ABI Commission on Consumer Bankruptcy – Statement of Intention: Deadlines and Consequences

By Henry E. Hildebrand, III and Sloan Hastings

Section 521(a)(7) requires a chapter 7 debtor to file a statement of intention for “debts secured by the property of the estate.” The debtor must choose to (1) reaffirm the debt, (2) surrender the collateral, or (3) redeem the collateral. Reaffirming the debt contractually binds the debtor to pay the debt even after a bankruptcy discharge. Section 524 imposes procedural guidelines before a reaffirmation agreement can become effective because reaffirmation excludes a debt from discharge and exposes the debtor to the loss of all protections that a discharge . . .

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