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Missouri Attorneys Answer Your Legal Questions

Question:
I have been in a chapter 13 bankruptcy case which I concluded sucessfully 3 months ago. I got my discharge. Now I can't keep up with payments on my house and would like to surrender it. Is that still possible? I haven't reaffirmed the loan with my mortgage company during the chapter 13 case.
Answer:
We don't really use the term "reaffirmation agreement" in a chapter 13. Reaffirmation agreement is something you see only in a chapter 7, but not chapter 13.
If you cured a default during your chapter 13 case that means you were late with your mortgage payments before filing the chapter 13 case and you caught up these payments in your plan payment. Therefore you cannot "surrender", as you called it. You cannot walk away; you still owe the mortgage company. 
We use the term surrender if you surrender the house in you bankruptcy pla, but that was not the case in your chapter 13 plan. 
Section 1328(a)(1) of the Bankruptcy code deals with your situation, stating there is an exeption to discharge if the debt is "provided for under section 1322(b)(5)."  This paragraph deals with the curing of any default on a secured debt, such as catching up with your mortgage payments.
If you did not cure a default, the debt should be discharged and you can walk away from the house.

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