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Keep getting turned down for rentals

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  • Keep getting turned down for rentals


    Ok now that I have screamed that loud enough, here is my dilemma! My wife and I filed CH7 8/9/16. We had our 341 meeting 9/6/16 and everything went smoothly. We (wife and 3 kids) currently live my mother in law who is bi-polar and off her meds and has given us 30 days to get out of her house and has put up the house for sale and is moving out of state.

    We can not find anyone who will rent to us, I explain entire situation upfront, explain entire credit situation and some say oh yeah we can help just apply, we pay 60 each to apply and then get rejected because score is too low or the bankruptcy.

    My mom has offered to go on lease with us and even with her on it we still get rejected cause of our credit.

    Can anyone help me? I can't have my family homeless.

  • #2
    Without knowing what exactly is on your credit report that is causing concern for landlords, here are some quick tips I would recommend:
    - For those places you have already applied. Ask what exactly the concern is. If you're not sure and/or haven't been provided a copy of the reports that were pulled, get a copy from whoever ran it. Or check your credit/criminal/eviction reports yourself. I've used USAA's MySmartMove when screening tenants in the past. It cost $12 per adult and included eviction, credit and criminal records search. I believe it's more without the USAA discount.
    - If you're not already, consider working with a real estate agent. It may be better than working directly with owners. Your agent can explain to the landlord's agent and filter out properties that will be a flat out denial.
    - Whether working with landlords or agents, going in with a copy of your credit reports, positive reference(s), and a letter of explanation can go a long way. You'll be setting the stage for what they'll see in your credit report versus a landlord expecting an 800 credit score then being shocked to see a 500 credit score.
    - Consider applying at larger apartment complexes (no agent needed). In Orange County, California, for example, I'd check with Irvine Company. I hear it's easy to get approved with them, even with bad credit. They are used to trying to make deals work, and may ask for a larger deposit.
    - Offer a larger deposit/last month's rent/etc. if this is possible for you. Even if it's not possible, perhaps it can be paid over 3-months. Do this especially if you have an unpaid judgement owed to a former landlord.

    Aside from all that, I wouldn't share the level of detail with landlords you just shared. Simply stating that your mother in-law is selling her home and you are looking to move into a new home makes me more calm as a property manager. Hearing that your family gave you a deadline to move out makes me wonder if there are other circumstances to be concerned about and will only spark additional questions that will likely not work to your favor.

    I understand it's stressful, but it'd doable. Good luck!


    • #3
      They are saying it is because I have a CH7 and my credit score is currently in the 480's is the only reason I'm getting.( no evictions, no criminal records, just cc debt, medical collections, vol surrender of car.) I understand about the level of detail offered nothing we did, its all due to her being mentaly unstable and not wanting to get help, She was threatening to kill herself, so we had her taken in for a mental eval and she did not like that so she gave us notice to leave, even though we helped pay her down payment, pay half of the mortgage every month and half of all the other bills and take care of the house... But that's a drama filled story for another time. I need to get a roof over my kids heads.

      I have been working with a realtor- She seems to be no help, her real estate agency even has a property management section, after talking to guy in that section, explaining brand new ch7 not yet discharged, 480 credit score, he says we can work something out and to apply ( same song and dance i get with others) then we pay application fees, one aprartment complex was $300 and then we get told not you just don't meet our credit standards bankruptcy is too new, score is too low.

      I have tried big companies same deal, I'm on east coast, Charleston SC

      I even offered 6 months up front to one and they said no, only way they would do it is if I paid full lease amount up front.

      Keep getting dog and pony show of " Well due to Fair Housing act what we do for one we have to do for the other" so we have to follow strict credit guidelines.
      Last edited by JDAVIS79; 09-08-2016, 04:01 AM.


      • #4
        I was a landlord for many years, and a property manager for many years before that.
        what I can say is that a credit score that low is an automatic reject.
        Bringing a copy of your credit report is useless, no landlord is going to pay any attention to a report brought by a prospect...such things are easy to photoshop.

        With a credit score that low, you will have to lower you standards. In the cheaper parts of town, landlords are more likely to accept low credit scores....mostly because they have places that no one else will rent and they know it.

        Most landlords will will want to see a credit score at 670 and above for a decent place. Some can be convinced that as low as 630 can be worked with. 480 is going to be a show stopper.

        talk to your local church, see if they can help find a place. Also, seek help from the Salvation Army. They also have some programs to help families unable to rent.


        • #5
          Bringing a copy of your credit report is useless, no landlord is going to pay any attention to a report brought by a prospect...such things are easy to photoshop.
          I agree that you won't be able to rent out a place solely with a copy of your own credit report. The suggestion here was to provide the credit report, letter, references in advance to an agent who can pass on to the owner's agent, perhaps even prior to viewing a house. It will save everyone time to get a "no" answer vs. looking at a place, applying, paying a potentially hefty amount, then being declined. Even if you go this route, you should still expect to have an owner pay application fees if they "pre-approve" you.

          Does the mother-in-law have decent credit? Will she (or another friend/family member) be willing to co-sign with you? If she realizes this is the only way you'll be able to move out, that may be another channel to explore. Just a thought.


          • #6
            Letters, etc. do not mean anything. All of it can be created from thin air on a computer.

            filling out the application, a landlord is going to verify all of it themselves. They will check the identity of any references listed on the application and then verify the address and phone number. If any part of that doesn't check out...the application is rejected. If everything else checks out (credit report from the reporting agencies) only then would a landlord start a background check. Then calling references.

            no landlord is going to put any credence on credit report, letters, references that are provided by the prospect. The landlord will take an application and begin to verify each part of it themselves. BUT, the credit check is first..and it is a show stopper.

            having been a property manager for a long time, I will tell you I heard every story. The facts speak. The first fact is that credit score.

            Most landlords are not going to accept a co-signer. But, it does happen sometimes. The co-signer will have to have an income high enough to afford the rent completely...on top of all their other obligations. Also, co-signer will need a very good credit score. High enough to convince the landlord that this person cares a lot about their credit, and a job that has a fair amount of longevity...ensuring that the co-signer is not going to change jobs to avoid a judgement if it comes to that. And, finally..the co-signer needs to live close enough to be reachable if an eviction happens.

            let us be honest. A 480 credit score happens to a person who never pays their bills. Just one or two, or even three judgements would still land a person in the 500 range. The landlord knows that they are not going to pay their rent.

            I think his best bet is to seek help with a charity. And, check out the properties in the part of town where the landlords do not care.


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