There is no legal waiting period, so theoretically you could buy a new home the day after the Chapter 7 is closed. However, every mortgage lender I have asked has said the same thing: 2 years. You could probably get one sooner than 2 years, but your interest rate might be terrible so it may be better to wait. Please note that nothing in this posting or in any other posting constitutes legal advice; this is simply my understanding of the facts and law, which I do not warrant, and I am not suggesting any course of action or inaction to any person. Speak to a lawyer for specific advice. If you have any questions, please refer to a lawyer in your jurisdiction. Thanks!
If you have just filed bankruptcy, you will not be barred from ever obtaining a mortgage loan; however, you will not be able to get one immediately. When you can get a mortgage after bankruptcy will depend upon the type of loan you want, the type of bankruptcy you filed, and how good your credit is at the time you want the loan.
Yes it is possible to qualify for a mortgage despite a Chapter 13 bankruptcy filing. In a Chapter 13 filing the debtor agrees to a court structured debt repayment schedule. Typically, after making payments on time to creditors as required by the bankruptcy agreement an individual can be discharged by the Court from the Chapter 13 proceeding. Once discharged from bankruptcy an individual can apply for a mortgage. Each bank has different rules about how soon someone can apply for a mortgage after a bankruptcy. Most people coming out of bankruptcy apply for an FHA mortgage loan since this program has the most lenient underwriting standards.
Getting a loan after bankruptcy can be difficult depending on what type of bankruptcy one files. A Chapter 13 bankruptcy, one cannot even apply for credit during the length of the bankruptcy. In a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, that is a different story. One can file Chapter 7 bankruptcy and as soon as it is discharged can apply for credit. The only problem with getting a loan after bankruptcy is that you may have to have a co-signer until you build up some positive credit.
A Chapter 13 bankruptcy puts the entire debt collection process on hold to give the filers time to work out a court-approved repayment plan for a portion of their debts. Thus, because the process is on hold, a loan modification can not be enacted while a mortgage is currently under the supervision of the Chapter 13 trustee. However, it is possible to negotiate a modification of a loan with the mortgage lender during the bankruptcy. But it will be necessary to have the bankruptcy case voluntarily dismissed before the modification can be finalized and put into effect. Banks may not be willing to negotiate with the borrowers under the circumstances of a Chapter 13, though.
When you co-sign on a loan or mortgage for someone, you are promising to make the loan payments if they can't. When someone files for bankruptcy, they are claiming that they cannot make their payments. It would stand to reason that if someone you co-signed on a mortgage for files for bankruptcy that you would then be liable for making the payments.
Chapter 7 bankruptcy is also known as total bankruptcy. It's a wipeout of many (or all) of your debts. Also, it might force you to sell, or liquidate, some of your property in order to pay back some of the debt. Chapter 7 is also called "straight" or "liquidation" bankruptcy. Basically, this is the one that straight-up forgives your debts (with some exceptions, of course).
Assuming this is a straight bankruptcy, the mortgagee would lose the money that is owed to it on the mortgage loan. A bankrupt person or corporation loses all of his/her/ its assets to the Trustee in Bankruptcy so that the Trustee can liquidate those assets and distribute the net proceeds to the creditors. The mortgage loan is an asset which is then sold to the highest bidder along with the mortgage lien. The mortgage holder will now make the mortgage payments to whoever purchased the mortgage loan from the bankrupt estate. The mortgagee is left with nothing.
Chapter 13 bankruptcy makes things a little complicated when it comes to obtaining another mortgage. You can apply for a loan with as few as 12 timely payments on a Chapter 13 plan, with the court's consent. Essentially, it is on a case by case basis and it is best to consult a trusted mortgage professional in your area with your specific scenario to determine your eligibility. I'm a loan officer, so I am very familiar with this topic.
Once the bankruptcy is dismissed or discharged it is quite acceptable to file for a new loan. In fact once your chapter 7 or chapter 11/13 is discharged, lending institutions will be lining up to loan you money. The potential of getting a loan approved if your bankruptcy is dismissed is extremely remote however. Considering the reasons for filing bankruptcy might be a good pre-loan application exercise though.
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