobile home. We owe more on the home then it is worth. If we don’t reaffirm and foreclose …what are the implications? Will it show as an even more negative impact on our credit (is that possible) or will it just show as apart of the bankruptcy and now we have a “clean slate” to start rebuilding our credit?

  27. Rita says:

    We filed bankruptcy also , having the same issues what can we do ? we are trying to refinance but can not get anyone to give us a loan . We just want some answers please .Should not our attorney advised us of all of this ? What can we do ? please help.

  28. Anonymous says:

    I didn’t know you had to reaffirm.so for the last two years my mortgage company has not reported anything.now it’s been over two years since my bankruptcy, my lawyer told me there is noting I can do.so I own a home that’s not getting reported.please can someone give me some advice.

    • Karen says:

      My Brother is in the same boat. His Lawyer never really explained it very good prior to being filed. He told his Lawyer he planned on keeping his home and making all the payments as usual and he had 2 small kids at the time (2009) and they needed a home. Had he been told that a Lender could still “possibly” foreclose on the home, he never would have agreed to that.

      So since 2009, they have been making all the payments (even early each month). The interest rate lock is expiring next month, so he went to Lender to refi, and they told him the Lawyer did not check the correct box so the debt was never reaffirmed. The Lender will not refinance him, even though they are aware of their perfect on-time / early payments for over 6 years, without the current loan being reaffirmed with the proper paperwork from the courts

      The Lawyer just told him today that the case is closed and even if he opened it back up (for yet more $$) all because the wrong box was checked, there is nothing guarenteeing the Judge will allow the reaffirmation to be back dated since the original case in 2009. The Judge could just grant reaffirmation from the date of when the future hearing is held.

      Of course, now their rate has expired and their payments are substantially higher.

      Has anyone dealt with the same situation before?

  29. Rhonda says:

    Hello Karen, I am dealing with a similar situation where my loan is about to balloon. I have paid it on time every month for over 4 years now. I spoke with my attorney (BK discharged in 2011)about the Reaffirmation. My attorney explained that typically courts will not usually approve reaffirmations on mortgages unless the lender is offering a change (such as a lower interest rate) as the reaffirmation is really not in the best interest of the debtor but is more so for the Lender. The Lien for the property does still exist even though the loan was discharged during the BK and I am personally not responsible for the loan. I don’t have a reaffirmation with my lender. They will not refinance the loan as I have not had a BK discharge for longer than 7 years (and I’m sure they are loving the fact my balloon is going to line their pockets). I went looking for another lender and tried the Credit Union only to find they cannot refinance a loan that has not been reaffirmed. This is due to the Fannie Mae rules (Credit Union and conventional loan = Fannie Mae lender). I have found a broker who has lenders who do not need an reaffirmation to refinance my loan. I am completing all the paperwork and will now be paying on a loan that will show up on my credit. I wish the best for your brother. He may want to try Quicken loans. They can place him with a lender who can get him a Refi. Rhonda

  30. Roxy says:

    My question is a little different.
    My bankruptcy was discharged over a year ago and my attorney never mentioned reaffirming my mortgage.I recently pulled a credit report and realized not only weren’t they reporting it, they went back to 2003 when I refinanced with my current bank the 1st time(refinanced in 2010 with a lower rate through Harp program.)My mortgage is always paid on time and I owe very little. My concern now is 1) Can my bank (Chase) take my home? 2)I am unmarried but living with someone who I am leaving the house to,if something were to happen to me- could he continue paying off the house and get the deed at the end?(as my will states) The mortgage is approx $21,000 and there is about 6 yrs left.So refinancing is out.Do you foresee a problem?What can I do to assure there isn’t a problem in that case?

  31. Anonymous says:

    filed chapter 7 bankruptcy then separated from spouse who then reaffirmed the mortgage without my knowledge. Am I liable for the mortgage debt?

  32. Anonymous says:

    I filed Chapter 7 bankruptcy in 2008, so that I would not lose my home. The mortgage company allowed us a loan modification to bring the loan current, lowered the interest rate and put all the late payments behind the loan. And the lender reported all history going forward to the credit bureau. But, in 2011 we fell behind and tried to ask lender for help and was told at this point that they couldn’t work with us because we never reaffirmed the mortgage in the bankruptcy? This was the first that we learned about this reaffirmation thing. Our attorney never explained this to us. So, the only way to save our home was to file for bankruptcy again(Chapt 13)and then the mortgage company would work with us to modify the loan again, put everything at the back of the loan, but only this time the mortgage company does not report to credit bureau. When I called mortgage company and asked why, I was told because we never reaffirmed at either bankruptcy that the lender wont report any longer. Then why did they report after the first bankruptcy? Isnt modifying the loan and changing the interest rate a form of refinancing your loan? I don’t understand.

  33. Anonymous says:

    My attorney advised me NOT to reaffirm my mortgage. I feel like that was horrendous advice. If you want to keep your home, REAFFIRM. Don’t make the mistake I have. No one will refinance and the mortgage company will not report to the credit bureaus. Major damage to your credit score. I have never been a day late.

  34. Anonymous says:

    My bk discharged over 3 years ago. I didn’t reaffirm the home loan. But, have continued to make timely payments. My credit score is now 708 and I want to rent out the house and get a loan for a new home. Quicken Loans told me I can’t get a loan to buy a new home because the current home is still in my name. Are there any lenders who will make me a loan?

  35. Khairul says:

    Absolutely! There is no way a coamnpy is going to issue a coamnpy card to someone who is in bankruptcy proceedings or who has declared bankruptcy. Also, companies can do check credit and can deny anyone a job for failure to meet the coamnpy’s requisite credit specifications.

  36. Reggie says:

    I did not reaffirm my loan after bankruptcy, and I am glad I didn’t. Even though I made my payments on time. I still like having the peace of mind knowing I can walk away at anytime and not have to pay a balance. It might be bad to not get credit for my on time payments,but it also benefits me not having my mortgage count against my debt to income on my credit.My mortgage payment is substantial, and 7 years after BK my credit score is 744. Don’t reaffirm, your wasting the benefit you received from Bk.

    • William B. says:

      Your response is what my lawyer told me. Still have house 4 years later. No credit report for it. But, no obligation to pay, either.

  37. Jeannie says:

    Hello, My Mortgage lender (Wells Fargo) did not reaffirm my mortgage 5 years ago, I had done all the paperwork. I have since made all my payments on time. I am looking into refinancing for a `15 year mortgage with lower interest. I have been told that I cannot get my home refinanced until I reaffirm. How do I do this? Are there certain forms out there to fill out? Wells Fargo offers NO HELP whatsoever even though I have told them that they have my reaffirmation. I cannot afford an attorney and shouldn’t have to go that route anyway. Any help would greatly be appreciated. Thank you.

  38. Senior Loan Officer says:

    I would like to offer some of you folks some advice from the lending side. I understand that attorneys usually do advise their clients not tg o reaffirm their mortgage in bankruptcy. What they do not tell you is that lenders can require you to reaffirm in order to refinance your loan. It is true that you can refinance with another lender (provided they can verify your credit and payment history is acceptable.) You can also sell your home as soon as you have enough value to payoff the liens or get the lender to agree to a short sale (if you are under water.) It may also help to know that you can qualify to purchase a new home with either a Va or Fha loan just a few years after bankruptcy,short sale or foreclosure. We will want to verify that your payment history has been excellent since the bankruptcy. For those folks still struggling to make their payments after bk, a sale or short sale seems to me to be the most logical plan as long as renting is more affordable than the current housing expense. Lenders consider a short sale better than foreclosure in most instances. I hope this helps some of you!

    • Annabelle says:

      So If I understand what your saying is we filed for BK 7 in 2010, never reaffirmed loan we continued to make house payments and in Dec 2013 we tried to do a modification but it was denied over and over again. So we the decided to put the house for sale and because it was worth less then what we owned we had to sell as a short sale. after many months of back and forth with the bank they finally agreed and the sale went thru Oct 2015. Till this day 1/21/16 out credit report shows no payment history, no missed payments while we were trying to modify and shows no short sale. Our credit score is in the 720’s. Nobody seems to know if we are able to buy another house. My understanding is we should be able to because we never reaffirmed the loan, so its been 5 years since the BK7 but only 4 months since the short sale. do lenders go off the BK7 from 2010 or the short sale from last year? Again we never reaffirmed loan? Please help

      • Taylor says:

        You are eligible to buy another house 4 years after your bankruptcy discharge once you can show proof that you never reaffirmed. Any payments made after your discharge do not count, any delinquencies (short sale/foreclosure) do not exist after discharge. I just learned this now 5 years later.

  39. Rhonda K. says:

    my attorney refuses!!! to do reaffirmation letter for mortgage????! says, “You dont need one”. Home was remodified during bankruptcy at lower payments, as we kept the home. We have been making payments but ofcourse now I know why not showing up on credit score which is hurting. What do I do? Bank of America sold to Fanney Mae and Seterus Inc. is where our payments are sent which is a collector and servicing Inc. Do I need to get a lawyer which I can not afford??? Or can I make this happen getting the form, and having proper channels sign?

  40. Please help... says:

    We filed for bk7 in 2011, we received our paperwork showing that we retained our home. (The correct box was selected). This year we realize that the bank has not been reporting the payments. Weekend we contacted them, they said that they never received the the paperwork from the courts. They even said that the reaffirmation/retainmenr paperwork was for another bank for which they decided tonflkeepnin their files. We contacted the attorney and he says that the bank never sent the paperwork to them or the courts. How can this be that on the paperwork from the court showing our intent to retain is ignored?

    What do we do?

  41. David J says:

    can you sue bankruptcy attorney for not informing and or explaining to you what a reaffirmation of a mortgage loan is ? After explaining to the attorney that we did not want our home included in the bankruptcy. After reading some of the post here not explaining or including reaffirmation letters is a common practice among lawyers , is this not something bankruptcy attorneys should be aware of ?

    • Taylor says:

      I wanted to do the same thing.. sue the bankruptcy attorney. In the end, it turned out to be a blessing in disguise. My home was upside down to the economy. Although I lost my home, I now have a second chance to start over with a new home.

  42. Questions says:

    If the mortgage was not reaffirmed and you miss a few payments what happens (example you miss April and May payments but are able to start making them again in June)? Does the foreclosure process start? If I can’t refi because of the value and or the loan was never reaffirmed (I have never been late even thru the BK) it seems from the language above there is no consequence? Almost as if you could pay every other month and stay in the home? Do/would the payments get put to the back end of the loan or would you be required to catch up on the payments?

  43. Anonymous M says:

    House was not reaffirmed after bankruptcy discharge in 2005. We are selling our home and buying a new one. Have made our payments but some have been late. Can this hurt our new mortgage? Late payments obviously not showing up on credit report and have great credit and no debt. Will the lender look at payment history and decline us?

  44. Jeff says:

    My wife and I split up after 18 years of marriage. She walked away from the mortgage, signed a quick deed of trust over to me and latter filed for Bankruptcy. She included the mortgage in her bankruptcy. I elected to stay in the home, went through a loan modification, haven’t missed a payment in 7 years and now I want to refinance. The mortgage co (Wells Fargo) is now telling me that I need to Reaffirm the loan. I never filed for BK. Why would I have to reaffirm? Am I missing out on all the credit reporting as well? Please help to shed some light on this. If I must reaffirm what’s the process?

  45. Amy says:

    I just found out that my house was included in our chapter 7 bankruptcy case. It was a few years ago. I signed papers to reaffirm the loan with my lender but they are not in my court documents for that case. Does that mean they are not valid? My mortgage shows up on my credit report that is was included in the bankruptcy.

  46. Nana says:

    Dose anyone know if you never did a reaffirmation on your house, can you buy a second home or co sign?

  47. Faby B says:

    My chapter 7 was discharged in 2011 I did not include the property but now my mortgage is telling me that my payments have not being reported due to loan was not re affirmed. now I would like to know if I have to re affirm the loan before do a short sale?

  48. nightowl says:

    My wife filed bankruptcy years ago and we never reaffirmed the mortgage. Now that we are divorced I have fallen behind on the mortgage. Can the mortgage company come after me for the debt even though we didn’t reaffirm it and they stopped updating the credit report even after we paid down the mortgage 9,000 in principle?

  49. Joseph says:

    My home is underwater value wise. The first mortgage with the huge amount is current. I have a second loan for only 30,000 remaining that has been discharged in bankruptcy. Its a big monthly payment and more than half is interest only. It has never been reaffirmed so doesn’t appear on my credit report. I continue to pay. Should I take a chance and stop paying and hope that they don’t foreclose since the property is way underwater and the primary is being paid on time? Doesn’t the second lien holder have to pay off the first in a foreclosure? I just don’t think it would be worth the second holder to do anything and I just cant make this payment any longer

  50. Kimberly S says:

    In my BK I had intentions on reaffirming the debt on my home and then when my attorney and I looked at the reaffirmation paperwork the Mortgage company wanted to raise my interest rte so we opted not to sign the reaffirmation. Since we agreed to re-affirm in the BK papers but didn’t sign the reaffirmation was my house truly included in the BK?

  51. Lori says:

    I have a question I filed bankruptcy 8 years ago they sold my mortgage to a different mortgage company they wanted me to reaffirm my loan but I didn’t I make payments on time I’m trying to sell my house but it’s selling for less than what I owe do I have to pay them the difference or will it go negatively on my credit report if I don’t pay the difference thank you for your help

  52. Tina says:

    I just found out that I can not do a VA interest rate reduction because I did not reaffirm the house. VA mortgage is with Wells Fargo. I have never been delingunit on my payments. The VA does not show that the house eas ever included in the ankruptcy. Wells Fargo would not refinance, even though if They would do the refinance would make me obligated legally. I am checking with another VA mortgage company. I wantd to Refnance and consolidate my second mrtgage with my 1st mortgage. I havesome equity in the home. I will continue to stay in the house and pay n time. I will probably sell the house n the future. If I do find a mortgage company thay will refinanceI will post it here.

  53. Anonymous says:

    Ok folks, here is a doozy! Wife and I divorced in Jan 07. She filed for CH7 in Oct 08 and it discharged in April 09. She did not reaffirm the mortgage as it has disappeared off of my credit report. I have been paying the note the whole time, current and up to date. Now she is coming back for 1/2 the equity. Any thoughts on this???

    Down and Out in Texas

  54. Carmencita says:

    After reading all these comments I’m confused, I filled bankruptcy about 10 years ago. My attorney never told me to reaffirm my mortgage when we did the paperwork.
    I normally do my payment over the phone and then I get a confirmation of the payment on the mail. My mortgage is under Seterus mortgage, every time I call to make a payment they said to me that it shows that i did bankruptcy and that I’m not responsible for this debt also that they will not call me or try to collect the debt which in the beginning I was very worry. I’m still paying the mortgage but it does not show on my credit. I’m hopping that if I try to refinance I won’t get any issues.
    I don’t know how all of this work, would refinance be possible?

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