I declared bankruptcy in 2011. I'm considering a move to Portland. Will bankruptcy make it hard to find a place? Better luck with apt vs condo, house?

Asked by JT, San Mateo, CA Fri Oct 26, 2012

I'm an excellent tenant: quiet, clean, only addicted to coffee, never missed a rent payment (even last year), never been evicted, always had my security deposit returned, and stay for years in the places I've rented.

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The Stephen FitzMaurice Team’s answer
The Stephen…, Agent, Portland, OR
Wed Nov 7, 2012
Very difficult to purchase a house 1 year after a bankruptcy though I've heard stories of people who have. Best to talk with your bank. Most people will give you a lease if you have good rental history and a clean record.
0 votes
Gary and Kar…, Agent, Boca Raton, FL
Tue Nov 20, 2012
You should be able to rent a home from a private owner - If you have any issues - offer an additional security amount!
Web Reference:  http://www.garyyoungman.com
0 votes
Janeese Jack…, Agent, Portland, OR
Fri Oct 26, 2012
I have had great luck in my rentals with people who have had a bankruptcy (but are otherwise upstanding citizens and tenants). This economy has been hard on everyone. As a landlord I take it case-by-case and some of my best renters have been those that are trying to rebuild their credit standing after a difficult economic situation. Don't give up, approach the various situations with an explanation and other references. Best of luck,
Janeese Jackson, Principal Broker
Real Estate Resource
Web Reference:  http://fabulousportland.com
0 votes
Marvin Von R…, Agent, Tigard, OR
Fri Oct 26, 2012
Someone mentioned 'thinking ahead'. Well maybe the poster DID think ahead and this was the most viable option. One shouldnt judge without all the facts.

The answer is YES it will make eveything in life harder for you for a few years. If you think about it, unless you were a deadbeat who racked up a bunch of credit cards then BKd because its the American Way, why should a landlord charge more deposit? As Tom suggested, a good explanation can help. I wouldnt have a problem renting to someone who had to BK due to certain medical problems. If they BKd to protect themselves from a lost job of many years and were now back in the same line of work, if they lost their house for a variety of reasons, etc. Of what use is charging an extra large deposit? One could say that a person who has BKd wouldnt take good care of the property but thats hogwash.

Off that soapbox though---You would be hardest hit when applying for new credit or a mortgage. Rents in Oregon are skyrocketing because so many people lost their homes that we have a rental property shortage. Those ex homeowners need a place to stay. Competition is great but people with great credit are probably owners and the people needing a rental may have poor credit. You wont be the only credit risk application. Landlords dont want to be vacant for weeks while looking for a perfect renter, you will not be unique with poor credit. Make a case for yourself.
0 votes
Bless your heart, Marvin. And thanks for the guidance.

I'm perfectly OK with having to pay more in security deposit, if that makes my landlord feel more certain about me. I understand risk.

I'm not an unblemished renter, but I'm a good one. As I said, I never, ever, missed a rent payment or paid less than the full rent--in tough years and good years. I've been a renter for about 30 years.

After the bankruptcy was finalized, I paid back what I owed to several creditors--small businesspeople, like me, who also have been hit hard by the recession. I value my relationship with them and know things have been tough on them, too.
Flag Fri Oct 26, 2012
Tom Inglesby, Agent, Portland, OR
Fri Oct 26, 2012
Portland has a very tight rental market. You will probably pay more for the security deposit just have a good explanation in writing when you fill out your application. Good luck to you. Tom Inglesby
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Maria Sworske, Agent, Portland, OR
Fri Oct 26, 2012
As a landlord, I can tell you, that will make it more difficult. However, when I have an applicant who is strong in many ways, but has one barrier, I may accept them "with conditions". Once condition might be a higher deposit. In addition to that, I might ask them to write out what the issue is, how they solved it, and how they will be sure it does not affect their tenancy period with me. What I suggest you do is create a "rental resume" where you emphasize your strengths. Be honest. Also, be honest on your rental application. Most landlords pull a credit/judgement report and if something comes up that the tenant didn't warn about, it's easy to feel deceived and just reject that application. You might even ask former landlords and roommates to write a letter of recommendation and turn that in with your application to rent. The rental market is very tight right now, especially the closer you get toward the city center of Portland. Even people with "perfect" rental qualifications are having a hard time finding a place, or getting there a minute too late. Consider some of the areas that aren't too far from the central city core, such as Gresham, Hillsboro, Milwaukie, Vancouver, WA. Best of luck.
0 votes
Shea McGrath, Other Pro, Portland, OR
Fri Oct 26, 2012
If your bankruptcy is closed and finalized we would be able to work with you. Strong rental references are a must and we would likely require additional security deposits to approve your application. Check out http://www.carefreeinc.com to see what we have available and then contact us to discuss further.
0 votes
Ron Thomas, Agent, Fresno, CA
Fri Oct 26, 2012
Perhaps you should have thought ahead.
0 votes
Why in the world would you say something like this? You have no idea of my circumstances nor who I am. Maybe you're just ignorant about how life has been for many in the middle-class lately. Or maybe it's just that you have poor manners.That's clearly a big part of it.
Flag Fri Oct 26, 2012
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