I’m a First Time Homebuyer. Will I be Able to Buy a Home After Bankruptcy? – David

“Dear Andy,

Went bankrupt 2 years ago. Been a discharged bankrupt for just over a year.

Is it possible to get a mortgage? I am a first time buyer and would love a house and am more financially stable than i have ever been.


Dear David,

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With the mortgage products available today, there won’t be anything (that I know of) you could qualify for such a short time after bankruptcy. Truthfully, you’re looking at 5-7 years from the date of discharge based on today’s lending guidelines.

My advice would be to do everything that you can to continue building a solid credit history. After some time passes and you focus on using credit wisely you eventually will qualify to buy your first home.

But hey, look on the bright side. You now have time to save money and grow your down payment. This will help you immensely when it comes time to buy. You would be able to afford more home or even better, it could open the door to affording a 15 year mortgage. There’s a huge difference between a 15 and 30 year mortgage, and my advice has always been that if you can’t afford your home on a 15 yr loan, then you really can’t afford it at all.

Good luck and please keep us posted on your progress.


Andy is a licensed real estate broker in Massachusetts and is the founder of Northeast Properties in Norton, Massachusetts. His brokerage is designed to help homeowners in today’s difficult real estate market, specializing in short sales. Andy speaks with Massachusetts homeowners every day, helping them to address their questions or issues with short sale or loan modification. He enjoys helping consumers arrive at the correct solution to their problem, and believes that the only way to correctly do that is by presenting them with all of their options in an un-biased manner.

If you have a mortgage, short sale, real estate, or loan modification question you’d like to ask just use the online form. I’m happy to help you totally for free.

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Broker/Owner of Northeast Properties – real estate brokerage
President/Owner of Northeast Settlement Group – performance based debt relief

2 thoughts on “I’m a First Time Homebuyer. Will I be Able to Buy a Home After Bankruptcy? – David”

  1. Andy, I respectfully disagree with your assessment that it takes 5-7 years after a bankruptcy discharge to be eligible for a home loan.   In fact, most borrowers can qualify for FHA after as little as 1-2 years depending on the type of bankruptcy and the circumstances that led to the bankruptcy.  

    According to FHA guidelines, borrowers are eligible after 2 years after the discharge of a Chapter 7 bankruptcy.  However, in some instances an exception can be made after 1 year if the bankruptcy was due to extenuating circumstances that have since been resolved and has reestablished credit.  

    As to Chapter 13 bankruptcy, borrowers are typically eligible after 12 months successful payments to the bankruptcy trustee provided the bankruptcy court approves of the new credit.  

    The credit guidelines for VA loans are essentially the same.  

    Bankruptcies involving mortgages are subject to credit requirements regarding foreclosure, but most borrowers should be able to qualify within 2 years of bankruptcy discharge when a mortgage is included in the bankruptcy.  

    With that said, the biggest obstacle in qualifying for a loan following bankruptcy is, of course, credit scores.  Though the minimum credit score for FHA is 500 (for borrowers putting at least 10% down) and 580 for maximum financing (96.5%), most lender have what is called “credit overlays”, and many lenders require a minimum median credit score of 620-640.  Most lenders also require credit reestablishment.  

    The important thing to focus on reestablishing credit and making sure that there are not future delinquencies.  I recommend that borrowers meet with a qualified loan officer as early as 1 year following discharge and ask the loan officer to pull a credit report and go over the report with the borrower.  Most loan officers are generally willing to accommodate consumers and in working with them to plan a path to homeownership.

    I hope this helps.

    • Thanks Krista, I didn’t know that, good stuff. I’m not a loan officer and I very rarely work with buyer’s so the better advice may have been to speak with a qualified LO to find out for sure.

      I still like the part about building credit and cash though. … oh, and the 15 yr mortgage thing, I still love those  

      Thanks for respectfully disagreeing though, if you had just flat out disagreed with me, well that would be just rude.


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