Renting after bankruptcy is possible
Image by Redd Angelo via Unsplash
After Greensboro bankruptcy, you might need to explore housing options. Some people use Chapter 7 bankruptcy to unload an unaffordable mortgage and need a new place to live – or you might be ready to relocate for work or because your existing lease is expiring.
Whatever the circumstances, you might find yourself looking for a rental property after your bankruptcy discharge and wondering whether your Greensboro bankruptcy case will prevent you from obtaining a new place to live. Rest assured, you should have options.
Getting around rental issues with bankruptcy
Some landlords will assess your credit-worthiness before allowing you to lease from them while others are more concerned with your income and ability to pay. It usually depends on whether you’re working with a large corporate entity versus a smaller property company or an individual property owner. Here are some options to consider:
#1 Rent before you file bankruptcy
When you know you’re about to file Greensboro bankruptcy but have not yet, it might be a good time to go ahead and secure a rental property. If you’re looking at Chapter 7 or 13, your credit might already be sketchy, but it will drop some more once you file, at least temporarily.
However, some landlords limit recent bankruptcy filers from leasing, so you may be better served by locking down your rental contract and then filing your bankruptcy case if that’s possible. Taking care of it beforehand can give you peace of mind going into the process.
#2 Rent from someone you know
It’s also critical to know that your credit score should rebound fairly quickly after your bankruptcy discharge so long as you get to work on it immediately. In the meantime, if you can rent from a friend, family member, or similar, this can buy you some time to re-establish credit.
With your credit score boosted, and time elapsed after the bankruptcy discharge, you’ll have more latitude on properties.
#3 File individual, not joint bankruptcy
You might not know this, but just because you’re married doesn’t mean you and your spouse must file bankruptcy together. If your delinquent debts are joint, then it makes sense. However, if the troublesome debts are in one spouse’s name, there’s no need for both to file.
If one of you does NOT file bankruptcy, then that person can pursue the rental contract and not list the spouse on the agreement. You can push back on a landlord that wants to list you both and insist that only one spouse is the intended renter and will be responsible for the rent.
#4 Look for landlords that don’t mind bankruptcy
The upside to dealing with someone that has filed Greensboro bankruptcy and obtained a discharge is that you can’t file another anytime soon. Creditors may be more open knowing they have legal recourse since you can't file again for years.
Get online and do some homework to find out which leasing companies are open to working with post-bankruptcy consumers. You’ll be surprised at the array of options open to you. Check out review sites and bankruptcy forums for tips on lessors that work with bankruptcy filers.
Be prepared to argue your case
Don’t forget – even if you’re turned down for a lease doesn’t mean you must take no for an answer. You can push back, plead your case, offer proof that you can afford the rent, and explain why you had to file bankruptcy.
If you can convince the landlord that it was a one-off situation (illness, accident, divorce, etc.) that fouled up your finances and not an ongoing problem, they might give you a chance. You can also offer a shorter (or longer) term lease or a larger security deposit to convince them.
When you’re planning bankruptcy, call +1-888-234-4190 for the Law Offices of John T. Orcutt. Read reviews from clients then come in for a free Greensboro bankruptcy consultation at one of our convenient locations in Raleigh, Durham, Fayetteville, Wilson, Greensboro, Garner or Wilmington.