Can I Buy a House After a Bankruptcy?

Updated: Oct 1, 2020

There was once a time when bankruptcy had a more negative effect on things like buying a house. Things have drastically improved in that arena. When you file bankruptcy with an attorney, you can utilize their knowledge of life after bankruptcy to better prepare to get your life back up and running quickly.





Step 1: Review Your Credit

You can pull your credit and go over all the details. It isn't necessary to fix every single thing, but there are some key factors to be sure you review.


-Check all personal information

-Review your bankruptcy discharge information

-Check all creditors listed in the bankruptcy

-Make sure there are no duplicate notices

-Check all of your account information listed on the reports including account numbers


If you find discrepancies, you must send certified letters with your discharge papers to your creditor. Then recheck your credit. We offer a program to our clients a credit rebuilding program that offers letters and forms to send regarding these issues. You can book a consult and find out all the information on this program.


Step 2: Reestablish Credit

This does not mean getting back into debt. It means establishing a good repayment history using revolving credit and installment loans. You want creditors to see that you are reliable and will pay them back. But at the same time, you don't want to make interest payments so it is crucial to pay off your entire balance each month.


It is most crucial to make sure you apply for credit cards that report to all three credit reporting bureaus. You want them all to know you have it under control and will make payments promptly.


Step 3: Knowing the Guidelines


Establishing credit after bankruptcy takes some time and diligence. But it is possible. To get to a point where you can buy a house again, there are a few guidelines to follow.


The first thing to consider is the type of loan.


FHA

  • There is a two-year waiting period after filing for bankruptcy.

  • FHA mortgage loans require both taxes and insurance to be escrowed.

  • You are required to have a mortgage insurance premium (MIP).

  • You must have a sustained history of approximately 2 years of employment.

  • The home must be your primary residence.

  • You must occupy the home within 60 days of closing and live in the home for the first 12 months.

VA

  • There is a two-year waiting period after filing for bankruptcy.

  • You must meet the eligibility criteria as a veteran.

  • Zero down payment.

  • There is no PMI required for a VA loan.

  • You must meet the minimum income requirements.

  • You need to pay the VA funding fee which you are permitted to borrow.

USDA

  • There is a three year waiting period after filing for bankruptcy.

  • US citizenship is required or be an eligible non-citizen.

  • You must meet the age requirements to borrow.

  • You must occupy the home as your primary residence.

  • You must not currently have safe and sanitary housing.

  • Must not have the ability to currently obtain a conventional loan from other sources and lenders.

  • May not be barred from participating in any federal loan programs.

  • Must meet the income limits set by the program.


Mortgage Less than 2 Years After Bankruptcy

To get a mortgage less than 2 years after filing, you will need 20% down. Your credit score should be somewhere between 500-600. It is possible to qualify while self-employed. The downside is the interest rates might be higher and not a lot of lenders offer this project.


Mortgages More Than 2 Years After Bankruptcy


Chapter 7


Though some mortgage companies require 2 years before you can get a mortgage and some will help as soon as the day after. If you plan to get a mortgage, you should begin working on rebuilding credit right away. Creditors will want to know you are reliable and good, positive credit is the best way to show them and if you can show them, they will be more likely to work with you.


Chapter 13


Chapter 13 is a little different. After you file a chapter 13, you are on a payment plan. You will find lenders who will work with you, but you must be able to stay within your plan. There are non-prime lenders, or lenders that specialize in borrowers with low credit or are high-risk, who will assist you. There is also a possibility for an FHA loan with less than 2 years.




Rent to Own

There are good rent to own programs out there.

  • The program lets you select a home in a good neighborhood of your choice.

  • The home is purchased and rented back to you.

  • You have the option to buy the home at a set price in each of the next five years.

  • When the time comes, you get a regular loan and buy the home.



It is Possible

It is possible to get a mortgage after filing bankruptcy. Some lenders will work with you before 2 years are up but if you can wait 2 years, you may have a better chance and get a better rate. Be sure to get started on working on your credit so creditors will want to work with you. Some attorneys will work with you after bankruptcy. We offer a credit rebuilding program to our clients that teach them how to get back on their feet.


Get a free case evaluation to get started! You can read more about us here.


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