Do I Have to Reaffirm my Mortgage to Keep my House in Chapter 7?

One of the most popular questions my clients have about filing Chapter 7 in Atlanta, Georgia is “Can I keep my house in Chapter 7?” when they file bankruptcy. Normally, people who file Chapter 7 bankruptcy are able to keep their home so long as they are current on mortgage payments and there is no equity in the home.

Many Chapter 7 debtors ask if they have to sign a reaffirmation agreement in order to keep their home. A reaffirmation agreement is a legal document binds a debtor to repay secured debt. What that means is where all debt, including secured debt, is wiped out in bankruptcy, a signing of a reaffirmation agreement puts the debtor back on the hook for the full amount of the debt. And, if the debtor signs the agreement, s/he is liable on the debt and can be sued personally on the debt if s/he defaults.

Can I Keep My House in a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy?

I usually advise my clients AGAINST signing these reaffirmation agreements when it comes to mortgage reaffirmation agreements, especially where their houses are under water. That is because a debtor’s personal obligation on a mortgage note will be wiped out in bankruptcy, absent the signing of the agreement. If the debtor signs the agreement, the bank can sue the debtor personally upon failure to pay and then garnish wages and bank accounts to collect the money. On the other hand, if a debtor does NOT sign the agreement, the bank will still have what is called a “security deed” attached to the property. That will allow the bank to foreclose if the debtor falls behind on the payments even after bankruptcy but does not allow the bank to sue the debtor personally. Normally, as long as a debtor is making timely monthly mortgage payments and is not in default, the bank will not foreclose on the home, even absent the signing of a reaffirmation agreement.

Where a debtor is in debt and needs to file Chapter 7, it does not make practical sense to reaffirm a mortgage liability in the hundreds of thousands of dollars, especially when it is unlikely that the mortgage lender will foreclose if it is receiving payments. Then, if a debtor faces financial difficulty again, s/he can just walk away from the house and allow the bank to foreclose without having to worry about personal liability.

If you live in Atlanta and are thinking about filing Chapter 7 and have questions such as “Can I keep my house in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy?” or other concerns about keeping your home in bankruptcy, call the Law Offices of Charles Clapp at 404.585.0040 for more information.


Charles is absolutely a brilliant attorney! He is a critical thinker and determined problem solver. He is very accessible, even via text. If he is in court, his ability to multi-task, you can feel safe and secure in knowing he is handling any issues or concerns. I entrust him with my future, he is a uniquely talented attorney who always challenges himself to achieve the absolute best outcome for his clients.



I was very satisfied with Mr. Clapp services. He is a man of his word and did everything he told me he would. I would highly recommend him.



I came to Mr. Clapp by referral with a complicated case involving both personal and business debts that were out of control. Mr. Clapp evaluated the situation and gave me options that I was not even aware of. He knows his stuff, executed flawlessly, and I have been able to start over. I highly recommend Charles Clapp if you have debt or bankruptcy issues. Listen to his advice, he knows his stuff. I consulted with several other bankruptcy attorneys prior to retaining Mr. Clapp, and they did not have the same breadth of knowledge that Mr. Clapp brought to my case.



I selected Charles Clapp to handle my bankruptcy based on his already positive reviews and I am glad that I did! He was very accommodating to my schedule and made my negative life experience positive. I was actually very surprised how easy he made the process. Life happens and it’s great to be represented by someone that understand that!!! Stop your attorney search with Charles Clapp!!!