How Long After BK Can I Buy A House (And Why)?

Exact Answer: 12 months to 2 years

An individual may file for bankruptcy when he or she is unable to repay the creditors. When a person or organization is under the overwhelming pressure of repaying debt obligations to a number of different creditors, he or she may have to opt for the legal process of bankruptcy to discard some of this outstanding debt amount.

However, buying a house after a bankruptcy claim has been filed by the individual in question can be difficult. The credit score of the person suffers quite significantly. Thus, investing in a home after the bankruptcy proceeding is over can be arduous and may have to be delayed for a while.

How Long After BK Can I Buy A House?

Usually, an individual filing for bankruptcy must wait for some time before he or she can apply for a home loan. The definitive length of the waiting period will be contingent on the kind of bankruptcy claim filed, the credit score of the individual, the statutes of a particular loan agency, etc.  

The window of mortgage application after bankruptcy generally extends from 12 months to 2 years. If the person in question applies for a home loan at the FHA, then he or she must wait for at least 2 years after the discharge of a Chapter 7 bankruptcy charge.

In certain special cases, this period can be reduced to 12 months. For instance, when the applicant is able to show the FHA that the bankruptcy was due to circumstances outside his or her control, like the death of a spouse.

Under a Chapter 13 bankruptcy charge, one can secure home loans as soon as 12 months from the FHA. However, there is a caveat to this clause. The person must be able to demonstrate that he or she can afford to make the payments of the newly secured debt. One can apply for VA mortgage loans after 2 years of a Chapter 7 bankruptcy charge.

When buying a home with conventional loans after bankruptcy- i.e. loans from banks and loan agencies without government backing- the waiting periods are different. For a Chapter 7 charge, one needs to wait for 24 to 48 months. For a Chapter 13 charge, the period is equally varied. It is 24 months if the case is discharged and 48 months if the case is dismissed by the court.  

In Summary:

Circumstances of Securing the Loan  Time Period of Waiting
FHA loan (Chapter 7)2 years
FHA Loan (Chapter 13)12 months
VA Mortgage Loan2 years
Conventional Loans (Chapter 7, Out of Control Causes)24 months
Conventional Loans (Chapter 7, Financial Mismanagement)48 months
Conventional Loans (Chapter 13, Case Dismissed)48 months
Conventional Loans (Chapter 13, Case Discharged)24 months

Why Do You Have To Wait This Long After BK To Buy A House?

The financial standing of an individual is conspicuously lowered after he or she files a bankruptcy claim. The credit score of the individual is severely affected when he or she files for bankruptcy. Moreover, it is important to cognize that a bankruptcy claim remains a part of your financial history for 7 years.

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After a bankruptcy claim is filed, the person in question becomes more of a credit liability. Such an individual has to work hard to rebuild a strong credit reputation in order to secure a home loan. Convincing the investors that the individual is a good financial bet takes time. After bankruptcy, the person must work to vanquish this image of a credit liability.

The time period between the case been discharged and applying for a home loan is quite varied because of the norms of each institution that provides the loan to the individual. The FHA is a government department, but it secures loans from private lenders for individuals with less than perfect credit scores. However, the person must fulfill the requirements of these lenders.  

On the other hand, conventional loan sources have a shorter period of waiting for those who can prove that the bankruptcy claim was filed due to reasons beyond their control. It was not due to financial mismanagement on the part of the individual. Proving this would boost the confidence of the investors.

Moreover, Chapter 7 charges have a longer waiting period because courts usually wipe out the debt history of the individual in question. Thus, their credit score takes a major hit. Chapter 13 involves a reorganization of the person’s outstanding debt, making the waiting time is shorter.

Conclusion

Buying a home is a formidable investment. Most people rely on mortgages to at least partially finance their dream homes. After a bankruptcy claim is filed, this process of securing mortgages for your home may become even more complex and lengthy.

Most financial resource centers like banks and private loan agencies grant mortgages to prior defaulters after a period of 12 months to 4 years. For a Chapter 7 bankruptcy claim, the individual must wait 4 years after the claim has been discharged by the court, while for a Chapter 13 bankruptcy claim, the person must wait for 2 years. When securing mortgages from government banks, this waiting period is considerably shorter.

References  

  1. https://heinonline.org/hol-cgi-bin/get_pdf.cgi?handle=hein.journals/wlr2009&section=23
  2. https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=1332213
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