Thursday, June 3, 2010

After Foreclosure: How long until you can buy again?

Financing a home after foreclosure is possible for most homeowners. Those who default on their mortgages due to economic hardships, such as job loss, may receive approval for another mortgage in as little as two years, while it may take more than seven years for strategic defaulters to be approved.


• Lenders utilize several methods in determining whether to grant mortgages, including the amount of money borrowers have saved; employment histories; and payment history.

• According to the chief economist with the Mortgage Bankers Association, lenders may be more willing to finance a mortgage for a borrower who defaulted on their mortgage as a result of factors beyond their control.

• Some homeowners who strategically default—intentionally not meet their mortgage obligations although they have the financial means to do so—assume they can raise their FICO scores by paying their others bills on time. However, most future loan underwriters will scrutinize their records very closely, and if they determine the borrower strategically defaulted on their previous mortgage, the repaired credit score will not overshadow the walkaway.

• Although not impossible for strategic defaulters to finance another home purchase, it likely will be more difficult. Lenders may ask for down payments of 30 percent or more to provide sufficient collateral to enable the bank to recoup most of its money in a foreclosure. These borrowers also may be charged higher interest rates, even above the levels other borrowers with similar credit scores would receive.

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