After Bankruptcy Mortgage Second Information
Q: I owned a home in North Carolina that was filed in Bankruptcy in 1998. I retained the home. I placed the home on the market and got a potential buyer. I informed the agent selling the home there might be a second mortgage. I was up front with this information and requested a title search on the home. The agent failed to accomplish this and proceeded with a sale of the home. Later finding that I was correct in the fact of second mortgage. The house fell threw, as I could not settle the second mortgage in the time restraints presented. The agent had ordered several repairs on the home and other items. A company the agent hired turned over the bill to collection. These were things I did not authorize. I have asked the collection agent for proof. I get emails I sent however key emails I sent are missing. Though I get no signed contract for that matter the only contract they sent me was signed by the agent. I have tried going through the collection agency and they side with the company. The other company is friends with the agent. 1. What should my next step be? 2. How do I get this off my credit report? 3. Are emails a legal proof? 4. The collection agent is in NC I am in TX. Does this have bearing?
A: You can't rely on the title search not telling you there was another debt to be paid off, if you already knew that yourself. Paying off the second mortgage at the time of settlement (closing escrow) is _your_ problem, not the buyer's. The query only makes sense if the second mortgage pre-dated the bankruptcy. If the second mortgage was "under water" (unsecured) on the date of filing bankruptcy, it might have been stripped off. Attempting to collect it might have been a violation of the discharge, punishable by contempt in the bankruptcy court that originally granted the discharge. The inquirer ought to contact the lawyer (if any) who handled his bankruptcy. It may be that no action was taken in the bankruptcy to strip off the mortgage, which would raise the issue of (1) malpractice or (2) failure of the debtor to inform his lawyer of the facts. Or perhaps the inquirer filed bankruptcy pro se, in which case he might have had a fool for a client. .
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