Posts Tagged ‘how to rent after a foreclosure’

Renting After Foreclosure

Losing your home to foreclosure is a terrible event. Not only is it stressful and demeaning, it ruins your credit score, which can make it harder for you to rent an apartment. Here are some tips to help you find a rental:

Stay away from big corporate owned apartment complexes as these have strict guidelines and will most definitely do a credit check.  Instead, focus on smaller apartment buildings or homes owned by  private landlords as they are less likely to run your credit. You can find these listings most often on Craigslist or your local newspaper. Stay away from rental guides, as most of the apartments advertised there will be run by huge corporate owned property management firms.

Network with friends and family to see if they know anyone who has an apartment or house to rent and is willing to forego a credit check or who will be willing to rent to you despite your damaged credit

Stay in your home as long as possible and save as much money as you can during that time.  While the foreclosure process, from the formal filing of the “Notice of default” to the foreclosure sale can take four months, the average foreclosure today is taking more than 15 months from the date of the first missed payment to the date of the auction.  Use this time to your advantage to save as much cash as you can.

Be prepared to pay up to three months rent in advance, plus the typical security deposit and first and last month’s rent. Have this in cash. Most landlords will be happy to rent to you if you have cash in hand.

If  there is no way you can avoid a credit check, have someone available with good credit to be your co-signer. Family should be first and then friends. 

Get references. Ask your employer and the manager of your local bank branch to write you a reference letter. Keep this in reserve if a prospective landlord asks for it.

Don’t lie, but don’t volunteer information, either. If you’re asked about something, be honest, but never offer up unasked for information. For example, don’t walk into the rental manager’s office and present him or her with your reference letter or offer up any long explanations. Doing so will only raise unnecessary alarm bells with the landlord.

While renting after foreclosure may be a little harder, it is not impossible. With the number of foreclosures going into the millions by the end of this year and continuing apace for the next number of years, foreclosure is no longer the black mark it used to be. Most landlords are understanding, and if you can demonstrate your ability to pay, having a foreclosure on your record will not prevent them from renting to you.

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