Tips for Buying a House After Bankruptcy

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As people consider bankruptcy, they often wonder about life after filing. Bankruptcy affects your credit score for a certain length of time, depending on your case. With that in mind you may not have the same buying power right after a bankruptcy as you might like. But at the same time, bankruptcy means you’ve dealt with your debt and should be better able to spend wisely from here on out.

As a bankruptcy lawyer Memphis TN has come to for over 30 years, I’ve heard a lot of concerns about moving on after filing. One of the biggest: can you buy a house after a bankruptcy?

Getting a Loan After Bankruptcy

One of the first things to consider will be the loan. If you want to get your loan through the government, like with Fannie May or Freddy Mac, it may take some time. You’ll likely have to wait a few years, although if and when the economy changes, the wait changes as well. For example, after the 2008 recession, government loan organizations were much more generous, even with people who had recently filed bankruptcy.

But private lenders are different. Some might ask for you to wait a year or so, and some might not. You just have to go in and work with the bank and see what they say. Certain banks are more willing to be flexible than others, so you may have to do some searching.

Non-Qualifying Assumable Loans

Non-qualifying assumable loans allow you to take over a loan from a seller without having to prove a certain credit. You don’t have to qualify or jump through a lot of hoops. To get started on a loan like this, you can check your Sunday newspaper’s real estate listings.

These loans often require more money for the down payment. They ask for that because you haven’t had to prove yourself through the loan application process. But after a bankruptcy, you should be free of debt. That makes you better able to save up for the right priorities.

Buying After a Chapter 13

It takes longer for a Chapter 13 to go through than it does a Chapter 7. While you’re in that Chapter 13, you really aren’t supposed to incur a lot of new debt. That includes a new mortgage.

That said, sometimes life throws you a curve ball and you need to move. If you find yourself in need of a new home while you’re still in the middle of a Chapter 13, talk with your bankruptcy attorney. They may be able to go in and ask for special court permission to make it possible.


Darrel Castle and Associates lawThanks to our friends and contributors from Darrell Castle & Associates, PLLC for their insight into bankruptcy.