If my spouse and I filed Chapter 7 and didn’t reaffirm our mortgage, when we walk away from our house does the mortgage company have to go though foreclosure procedures?

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If my spouse and I filed Chapter 7 and didn’t reaffirm our mortgage, when we walk away from our house does the mortgage company have to go though foreclosure procedures?

Our bankruptcy was discharged 4 ears ago. On the advice of our bankruptcy attorney, we did not sign the reaffirmation agreement with our mortgage company. Due to medical issues and now being disabled, and being upside down on the house, we have decided to walk away from the home. If the bank must go through the foreclosure process, how long can we expect to have before we are forced to leave the home?

Asked on November 24, 2014 under Bankruptcy Law, Florida

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

Yes, they would have to go through foreclosure to take the home; even if the grounds for foreclosure are clear and uncontested, the foreclosure process is necessary to transfer title. (And then, even after foreclosure, you'd have to be evicted to be actually removed from the home.) In your state, foreclosures have been taking over two years on average recently; that's not to say that it couldn't potentially occur faster, but given the process and the backlog of cases in your state, it is not likely to take less than two years once the lender initiates the process--and then you'll typically have another few weeks (or more) due to the need to evict.


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