Law Office of Gail L. Hills

What Is Reaffirmation?

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Although you filed bankruptcy to cancel your debts, you have the option to sign a written agreement to “reaffirm” a debt.  If you choose to reaffirm, you agree to be legally obligated to pay the debt despite bankruptcy.  If you reaffirm, the debt is not canceled by bankruptcy.  If you fall behind on a reaffirmed debt, you can get collection calls, be sued, and possibly have your pay attached or other property taken.

Reaffirming a debt is a serious matter.  You should never agree to a reaffirmation without a very good reason.

Do I Have to Reaffirm Any Debts?

No.  Reaffirmation is always optional.  It is not required by bankruptcy law or any other law.  If a creditor tries to pressure you to reaffirm, remember you can always say no.

Can I Change My Mind After I Reaffirm a Debt?

Yes.  You can cancel any reaffirmation agreement for sixty days after it is filed with the court.  You can also cancel at any time before your discharge order.  To cancel a reaffirmation agreement, you must notify the creditor in writing.  You do not have to give a reason.  Once you have canceled, the creditor must return any payments you made on the agreement.

Also, remember that a reaffirmation agreement has to be in writing, has to be signed by your lawyer or approved by the judge, and has to be made before your bankruptcy is over.  Any other reaffirmation agreement is not valid.

Do I Have to Reaffirm on the Same Terms?

No.  A reaffirmation is a new contract between you and the lender.  You should try to get the creditor to agree to better terms such as a lower monthly payment or interest rate.  You can also try to negotiate a reduction in the amount you owe.  The lender may refuse but it is always worth a try.  The lender must give you disclosures on the reaffirmation agreement about the original credit terms, and any new terms you and the lender agree on must also be listed.