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

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How long do I have to wait to buy a house after filing bankruptcy?

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  • How long do I have to wait to buy a house after filing bankruptcy?

    How long do I have to wait to buy a house after filing bankruptcy?

    by Heatherd on May 31, 2012

    Over the course of my career as a bankruptcy attorney, I have learned that most of my clients think they will have to wait until the bankruptcy drops off their credit report (10 years) before they will be able to buy a home. Nothing could be further from the truth.

    The length of time you will have to wait to purchase a home will vary with economic conditions. A couple of years ago lenders were not writing mortgage loans, even for those with good credit. Lending has started to ease, but the tide could turn at any time. In short, there is no hard and fast rule concerning the length of time between bankruptcy and qualifying for a mortgage. The economic environment plays a huge factor in whether and when you will be able to buy a home.

    In addition to the economic conditions, lenders generally rely on three factors to determine whether you qualify for a mortgage: (1) your FICO score; (2) your income; (3) and your ability to come up with a down payment.

    YOUR FICO SCORE: Filing bankruptcy will probably improve your FICO score after a year or two. Most of my clients have poor credit scores by the time they decide to file bankruptcy. Their poor FICO scores are generally a result of late payments or high ratio of debts to equity. Your FICO score may drop immediately after you file bankruptcy, but it should bounce back and even improve within a year or two. Just make sure you don’t incur debts you will not be able to pay.

    YOUR INCOME: The degree to which your income will factor into your ability to obtain a mortgage depends upon your current earnings and the length of time that your earnings have been at the current level. A lender is more inclined to give you a loan if you have been working at the same job for a while on a steady income. The lender will also consider the relationship of your income to the payments you will have to make on the house you are considering purchasing. As a general rule, you would not be able to get a loan if more than 30% of your income was going to go to the house payment.

    YOUR DOWN PAYMENT: The amount you can put down towards the purchase of the house makes a big difference. The higher the percentage of down payment, the more protection for the bank.

    To sum up, if you want to buy a house after filing bankruptcy, you can. You may need to wait a year or two until your income and expenses stabilize and until you are able to come up with a down payment, but that is probably a good thing. You certainly do not want to buy more house than you can afford and jeopardize your “fresh start.”

    i liked this so much i thought i would post it. now, personally, i agree with what is written here, although, i understand many do not. is it 3 years from you BK or your foreclosure...what if your mortgage is IIB and they never or didn't foreclose for 5 years after the BK...i have seen it's 2 years AFTER a mortgage was IIB in a BK. i agree with the fact that money lending is economically driven. the banks have a TON of our monies they are sitting on from the bail outs. they are holding tight least until after the election (just my personal thoughts certainly not based on any other factual information). we shall see, when the banks are ready we will see the money flow, until then it's going to be a tough go.
    8/4/2008 MAKE SURE AND VISIT Tobee's Blogs! and all are welcome to bk forum's Florida State Questions and Answers on BK

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