How Soon Can I Buy a House After Bankruptcy or Foreclosure?
Bouncing back from bankruptcy or foreclosure takes time. It is possible, but long before you begin shopping for a home you have to work hard to boost your credit profile and get a good handle on your mortgage options.
It does go without saying that bankruptcy and foreclosure can take a serious toll on your credit scores.
The most common forms of bankruptcy are Chapter 7 and Chapter 13. The type you experience will play a role in how soon you can be eligible to purchase a home as will the type of loan you are trying to obtain.
Most creditors will say the average waiting period is two years, but it’s really hard to give a blanket statement time frame because different mortgage programs have different waiting periods following a bankruptcy or foreclosure.
During the waiting period, you’ll likely need to spend much of that time re-establishing your financial picture. During that re-establishing phase, consumers can track their progress by pulling their credit reports and credit scores regularly.
CONVENTIONAL WAITING PERIOD
Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, known as Conventional loans use the same timelines and dates when determining eligibility for home financing again.
Bankruptcy – You are eligible for conventional financing in four years from the discharge of a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy, two years from the discharge of a Chapter 13 bankruptcy.
Foreclosure – A foreclosure that occurs on a mortgage that was included, and discharged in a bankruptcy will use the Bankruptcy discharge date for the eligibility timeline.
If the foreclosure occurs outside of the bankruptcy (prior to filing the bankruptcy), or if the mortgage was not included in a bankruptcy, the waiting period is 7 years from the date that title transfers or is recorded.
FHA WAITING PERIOD
FHA insured loans typically have shorter waiting periods than Conventional in most cases and only requires 3 years for a foreclosure.
Bankruptcy – You are eligible for a FHA insured home loan two years from the discharge of a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy, one year from the discharge of a Chapter 13 bankruptcy.
VA WAITING PERIOD
VA guaranteed loans tend to be the most flexible and most aggressive in terms of waiting periods. VA qualifying guidelines tend to try to always fall on the side of benefiting the Veteran.
Bankruptcy – You are eligible for a VA guaranteed home loan two years from the discharge of a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy, and as early as one year from the filing of a Chapter 13 bankruptcy with 12 months of on-time payments and permission from the Bankruptcy court.
Things can get pretty murky when dealing with bankruptcy and foreclosure and believe it or not, 99% of all bad advice comes from inexperienced loan officers quoting inaccurate guidelines.