WHAT IS A REAFFIRMATION AGREEMENT?
A reaffirmation agreement is an agreement between a debtor and a creditor wherein the debtor is waiving their right to a discharge of the debt owed to the creditor.
A reaffirmation agreement essentially takes the debt out of the Bankruptcy. After your Bankruptcy is closed your personal liability as well as any lien remains intact, as if the Bankruptcy did not happen.
The effect of signing a reaffirmation agreement is that if the debtor later defaults on the loan to the creditor, it is as if the Bankruptcy never happened as to that debt and the creditor can collect from the debtor. Collection activity could include lawsuits, garnishments or bank levies.
A reaffirmation agreement must be approved by the Bankruptcy Court. This means that either the debtor or the creditor must file a motion to have it approved with the court, and both parties have to appear before the court and show that the reaffirmation is in the best interest of both parties.
The Court will likely deny the reaffirmation if it does not appear that the debtor can pay the creditor after all of their living expenses are paid each month.
SHOULD I SIGN A REAFFIRMATION AGREEMENT?
This is an extremely case specific question. You should certainly contact an attorney, or ask your Bankruptcy Attorney, whether or not you should sign a reaffirmation agreement with your creditor before signing any documents.
Part of the services of the Law Office of Susan Dodds is that we discuss with our clients their particular case, and review the facts of their particular situation to determine whether signing a reaffirmation agreement is in their best interest. Having an attorney help you with your bankruptcy case is invaluable. Bankruptcy is more than just a fill in the blanks do-it-yourself process. There are many pitfalls and speed-bumps that can arise.