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How Soon After Bankruptcy Can I Get A Mortgage?

Updated: May 7

How Soon After Bankruptcy Can I Get A Mortgage?

How soon after bankruptcy can I get a mortgage? This question is central to many who are embarking on the journey towards homeownership or looking to refinance, especially after navigating through challenging financial milestones like bankruptcy, overcoming such a significant financial setback can be daunting.

Securing a mortgage post-bankruptcy is indeed possible, and at Bennett Capital Partners, we have both the loan programs and the expertise to assist you. Whether it's Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy you're emerging from, or the type of loan you need, our team is well-equipped to guide you. We even offer specialized bankruptcy buyout loan programs for borrowers in Florida.

Through this article, we aim to offer you detailed insights into the mortgage options available after bankruptcy and strategies to improve your chances of approval.

Are you ready to turn the page and start a new chapter in your homeownership journey? Please reach out to us, click here to schedule a consultation with our experts at Bennett Capital Partners. Let's make your homeownership dreams a reality, together.

📞 Give Us A Call Today 1-800-457-9057

Key Takeaways

The waiting period to qualify for a mortgage after bankruptcy depends on the type of bankruptcy filed, with Chapter 7 requiring 1-4 years and Chapter 13 requiring 2-4 years.

✅ Different types of mortgages are available after bankruptcy, including conventional mortgages, FHA mortgages, USDA mortgages, and VA mortgages, Non-QM, mortgages, Private Mortgages and Hard Money Mortgages

✅ Non-QM (non-qualified) mortgages provide an alternative option for borrowers who don't meet traditional lending criteria after bankruptcy. These loans consider factors beyond credit scores and income.

✅ Steps to take in order to qualify for a mortgage after bankruptcy include rebuilding credit, evaluating financial situation, writing a letter of explanation, getting pre-approved, and responding to lender questions.

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How Soon After Bankruptcy Can I Get A Mortgage?

 The Waiting Period for Getting a Mortgage After Bankruptcy

After filing for bankruptcy, the waiting period to qualify for a mortgage can vary depending on the type of bankruptcy you filed. For Chapter 7 bankruptcy, the waiting period is typically 1-4 years, while Chapter 13 bankruptcy usually requires a waiting period of 2-4 years before you can qualify for a mortgage.

Chapter 7 bankruptcy: 1-4 years

After filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, many assume that their dream of owning a home is over. However, your journey towards homeownership doesn't end with bankruptcy. The key lies in understanding the waiting period and preparing properly during this time.

For Chapter 7 bankruptcy filers, you can qualify for different types of mortgage loans between one to four years after your bankruptcy discharge date.

Conventional loans typically require a minimum of four years after your discharge or dismissal date. There's hope yet if you're considering government-backed options like FHA, VA, or USDA loans - these have shorter waiting periods ranging from one to three years post-bankruptcy.

Remember, patience and diligent financial management are crucial within this timeframe to rebuild your creditworthiness and show lenders you're capable of managing loan payments again.

It’s about proving it was an unfortunate circumstance but you’re ready to make responsible decisions now.

Chapter 13 bankruptcy: 2-4 years

Chapter 13 bankruptcy generally involves a repayment plan that spans three to five years. After completing the terms, waiting periods for obtaining a mortgage vary based on the loan type.

For conventional mortgages, you might need to wait two to four years after discharge.

It's important that during this time period, we focus on rebuilding our credit and demonstrating financial stability. Timely payments on all existing obligations enhance your credit report and increase chances of mortgage approval when the waiting period concludes.

Proper financial management can make us eligible for better loan programs sooner than expected. FHA loans are considered more lenient with shorter waiting times post-bankruptcy and could be an option worth exploring.

Exploring Mortgage Options Post-Bankruptcy: A Comprehensive Guide

Types of Mortgages Available After Bankruptcy

After bankruptcy, there are several types of mortgages available for borrowers. These include conventional mortgages, FHA mortgages, USDA mortgages, and VA mortgages.

Conventional Mortgage

Conventional mortgages offer a promising path for borrowers after bankruptcy. After a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, there is typically a waiting period of four years before we can secure this type of loan.

However, if our situation involved a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, the wait time may be shortened. These loans aren't backed by the government which means less red tape and potentially more flexibility compared to Federal Housing Administration (FHA) loans.

To qualify for conventional financing, it's crucial that we rebuild our credit scores and demonstrate financial stability post-bankruptcy. Remembering its longer waiting period than government-backed options, conventional mortgage might be worth considering in the long run due to its potential benefits including lower interest rates and no mortgage insurance requirement once we've built up sufficient equity in our home.

FHA Mortgage

FHA mortgages are a viable option for borrowers who are looking to secure a mortgage after bankruptcy. Unlike conventional loans, FHA loans have shorter waiting periods and lower credit requirements.

For those who have filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, the waiting period is 2 years after discharge or dismissal. This provides an opportunity for individuals to rebuild their credit and establish financial stability before qualifying for an FHA loan.

Additionally, FHA loans offer approval with a credit score as low as 580 and a down payment of at least 10%. These lenient requirements make it easier for borrowers to access homeownership even after experiencing bankruptcy.

USDA Mortgage

USDA mortgages are a type of loan that is available for borrowers looking to qualify for a mortgage after bankruptcy. These loans require a minimum credit score of 640 and are specifically designed for homes in qualifying rural areas.

If you have filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, the waiting period to be eligible for a USDA loan is typically 2 to 3 years. It's important to note that as of July 6, 2020, Rocket Mortgage® no longer accepts USDA loan applications.

Government-backed loans, including USDA loans, have waiting periods ranging from 2 to 3 years after Chapter 7 bankruptcy.

VA Mortgage

To qualify for a VA mortgage after bankruptcy, you'll need to wait for a specific period of time. For Chapter 7 bankruptcy, the waiting period is two years after discharge or dismissal.

If you filed for Chapter 13 bankruptcy, you may be eligible for a VA loan after one to two years. To increase your chances of approval, consider writing an explanation letter about your bankruptcy and take steps to repair your credit.

With patience and proper documentation, it's possible to obtain a VA mortgage even after experiencing bankruptcy.

Non QM Mortgages

Non-Qualified Mortgages (Non-QM) are a type of loan that doesn't meet the standard requirements set by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. They are designed for borrowers who may not fit the typical profiles of traditional loan applicants.

The standard wait time for Non-QM mortgages after bankruptcy is 2 years. However, some lenders allow for a wait time as short as 1 year or even as low as 1 day out. It all depends on the lender.

Private Mortgages

Private mortgages are loans provided by private lenders, such as individuals or institutions, rather than traditional banks or credit unions. For private mortgages, it depends on the lender completely.

Most prefer to see stronger credit with no bankruptcies. However, depending on the loan program and the specific lender, they may not have any concerns even if you are currently in bankruptcy.

Hard Money Mortgages

Hard money mortgages are short-term, asset-based loans that are typically used for real estate investments. They are provided by private investors or companies and are based on the value of the property being used as collateral. Hard money lenders do not care about credit.

The lenders we work with at Bennett Capital Partners do not have concerns about bankruptcies and do not impose a waiting period. Borrowers can even be in the midst of a bankruptcy.

Demystifying Non-QM Mortgages: Understanding Your Choices

Understanding Non-QM Mortgages

Non-QM mortgages, also known as non-qualified mortgages, are a type of loan that doesn't meet the strict requirements set by government agencies like Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. These loans were created to help borrowers who may not fit the traditional lending criteria, such as those who have recently gone through bankruptcy.

Unlike conventional mortgages or government-backed loans, non-QM mortgages consider other factors besides credit scores and income. Instead, lenders take into account the borrower's overall financial situation, including their employment history, assets, and ability to repay the loan.

This can be especially helpful for individuals who are still recovering from bankruptcy but have made significant strides in rebuilding their credit and improving their financial stability.

However, for borrowers who wouldn't otherwise qualify for a mortgage after bankruptcy, these types of loans offer an alternative path towards homeownership.

Key Requirements for Non-QM Loan Approval: Preparing Your Application

Non-QM Loan Requirements

Non-QM loans, also known as non-qualified mortgages, are an option for borrowers who have recently gone through bankruptcy and do not meet the traditional lending criteria.

In addition to a good credit score, lenders will also look at factors such as employment history and income stability. It is important to note that since non-QM loans carry more risk for lenders, they often come with higher interest rates and fees.

Individuals seeking a non-QM loan after bankruptcy will need to repair their credit and provide a letter of explanation to the lender outlining their financial situation and steps taken towards improving it.

Additionally, borrowers may need to show evidence of sufficient income and stable employment in order to qualify for a non-QM loan. Lenders will want to see that you have the means to make your mortgage payments on time each month.

Overall, while qualifying for a non-QM loan after bankruptcy can be challenging, it is still possible by meeting these requirements set by lenders.

5 Essential Steps to Qualify for a Mortgage After Bankruptcy

Steps to Take in order to Qualify for a Mortgage After Bankruptcy

To qualify for a mortgage after bankruptcy, there are several important steps you need to take. Rebuilding your credit, evaluating your financial situation, writing a letter of explanation, getting pre-approved and responding to lender questions are all crucial in the process.

Rebuild your credit

To qualify for a mortgage after bankruptcy, it's crucial to rebuild your credit. This process typically takes around 18 to 24 months. One way to start is by getting a secured credit card and using it responsibly.

Aim to make all bill payments on time and pay down any existing debt you may have. By taking these steps, you can gradually improve your credit score and increase your chances of qualifying for a mortgage in the future.

Have you cleaned up your credit report and made sure all of your negative credit items from the bank bankruptcy are reporting correctly? It's important to monitor your credit during and after Bankruptcy to ensure your credit score recovers post-bankruptcy.

Evaluate your financial situation

To increase your chances of qualifying for a mortgage after bankruptcy, it's essential to evaluate your financial situation. Take a close look at your income, expenses, and debts to determine if you are in a stable position to take on the responsibility of a mortgage.

Consider factors such as your employment stability, monthly budget, and ability to make timely payments. This evaluation will not only help you gauge your readiness for homeownership but also assist you in determining an affordable loan amount that suits your current financial status.

📞 Give us a call today 1-800-457-9057

Write a letter of explanation

When applying for a mortgage after bankruptcy, writing a letter of explanation can greatly increase your chances of qualifying. This letter should provide details about the circumstances that led to your bankruptcy, such as medical bills or job loss.

It should also outline any changes you have made to improve your financial situation, like attending credit counseling or creating a budget. Be sure to include steps you have taken to prevent future bankruptcy, such as establishing an emergency fund or seeking additional education on financial management.

You might also have to write a letter of explanation for any negative or bad credit items reportied on your credit report. This usually comes down to program guidelines and underwriter discretion.

Consulting with a mortgage professional or bankruptcy attorney can help ensure that your letter meets lender requirements and maximizes its effectiveness.

Get preapproved

Getting preapproved for a mortgage is an essential step in the homebuying process, especially if you have recently gone through bankruptcy. Preapproval helps determine your budget and shows real estate agents and sellers that you are serious about buying a property.

To get preapproved, you will need to provide financial documentation such as W-2s, bank statements, and pay stubs. Unlike prequalification, preapproval requires asset verification and carries more weight when it comes to securing funding.

If you have filed for bankruptcy, FHA loans may be a good option as they often have shorter waiting periods and lower credit requirements compared to other loan types. So take the first step towards homeownership after bankruptcy by getting preapproved for a mortgage today

At Bennett Capital Partners we would love to help you. You can start the pre-approval process by filling out our online form here.

Reply to lender questions

When applying for a mortgage after bankruptcy, it's important to be prepared to answer any questions that lenders may have. Lenders will likely ask about the circumstances surrounding your bankruptcy, such as why it occurred and what steps you have taken since then to improve your financial situation.

They may also inquire about your current income, credit history, and ability to make timely mortgage payments. It's essential to provide honest and thorough answers to these questions in order to demonstrate your readiness for homeownership.

By addressing lender inquiries with confidence and transparency, you can increase your chances of qualifying for a mortgage after bankruptcy.

Conclusion: Empowering Your Homeownership Journey


Qualifying for a mortgage after bankruptcy is possible, but the waiting period will depend on the type of bankruptcy you filed. For Chapter 7 bankruptcy, it typically takes at least 1-4 years to qualify, while Chapter 13 bankruptcy usually requires a waiting period of 2-4 years.

Rebuilding your credit and taking steps to improve your financial situation will increase your chances of qualifying sooner. Remember, FHA loans may have shorter waiting periods and lower credit requirements compared to conventional loans.

Answering Your Top Questions on Post-Bankruptcy Mortgages


What does it mean to apply for a mortgage after bankruptcy?

Applying for a mortgage after bankruptcy means starting the mortgage process to buy a house post the completion of your bankruptcy filing.

How long do I have to wait before applying for a home loan after filing bankruptcy?

After filing bankruptcy, you may face a two-year waiting period or more before you can qualify again for most types of mortgages. The time frame varies with different loan types like VA loans or FHA loans.

Can extenuating circumstances affect how soon I get a mortgage after my bankruptcy?

Yes, if documented extenuating circumstances caused your financial hardship, this might lessen the mandatory waiting period imposed by certain home loan rules.

Do I need to establish credit again before applying for Mortgage post-bankruptcy?

Absolutely! Establishing new credit and making on-time payments shows lenders that you're managing your financial obligations responsibly after your past debt and bankruptcy issues.

Will my low credit score because of Bankruptcy affect my chances at getting an approval from mortgage companies?

A low credit score due to previous personal finance troubles like bad credit card debt and unsecured personal loans could make it harder but not impossible to obtain approval from some mortgage lenders even after completing the bankruptcy process.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What are the waiting periods for obtaining a mortgage after different types of bankruptcy?

The waiting period for a mortgage after bankruptcy varies:

  • Chapter 7: Typically 1-4 years.

  • Chapter 13: Generally 2-4 years.

What types of mortgages can I apply for after bankruptcy?

Post-bankruptcy, several mortgage options are available, including:

  • Conventional Mortgages

  • FHA Loans (Federal Housing Administration)

  • VA Loans (Veterans Affairs)

  • USDA Loans (United States Department of Agriculture)

  • Non-QM (Non-Qualified Mortgages)

How important is my credit score when applying for a mortgage after bankruptcy?

Your credit score is crucial in mortgage applications post-bankruptcy. It's important to rebuild your credit, with lenders typically looking for scores above 580 for FHA loans and higher for conventional loans. However, some lenders may consider other factors beyond the credit score.

Can I consult financial or legal advisors for mortgage advice post-bankruptcy?

Yes, consulting with financial advisors or bankruptcy attorneys can provide valuable personalized advice on obtaining a mortgage after bankruptcy, helping you understand your options and prepare effectively.

Are there government programs that assist in obtaining a mortgage after bankruptcy?

Yes, government-backed loans such as FHA and VA loans offer opportunities for individuals post-bankruptcy. These programs often have more lenient criteria compared to conventional mortgages.

Can you provide examples of successful mortgage applications after bankruptcy?

While specific examples vary, many individuals successfully obtain mortgages post-bankruptcy by meeting waiting period requirements, rebuilding credit, and demonstrating financial stability. Success stories often involve careful planning and meeting lender-specific criteria.

What is involved in the mortgage application process after bankruptcy?

The process includes:

  • Rebuilding your credit score.

  • Assessing your financial stability.

  • Choosing the right type of mortgage.

  • Providing necessary documentation, such as income proof and credit history.

  • Writing a letter of explanation if required.

How do Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcies differ in terms of mortgage applications?

Chapter 7 involves liquidating assets to repay debts and typically has a longer waiting period for mortgage eligibility. Chapter 13 involves a debt repayment plan and may have shorter waiting periods, especially for government-backed loans.

 Philip Bennett

Philip Bennett

Philip is the owner and Licensed Mortgage Broker at Bennett Capital Partners, Bus. NMLS # 2046828. He earned his degree in Accounting and Finance from Binghamton University and holds a Master's Degree in Finance from NOVA Southeastern University. With more than 20 years of experience, Philip has been a leader in the mortgage industry. He has personally originated over $2 billion in residential and commercial mortgages.

Learn more about Philip Bennett's background and experience on our Founder's page. Whether you're a first-time homebuyer or a seasoned real estate investor, our team is here to help you achieve your real estate goals. Don't wait any longer, contact us today and let us help you find the right mortgage for your needs.

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