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FHA Loans Reader Question: Chapter 7 Bankruptcy

There have been many reader questions in the last six months about bankruptcy, foreclosure, and the required waiting period for new FHA home loans after these procedures.

One reader asks, “When does the waiting period began per FHA Guidelines? If you included a conventional loan in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, does the waiting period began at the discharge date? Or does the waiting period began at the trustee sale?”

The short answer is that after Chapter 7 bankruptcy, the borrower must wait out the minimum “seasoning” period plus any additional amount required by the lender–three years in many cases though some lenders may be willing to work with qualified borrowers after the FHA two-year minimum for Chapter 7. This waiting period begins from the time the bankruptcy is discharged.

Since bankruptcy and foreclosure are among our most frequently asked questions, here’s some additional information on waiting periods and other requirements for both Chapter 13 and Chapter 7 bankruptcy:

CHAPTER 13 BANKRUPTCY WAITING PERIODS

FHA rules allow a lender to consider approving an FHA loan application from a borrower who is still paying on a Chapter 13 Bankruptcy–but only if those payments have been made and verified for a period of at least one year. Additionally. the court trustee’s written approval is also required. The borrower must provide a detailed explanation of the bankruptcy with the loan application, and must have good credit, employment history and other financial qualifications.

CHAPTER 7 BANKRUPTCY WAITING PERIODS

At least 24 months must have elapsed since the discharge date of a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy. The discharge date should not be confused with the date bankruptcy was filed. As with Chapter 13 bankruptcy, FHA regulations demand a full explanation to be submitted with the FHA home loan application. To get a new FHA insured mortgage loan after Chapter 7, the borrower must qualify financially, have good credit since the Chapter 7 was filed and meet FHA employment requirements.

8 Responses to FHA Loans Reader Question: Chapter 7 Bankruptcy

  1. Tom says:

    i have a situation where i have filed BK chapter 7 and had my house forclosed, at the same time i had a money lender purchas a house for me and put it in my name and i make payments to him, i have been making payments for 21 months all on time and with taxes and insurance i would like to refinance through a regular lender and pay off the origial loan, credit is good up around 670 i have been paying on time on two unsecured credit cards for over a year, i have remained on at the same job for 26 years, and my wife is now back to work for 6 months, so how do i refinance this loan and when am i eligable to qualify? it has been over two years from filing chapter 7 and it will be two years from the forecloser in Oct 2012. any thoughts?

  2. Joe Wallace says:

    In this unique circumstance, you should contact the FHA directly to ask what the best course of action might be based on current FHA rules and the lending climate among approved FHA lenders.

  3. Michael says:

    I filed a BK Sept 2010 due to extenuating circumstances. I understand that I meet the guidelines for a manual underwritten loan, but am having a hard time find a lender. Any suggestions? I would like to purchase a new home

    • Joe Wallace says:

      Have you considered contacting the FHA directly for a referral to an FHA approved housing counselor? A housing counselor may be able to give you guidance that can make you a more attractive borrower in the wake of your circumstances.

      You can find an FHA approved housing counselor in your area at http://www.hud.gov/offices/hsg/sfh/hcc/hcs.cfm

      If you wish to be referred to a lender by a private company–not a government agency–to discuss options, call (888) 582-7330 or learn more at http://www.fha.com/ which is a private company and not a government agency.

  4. Linda says:

    I have a loan turned down from my company becasue they are saying the waiting period starts when the home forcloused on by the bank. NOT the dischage date. so if you put your convention loan in a BK7, the lenders are saying it is not the day of dischage.. but when the bank who has the loan decides to do the sherrif sale. I can not find any documentaion from FHA to dusbute this.. any suggestions?

    • Joe Wallace says:

      Hi Linda,

      The bank may have requirements above and beyond FHA minimums–they are permitted to require longer wait times and don’t neccesarily have to offer credit at the FHA minimum standard. Some lenders have stricter rules.

  5. Angie says:

    I have a bankruptcy that is about a year old. I did file on a previous home that was sold on sheriffs sale before I even filed bankruptcy.My husband at the time was sent to prison and I got stuck with the bills while I only had a part time job. Since my bk, I have been renting but do keep up my payments and haven’t reastablished credit otherwise. I would like to purchase a home but can’t get a loan. Is there any programs to help me. My dad is retired but said that he would co-sign for me if that would help. Thank you.

    • Joe Wallace says:

      Hi Angie, thanks for your question. Unfortunately, FHA loans require a minimum two-year wait after the discharge of a bankruptcy before a loan application can be considered. Some lenders require longer wait times, but qualified borrowers with good credit post-discharge may be able to find a lender willing to consider an application after two years.

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