The site just answered a question on how to rent after bankruptcy but I wanted to explore that more and give you some additional resources on how to accomplish that.
Renting a place to live after a bankruptcy is actually a relatively easy thing to do with some insight.
Granted, the major apartment complexes might not be interested if they make their decision solely based on a recent credit report but those places are generally guided by corporate policies and procedures that other places to rent are not.
If you do approach a major corporate apartment complex you should be up-front with them about your bankruptcy. If you apply they are going to find out about it anyway.
Let them know you recently went bankrupt and ask what options might be available to help you get qualified. In the past this has been easily overcome a number of times with people agreeing to put up a slightly bigger security deposit to give the landlord some additional peace of mind.
The ironic fact is that filing bankruptcy generally frees up money each month that makes being able to afford a place to rent, easier.
Other places to approach that are easy to rent at are small apartment building landlords and especially private landlords. Check Craigslist for local rental opportunities or some other online portal that lists rentals in your area.
Private landlords are the easiest people to rent from and the overwhelming vast majority of people seeking to rent from them after bankruptcy are easily approved.
Andy Faria of Northeast Properties offered this insight:
One bit of advice that we often use, that seems to work very well, and is many times overlooked… a good heartfelt hardship letter. Explain what you went through and your desire to get back on track. We use this so often that we have a basic template already set up as a merge.
And here is the letter format that Andy mentioned that his clients have used successfully. Feel free to copy and paste the letter and tailor it for your use. As you can see it is really just an open heartfelt letter.
Rental Hardship Letter Sample
Dear [Rental Agent],
Thank you for showing us your property and we would love the opportunity to rent the property from you. We believe this home would be a perfect fit for us. We love the town, the area, and the school system.
The purpose of this letter is to explain our financial situation. Over the past couple of years our family has come upon tough times. You will notice that our credit is certainly less than perfect, but we are working very hard to correct that.
We have always had a great credit rating and the position we’ve been thrown into is not a comfortable position at all. Our primary source of economic strain has been the collapse of the real estate market, as you know home values have come down, and we have lost all of the equity in our dream home. We built this home ourselves and unfortunately it is up for sale as a short sale, because the market will not bring what we owe.
At present we are both employed earning a decent income and have downsized, cutting many expenses. We are positive that we will have the ability to afford the rent for this property and we are sure that you will regard us as “perfect tenants” if you find us qualified. We kindly ask that you please overlook our recent blemishes to our credit, as this is not a true indicator of our overall creditworthiness.
If you would like more references we can accommodate that. We would also not object to increasing the security deposit or pay a larger amount as “down payment” in advance, if that would help to ease any concerns you may have.
Thank you for your consideration.
So Go Rent Your New Place to Live
I’m confident that if you follow these steps you will not have any problems finding an apartment or house to rent you can afford after you file bankruptcy. Frankly, it’s one of the things you least need to worry about.
Oh yes, and one last bit of post-bankruptcy information, check your own consolidated credit report before you head out to start applying. You should check to make sure all your credit reports are accurate following your bankruptcy and keep an eye open for any debts that were discharged in your bankruptcy that might still be reporting as open or delinquent.
And while you’re at it, you should also get cracking on rebuilding your new great credit following your bankruptcy. It’s easy to do if you follow this process.