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August 13, 2014

Should You Reaffirm Your Mortgage Loan in Chapter 7?

mortgage reaffirmation in Chapter 7When it works as planned, Chapter 7 serves to discharge (wipes out) your unsecured debt, while allowing you to keep most or all of your property.   If you have secured debt in your Chapter 7, you generally have the options of:

  • surrendering your property and walking away from any associated debt
  • redeeming your property by paying the secured creditor the fair market value in one lump sum
  • reaffirming your property by re-entering into a contract to pay the installment note
  • continuing to pay the note but not signing a reaffirmation

There are pros and cons for each of these options.   In this blog post I want to discuss the good and bad of reaffirming your mortgage debt.

Many lawyers feel very strongly that you should never reaffirm your mortgage.   When you reaffirm, you are obligating yourself personally to pay your mortgage note.   This means that if you should default on this obligation and the value of your home is less than the outstanding balance (a very real possibility in current economic times) you could find yourself facing a deficiency claim in the tens of thousands of dollars. [Read more...]

Cost for Obtaining Copies of Old Bankruptcy Paperwork Increases Again

Our office frequently receives calls from former clients, and occasionally from a non-client former bankruptcy debtor asking about copies of petitions, copies of discharge orders or other bankruptcy papers.

If these documents are readily available to our staff, we are happy to email or mail them to you at minimal or no charge.

If the old bankruptcy documents pre-date the electronic filing era or if we do not have ready access to them, we will refer you to the National Archive for Bankruptcy Paperwork.   Here is a link to the National Archive page that relates to Tennessee bankruptcy case filings.

As you will see, the National Archive can produce bankruptcy paperwork for cases less than 25 years old.  The government will charge you $70 for a copy of the entire case, or $25 if you need a selected document such as a Discharge Order.

We advise all of our clients to keep copies of all bankruptcy paperwork – since these documents are produced by our firm and by the court in Adobe pdf format, they are easily stored on your hard drive or on a CD.   We encourage you to make a backup copy as well.  There is a strong likelihood that you will need your discharge order in the months to come if you want to open a checking account, or if you decided to apply for a mortgage or car loan.