Even if a debt can be discharged, you may have a particular reason why you want to promise to pay it. For example, you may want to negotiate a plan with the bank to keep your vehicle. To promise to pay that debt, you must sign and file a reaffirmation agreement with the court. Reaffirmation agreements are under special rules and are voluntary. They are not required by bankruptcy law or by any other law. Reaffirmation agreements:
- Must be voluntary
- Must not place too heavy a burden on you or your family
- Must be in your best interest and can be canceled at any time before the court issues your discharge or within 60 days after the agreement is filed with the court, whichever gives you the most time
If you are an individual and you are not represented by an attorney, the court must hold a hearing to decide whether to approve the reaffirmation agreement. The agreement will not be legally binding until approved by the court. If you reaffirm a debt and then fail to pay it, you owe the debt the same as though there was no bankruptcy. The debt will not be discharged and the creditor can take action to recover any property on which it has a lien or mortgage. The creditor can also take legal action to recover a judgment against you.