From Filer To Renter: What To Know About Chapter 7 And Renting A Home

Posted on: 10 May 2021

Things will change after a chapter 7 bankruptcy filing. Debt relief may be anticipated eagerly, but some outcomes may be uncertain. You might be wondering what could happen when your report affects your ability to rent. To find out more about bankruptcy law, read on.

Not Necessarily a Game-Changer

Almost all landlords and property management agencies routinely run credit checks on potential renters. This action is mostly to help identify those with credit scores below a certain level. Some have a fixed number in mind. For instance, some discourage renters with scores below 600, or they may be looking for renters with scores over 725. In the eyes of the owners, doing things this way helps weed out those who may not be able to make the rent payments.

Others use a mix of credit scores, other debt obligations, and income to determine the ability to pay as agreed each month. While bankruptcy will reduce your credit score, the numbers may not fall as far down as you might expect. After you've filed for bankruptcy, gone are the bad marks for late payments on the report. They are replaced by a single notation of the federal bankruptcy filing. To help you figure out where you stand with renting after chapter 7, take a look at a few things to keep in mind:

  1. The longer ago your bankruptcy filing was final, the smaller the impact on your score.
  2. Most owners want renters to show proof of the final discharge before they will rent. That is to keep them from being added to the current filing.
  3. Apartments may be easier to rent than homes. More vacancies might exist which could make them willing to overlook bad scores. Also, many apartments can be rented for less than a year and may require a lower security deposit than a house.
  4. You might have better luck dealing directly with a homeowner rather than going through a property management company.
  5. While the effects of a bankruptcy filing will affect your credit picture, that is not nearly as bad as late payments, collection actions, judgments, liens, and wage garnishment. All of those are possible if you delay filing chapter 7.
  6. If you've paid your rent on time in the past, get some documentation and a letter to show that you take your rental obligations seriously.
  7. Having enough income to pay your rent and a good history of employment may be just as important as your credit score.

Don't allow fears of the unknown to stop you from filing for the debt relief you need. Speak to a bankruptcy lawyer as soon as possible.