Rental Basics in Seattle>Question Details

DanMar, Renter in Seattle, WA

Home rental with open chap 13 bankruptcy

Asked by DanMar, Seattle, WA Fri Jul 27, 2012

My family and I will be relocating to the Seattle area in about 2 months, would it be difficult to get a rental with an open chap 13 on our credit?


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Thank you all for your answers. Before the BK, we had great credit in the 700's.The reson for our bk was we relocated for work and had 2 rental properties that went bust in 2011, On top of all that I lost my job. But we have 6 yrs of great rental history, our past landlords will give us good references.

We just need someone who is willing to work with us.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Fri Jul 27, 2012
Is it hard to get a foreclosure home with a open bankruptcy chapter 7
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Sep 6, 2014
I live in Memphis Tennessee and I have a open bankruptcy can I rent a home without a down payment
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Sep 6, 2014
The property management companies are discriminating for those of us with open BK whether they be a 13 or 7. I am in a 13, in a five year plan, have made 52 of the 62 payments. I am finished in June 2015. I have monthly gross income of $6400, I have a solid rental history, a letter from my attorney as to the fact that I cannot add new dent to the BK....with all of this.....I get NO all the time....I have been willing to do extra money down and no go there either, I am almost at my wits end. I need to move as I am going to be WORKING FROM HOME and need the extra room and I am in a small place....To be there is one word for this discrimination, SAD. anyone know of if there is a listing of complexes or home owners willing to work with a solid tenant? I am looking for a place by Nov 1st...I knew to start early to look, but if there was knowledge of where to even look and where to not even try, I could start there, Thanks
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Aug 15, 2014
I am in Denver, having the same problem, we are in month 43 of a 60 month plan, monthly income of 8500, and I get a NO as well. I have a family member with a felony that found a place...... We are being treated worse than criminals. at my wits end and I am within 4 weeks of being homeless.
Flag Tue May 12, 2015
I would try landlords not working through management companies, and also have a copy of your payments to the Chapter 13 trustee, assuming that shows regular payments for 52 months.
Flag Sat Aug 16, 2014
DanMar - you can't be denied housing just for bad credit. Most property management companies representing property owners professionally - and this includes apartment communities - will not rent to someone with an open Chapter 7. They are concerned that someone will move in, not pay, then lump the rental debt into the Ch7. But a Ch13 is a repaymnt program and I don't think it is viewed the same.

When it comes to rental critera, there are 3 things that landlords generally consider. You can be weak in one or two areas and still find housing since you just can't be denied housing for most everything. This is what landlords look for:
1) Two years of employment/income in the same job or similar job/industry. Just because you are receiving unemployment benefits does not mean you can't rent a place to live. Most of the time INCOME MUST MEET THREE OR MORE TIMES THE RENT AMOUNT, regardless of the source of the income. So if the rent is $1500/month, your household gross monthly income must exceed $4500 from all sources. Doen't matter the source as long as you have documentation verifying it.
2) Two years of positive rental history and ontime payments. No past evictions showing on credit report (you said you have this covered)
3) Two years of ontime payments on your credit report, or paying as agreed, etc. MEDICAL COLLECTIONS AND STUDENT LOAN DEBT DOES NOT COUNT AGAINST YOU.

An open Chapter 13 should be disclosed up front, and the first question you should ask potential landlords is "DO YOU HAVE A PUBLISHED POLICY ADDRESSING PROSPECTIVE RENTERS WITH CURRENT CHAPTER 13 REPAYMENT PLANS?" If they don't have a written policy automatically denying tenancy to someone with this status (and I don't know of any company denying based on Ch13), then it will just be considered negative credit and they will automatically ask for first, last, and security deposit. It takes a lot of cash to get into a rental these days, I hope you are able to float it. I recommend looking for a professionally managed property.The screening policy will be in writing and there won't be any hinky business with some individual landlord who may discriminate against you out of ignorance. KNOW YOUR RIGHTS. There is a Residential Landlord-Tenant Act that protects both sides. (See web reference)

If you are sick of the Craigslist rat race and would like some help tapping into a pool of rental properties that may not be advertised elsewhere, my property management background really helps me as a real estate broker to get folks into rentals. The service of a professional costs you nothing. And I don't mind the small token commission that most agents won't give the time of day to. It is paid by the property owner to their listing agent, who then shares it with agents like me.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Aug 5, 2012
I have been renting this house for 21 years but have a open chapter 13. I want to move how do I go about moving.
Flag Fri Apr 11, 2014
Honest and useful information. Thank you for sharing.
Flag Sun Aug 12, 2012
Be prepared to provide more personal & financial information to the landlord. Also, consider working with a rental agent, one that specializes in property management. The agent can help you locate a good rental, and also facilitate communication between you and the landlord. In some cases, you may find a landlord will ask for a larger deposit. Good luck!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jul 27, 2012
I agree with Nicole, each landlord will set their own parameters for what they deem acceptable credit. While you may not get your first choice, you will likely find some alternatives. Be prepared to explain what caused the bk, how you've resolved the issue and will be a good tenant in the future.
In my experience there are many good people who have had one time issues beyond their control that resulted in a BK. I would encourage a landlord to consider such a potential tenant. If you have a long term history of bad credit with nothing but poor discipline to blame, you will have a more difficult time finding a sympathetic landlord.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jul 27, 2012
As a landlord myself I would want you to disclose the Chapter 13 to me before I discovered it on my own. Which I would when I did the background check. If everything else looked OK then I would require First Last and Damage equal to the rent and you could be in with written agreement that the rental is outside the Chapter 13. That way if your were late i would have last months rent and the ability to constructivly evict you to protect myself as part of the lease.

Remember landlords usually have mortgages reliant on rental income to pay, so as long as the landlord gets paid the mortgage gets paid and everyone is happy.

Offer first last and damage to another landlord and it most likely will do the trick.

I don't kow of anyone who hasn't been slammed by this economy.

(LESS TAXES MEANS MORE JOBS, if Washington understood that we'd all be better off.)
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jul 27, 2012
No, I don't think so, we always look at the whole package....I just recently placed a family like that. Did a 3 month trial make sure everyone was happy and rent was paid on time, etc.... So I do believe there is hope for you to find a rental.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jul 27, 2012
Thank you for giving them a chance. I am in that same situation and waiting to see if I have been approved for a home in Atlanta. Life deals some curve balls and everyone who has bad credit or struggling is not because they are lazy or don't pay their bills. They are hard working people who came up on hard times and I am so glad that you gave someone a chance. I am praying that I get good news tomorrow and someone gives me and my children a chance to live in a decent home and safe neighborhood. God Bless You
Flag Mon Jul 28, 2014
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