Financing in Jacksonville>Question Details

Ashleyvictor…, Other/Just Looking in Jacksonville, FL

FHA Loan After Chapter 7 Bankruptcy....experience with this?

Asked by Ashleyvictoria, Jacksonville, FL Tue Mar 9, 2010

I know that FHA guidelines are typically two years from discharge, but according to the FHA website, “An elapsed period of less than two years, but not less than 12 months, may be acceptable if the borrower can show that the bankruptcy was caused by extenuating circumstances beyond his or her control and has since exhibited a documented ability to manage his or her financial affairs in a responsible manner.” Does anyone have experience with this? My bankruptcy was discharged 22 months ago, but I am hoping to buy a home before the home buyer credit expires next month. What does it take to show extenuating circumstances and who can I contact for help with this?

Help the community by answering this question:


You need to go on a lender hut and interview before looking. Here is why. Just because FHA says it is okay does not mean a lender will be happy to do it. So.... finding a lender may be a challenge. That lender is going to lend you money knowing you walked away last time. I am not trying to be mean or judgemental, I just want you to know that is how they are going to look at you.

For example, FHA goes all the way down to I think it is 580 credit score however, there are no lenders that I deal with will go that direction, 620... below that, they will not entertain.

So, again.... find the lender who is willing first before going forward.

Good Luck!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Mar 10, 2010
You have the guidelines very correctly quoted. The extenuating circumstance clause means that an underwriter wants to see that the bankruptcy was caused by unforeseen, unavoidable events that are not likely to repeat. The UW is also going to look at your credit history before and after the bankrupcy to see if there ws a history of late or missed payments before the "event" and any further derogatory credit after the bankruptcy was discharged. A major medical situation would count as extenuating circumstance. A job lay-off that has been corrected MAY be considered, and there are several other instances that may count under this provision in the guidelines. A divorce does not count however, and is mentioned in black in white in the guides.
I have financed several of these sitautions in the past and have a good understanding of the FHA guidelines.

Thank you,
Keven M Brennan
2 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Mar 18, 2010
I had a buyer that wanted to buy a home in Arizona, but he had a Chapter 7 bankruptcy 7 months ago. After researching the web I found a loan program at, they allow a mortgage after a foreclosure, short sale, or bankruptcy. There is only a six month waiting period. Good to see lending options coming back.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Jun 30, 2013
One more thing.... You do not have to close by next month to get the tax credit - you just need to be under contract by April 30th. You have until June 30th to close which should make the 24 month BK guideline work for you with or without extenuating circumstances.
The key will be whether or not you have reestablished your credt standing in the past 2 years. Subsequent derogatory credit after a BK will cause issues in underwritting.
Feel free to contact me to discuss.
Keven M Brennan
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Mar 18, 2010
Please contact a loan broker who is competent and has done many FHA loans. They will be able to approach lenders and hopefully be able to talk to their underwriters to see what is needed and if this has any chance. Good luck. Rose Nied Alain Pinel Realors
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Mar 13, 2010

Have your lender re-approve you after the 2 year mark to make certain you still have the "approval" status. You'll probably have to wait until that time because no lenders are really doing a "manual underwrite" anymore. Don't get too caught up with what FHA rules are, because each lender will have their own overlays which will "trump" the FHA guidelines.

Bottom line...the lender is going to make sure they can sell your loan. If they feel they won't be able to sell it, chances are you're not getting approved. Hopefully it goes through, good luck!

Michael Cline
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Mar 13, 2010
Thanks for the help! I have found a lender who has given me a pre-approval, with the condition that I do not close prior to May, which is 2 years from discharge. I know a pre-approval is not a guarantee, but I'm not sure exactly how it will work. I can't have an official loan offer until I select a property, correct? (And the offer will include terms, rates, fees, etc..., right?) And then once I have a loan offer, how long will I typically have to accept the offer? Since I can't close until sometime in May, is it too early to try to locate a property?
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Mar 13, 2010
p.s. So long as you have a purchase agreement by April 30th and close before June 30th, you'll be fine for the tax credit! Therefore, time wise, you're good.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Mar 10, 2010

Your findings are accurate. However, thats an FHA guideline that each individual lender (who utlimately lend the money and take on the applicable risks of doing so) have the right to strictly adhere to or not. Typically, if your BK 7 was due to a divorce, death of wage earning spouse and/or co-borrower, job loss, you may have a chance. But again, that will be up to the individual lender own lending guidelines (which in some case can rightly supercede FHA's own) and the strength of your overall credit worthiness. Something that can only be determined upon you speaking to individual lenders. Just make certain your BK7 situation is the first question you ask them before you go any further. Good luck.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Mar 10, 2010
Hi Ashley,

With a 620 credit score you can qualify for a new mortgage. Understand that this mortgage product is not the best mortgage product out there. In fact, mortgages do not even get exciting until your score is in the 720 or better.

Instead of rushing into a mortgage why not work to improve your credit rating first and get your score in good standing, repair and rebuild your credit rating first. Then you select a mortgage product that will allow you to get into a home with a payment you can afford each month. This way you set yourself up for success long term.

I realize the $8k tax credit is a nice thing to have, but understand that if you select a low quality mortgage product you are going to pay that $8k right back in monthly payments because you were only able to qualify for a low quality mortgage product.

Good luck!

Hannah Fliegel
The Credit Repair Expert
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Mar 10, 2010
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