When you file Chapter 7 bankruptcy you will have to think about what you want to do with any property that is securing a loan. One common example is a car loan. In the typical case, your car loan is secured by your car. If you default on the loan, the secured loan allows the lender to repossess the car. In a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, you must include a statement of intention regarding your secured debts which states what you are going to do with any property that is securing any loan you have. The statement of intention must indicate whether you will be retaining or surrendering the property, redeeming the property, or reaffirming the debt.
You may find that after you file, you have changed your mind about what you want to do with your secured debt. For example, you might discover that even after you discharge your debts, you still cannot afford your monthly car payment. In that case you might consider surrendering the car and purchasing a less expensive one after your case is closed.
Rule 1009(b) states that, “the statement of intention may be amended by the debtor at any time before the expiration of the period provided in Section 521(a) of the Bankruptcy Code. The debtor shall give notice of the amendment to the trustee and to any entity affected thereby.” Section521(a) requires your attorney to file your statement of intention “within thirty days after the date of the filing of a petition under chapter 7 of this title or on or before the date of the meeting of creditors, whichever is earlier, or within such additional time as the court, for cause, within such period fixes.” Consequently, you may have a relatively short amount of time in which you can amend your statement of intention.