Forum Rules (Everyone Must Read!!!) (updated: 04/28/2015)

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buying a house after CH 7- how quickly can I do this?

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  • buying a house after CH 7- how quickly can I do this?

    Hello all.

    Some of you may recall my previous posts, where I was down, depressed and frankly defeated. Well, I've pulled myself up and am resolved to get through this.

    I can't buy another house right now, I know that, but how soon can I get one? What factors will help me?

    Chapter 7 discharge April, 2017. I have one credit card, and I'm keeping it at no more than 15-20%, paying it off almost completely, only allowing a small portion to remain post bill cut. paying it off before any interest is charged. I got a car loan, paying it religiously. I still have the student loan, also paying that religiously. I will miss NO payments. I work a full time job plus a side gig.

    lets say hypothetically, in a year, the following happens:

    I receive some cash. Between the windfall of cash, and equity after selling the house, I pay off all my debts, leaving me with 30-35K.

    I can put all that down on a house, which costs $200,000. 12-15 percent down. Will that be enough down for a bank to give me a loan in a year? even with the Bankruptcy? What lenders would be best to reach out to in a year? if a parent co-signs will that help? even if they aren't occuying it with me? I really want to buy a house vs an apartment. a 2 bedroom apt is 1900 a month. and its tiny.

  • #2
    Hi SeekingZero! I am glad you have found your way to a more positive attitude. You hit a low point and have nowhere to go but up! But, you will need to be patient and not let it get you down if you find you cannot do things as soon as you might like.

    You can qualify for an FHA loan 2 years after Chap 7 discharge. The wait time for a conventional mortgage is 4 years, but Fannie Mae allows qualification after 2 years if your BK was filed due to extenuating circumstances, meaning you must have had a one-time event occur beyond your control that resulted in a sudden and prolonged reduction in income. FHA used to have a program that reduced the period to 1 year for extenuating circumstances, but the program expired last year and as far as I can tell was not renewed. I don't know if a cosignor will help shorten these periods.

    You can get a mortgage with even less down than you plan, but you will get better terms and have more options if you can pay 20% down.

    You are on the right track towards rebuilding your credit. You are best to keep credit card utilization below 10%. I hate to say it, but you should probably get another credit card or two. More trade lines are good for your credit score. But, it may make sense to wait until a year after discharge to get more cards so you can get better terms.

    Pull your credit reports and make sure everything is correct. When you are closer to applying for mortgages, go to and pay for your scores. One of their packages gives you the scores that most mortgage lenders, which is not the FICO 8 score that many credit card companies provide to account holders. My FICO 8 scores are higher than the Fico scores used for mortgages. Based on my research, you can qualify for a mortgage with a score as low as 550. But, the score to shoot for for best rates if 740. For now, I suggest monitoring your credit using free scores. They won't be an accurate indication of what mortgage lenders will use, but it will allow you to get an idea of how much your scores improve over time.

    I hope that helps.
    LadyInTheRed is in the black!
    Filed Chap 13 April 2010. Discharged May 2015.
    $143,000 in debt discharged for $36,500, including attorneys fees. Money well spent!


    • #3
      Thanks. It sounds like my circumstances are not "extenuating" my wife just up and moved out, that happens all the time right? poor saps get left. it just happened to coincide with a 5x increase in child support. I'm not going to do anything for a solid year, next spring I'll reassess, and if I can I'll rent out the entire house, and then I'll rent for a few years, build equity in that house, and wait out the clock until I can buy a house again. Right? that will work. eventually I'll find someone to rent me a place, maybe I have to give them a larger deposit or something. my hope and dream is to get closer to my kids, even if that means renting a shoebox apartment.


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