There are a few basic concepts one should know when looking into refinancing a mortgage after a bankruptcy. Most importantly, you need to know the two different types of personal bankruptcy that you can declare.
Chapter 7 Bankruptcy, often called “straight bankruptcy”, is an attempt for someone financially overextended to liquidate most of their assets to satisfy creditors, keeping only a few personal assets needed for the basic necessities of life such as an economical car, personal clothing, etc.
In Chapter 13 Bankruptcy, your assets are not liquidated. Instead, you come to an agreement with an appointed trustee where late charges and other penalties are eliminated and you start a payment plan to repay much of the debt owed. This process can take over a year or two, but will allow you to retain belongings (and property). Also, it is looked at more favorably by lenders because you are attempting to repay your debts, not just write them off. Lenders will look at both the date the bankruptcy was filed and when it was discharged.
A Chapter 13 Bankruptcy “buyout” is a refinance loan, taking out a new loan to cover the existing mortgage and some or all of the other debts. This is basically considered a “cash-out” refinance. Most Chapter 13 Bankruptcy refinance loans are limited to roughly 85% of the value of your home.
When refinancing out of a Chapter 13 Bankruptcy, or soon after a Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 Bankruptcy, you will almost certainly be working with a sub-prime or “non-prime” lender. These lenders specialize in helping borrowers with blemished credit histories. Often, borrowers refinancing near the time of a bankruptcy will seek the assistance of a mortgage broker, many of whom have experience with this type of loan. If possible, it is best to wait at least two years after the discharge of your bankrupty to refinance your mortgage. This will help you to receive a better interest rate. Start now to pay your bills on time and in full. This will help to repair your credit and give you even better chances of a lower rate.
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