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How Soon Can You Buy After Foreclosure?

By Mike Wheatley | June 27, 2011

What with the millions of former homeowners sitting around twiddling their thumbs following foreclosure or a short sale, many of them might be wondering how soon they will be able to get back into the real estate business.

One article that recently caught our attention in the New York Times attempted to answer that question, coming to the conclusion that there are all kinds of conditions to consider following what it terms a “significant derogatory event”, i.e. foreclosure.


How soon after a foreclosure or short sale can you get back to being a homeowners

Wondering if you'll ever be able to buy again? Courtesy of Opinion Maker

One thing that the New York Times noted was that those whose homes were foreclosed will most likely face a much more substantial wait than those who got out early with a short sale.

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac stipulate that persons who had their homes foreclosed must wait a minimum of three years before being able to apply for credit with them again, while those who went for a short sale only need to wait two years. There can be extenuating circumstances however, and if borrowers are able to show how they were extremely unfortunate, and if they had a good financial track record in the past, they may be able to shorten the time they have to wait.

On the flip side however, those who cannot prove any misfortune may well face an even longer wait than the minimum three years – with some being forced to wait as many as seven years, or four years if they went bankrupt.

Those who take out a loan that is covered by the Federal Housing Administration, and have a perfect credit record after borrowing the money, will also be eligible to buy again three years after a foreclosure, or just two years following a declaration of bankruptcy.


short sale your home to avoid foreclosure

Avoid foreclosure through a short sale and you can get back on the property ladder more quickly, say Fannie Mae. Courtesy of Shortsaledailynews

For those previous homeowners who were forced into a short sale, they will be able to secure a new FHA loan after three years, in most cases. As always, there are exceptions to this rule. The three year stipulation is supposed to be for borrowers who were defaulting on their homes at the time they initiated a short sale. For those borrowers who always managed to stay above water, that is, keep up with their payments, one year before they decided to short sale, they may actually be able to take out a new FHA loan right away.

The trick it seems, if you want to get back on the property ladder as soon as you can, is to steer clear of foreclosing, says Fannie Mae’s Andrew Wilson. “Avoiding foreclosure means you become eligible again in a much shorter time,” he told the New York Times.


Mike Wheatley is the senior editor at Realty Biz News. Got a real estate related news article you wish to share, contact Mike at [email protected].
  • 2 comments on “How Soon Can You Buy After Foreclosure?”

    1. Nice article...however not much of it is really reality in the lending industry today by any means...24 months after bk without a foreclosure, 36 months after foreclosure using fha and 60 months using conventional, all needing at least 620 mid score ...just plan on that guideline.

    2. Many times I wonder if most people truly devote some time to produce something imaginative, or are they really dishing out words to populate a website page. This certainly doesn't fit that form. Thanks for spending the time to write with appeal. From time to time I browse a post and question if he or she even proofread it.Good work on this piece of writing.

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