If we surrendered out home in a bankruptcy, what are out responsibilities upon vacating?

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If we surrendered out home in a bankruptcy, what are out responsibilities upon vacating?

House was not reaffirmed during out Chapter 7 (which was discharged 06/10). We surrendered it. Our lender filed electronic foreclosure papers in 08/10. Set court hearing dates 3 different times and cancelled all. No new date has been scheduled since 12/15/10. We found a rental that we are going to take due to needing our son to have a stable home and not have to move during the school year. Will we be responsible for anything at the home surrendered in our bankruptcy when we move? All utlities will be paid in full and turned off with a letter of same being sent to our lender.

Asked on February 7, 2011 under Bankruptcy Law, Wisconsin

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

So you surrendered the house but the formality of the foreclosure has not yet been completed?  There are pitfalls in surrendering your house in a bankruptcy proceeding.  The plus is obviously the discharge of the debt and the deficiency.  But, you are still liable for the upkeep and maintenance of the property until the foreclosure is done and filed in the land records.  This means that property taxes, and any yard work that the city has to do to maintain the property is on you.  This is why many attorneys advise their clients to stay in their house until foreclosure is completed but be ready to move on a moment's notice.  I would speak with the lender and our attorney in bankruptcy here as to the actual status and your intent to vacate.  You do not want to be stuck with more debt.  Good luck.


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