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Renting or buying a home after bankruptcy

A Chapter 13 bankruptcy is one in which a person works out a payment plan to repay creditors over three or five years. Some Ohio filers may be concerned about their ability to rent or buy a home after the bankruptcy. While this becomes more difficult after they declared bankruptcy, there are steps that can be taken to increase the likelihood that a landlord or lender will work with them.

The bankruptcy will come up in the credit history check, so it is best to be up front about it. The debtor could begin by writing a letter to the landlord explaining the situation. Many people file for bankruptcy each year, so it is not a particularly unusual situation to be in. Debtors might also want to explain the circumstances of the bankruptcy. For example, they might have declared bankruptcy due to medical bills and not because of irresponsible spending. They can also include letters of recommendation from other landlords, employers or people in the community. Photos of their current home in good condition may also help as may photos of children.

A year after filing, it may be possible to get a mortgage through the Federal Housing Administration. The person must be current on payments and have permission from the bankruptcy court.

If a person already owns a home, filing for Chapter 13 bankruptcy may stop a foreclosure. With Chapter 13 repayment plans, people may be able to keep their homes as well as their other assets. A bankruptcy filing also puts at least a temporary stop to any other actions against debtors, such as lawsuits, and ends creditor harassment.

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