Buying Home After Bankruptcy

This Article On My Experience In Buying Home After Bankruptcy Was Written By Senior Writer Bob Vogel

Bad Luck Happens / Predatory Lending Pre-Crash

As with many of the blogs I have posted and including this one, I am writing and telling you of my true life experiences.  I just want everyone to know I am a normal person and have gone through some struggles in my life, but I have come out the other side a better person for having those experiences.

First of all, let’s go back to the year 2007, the real estate housing bubble had already hit its peak and had started to deflate although the bubble hadn’t burst yet.  I was in the market for my first home, and I probably bought at the absolute worst time given the circumstances.  Hindsight is always 20/20, but no one could have predicted the downfall that was just over the horizon.  We were looking for a home in Elgin, IL and found a place we really liked.  The original list price of the home was $309,000 and had been reduced to $279,900.  We put in a real estate home purchase offer of $265,000 and after going back and forth we settled on a final price of $273,000.  Great, we had just bought our first home.

Victim Of Predatory Lending

Now it was time to get financing as we had made an offer on a preapproval letter where our broker gave us $300,000 to spend by just asking how much we made annually, not taking into account the debts we had.  At this point in time, there was very minimal documents needed to secure a loan, and we were approved for a subprime loan.  The terms of this loan, when looking back on it were absolutely hilarious and there was no wonder the real estate market tanked the way it did.  We were approved for a no money down 80/20 interest only loan.  What this meant is on a monthly basis we would only be responsible for the interest on the 6.5% primary loan (80%) and the “prime + 2%” HELOC (home equity line of credit) for the remaining 20%.  This was a loan that didn’t have PMI and also made $0 towards the principal of the loan.  We were sold this with the thought of “real estate is a sure thing, so it is only going to go up.”  Being in my early 20’s, I ate this up and signed on the dotted line and we were in our house.

Living Through The 2008 Real Estate And Mortgage Meltdown And Buying Home After Bankruptcy

Let’s fast forward about a year and we were near the end of 2008 and going into 2009, the bubble had definitely burst and the monthly check of my Zillow value was on a steady downward spiral with no signs of stopping.  At this time my estimated value was just about $205,000 or about $68,000 less than what I purchased the property for.  To make matters worse, in mid-2009 my wife was laid off from her job of 6 years and went on unemployment.  Our household income was cut in half and the question was how are we going to pay all our bills with significantly less money than before.  When I was sitting down at my kitchen table trying to figure all of this out, my 2 biggest debts were my house and 2 cars, and this is when I made the strategic decision to stop paying and proactively let my house and cars go.  I did some research and came to the conclusion we needed a clean slate and to start over.  We decided a chapter 7 bankruptcy was the right way to go.  We were able to eliminate all of our debts and change our spending habits to those that matched our new earnings.  Yes, this completely ravaged my credit.  I went from a 730 credit score to 570 overnight.  However, just about 3 months after the bankruptcy I was able to obtain a credit card and started to build my credit responsibly.

Buying Home After Bankruptcy: Renting Versus Owning

We were now living in an affordable rental, making all payments on time, and finally 1 year after this I was able to purchase a new car with the help of a cosigner.  I had changed jobs and I was making more money than I was before and things were slowly starting to turn around.  If you have read my previous articles, with help from government programs, I was able to purchase a home in the end, just 3+ years after a bankruptcy and foreclosure.  Speaking of foreclosure, the house we owed $273,000 on when we bought it sold at auction for just $130,500 or 47.8% of what we bought it for.  This home had lost $142,500!

Buying Home After Bankruptcy And Foreclosure: Bob Vogel’s Conclusion

In conclusion, I want to let everyone know that it is okay to file for bankruptcy or even have a foreclosure.  Sometimes when the rug gets pulled out from under you, you need to do whatever you can to stand back up again.  If you do go this route, please learn from this experience as I have and know to make responsible decisions moving forward and always plan for the worst.  Being able to handle and cope with adversity is half the battle, you need to be proactive in rectifying your situation.  No one is going to reach out and help you, you need to help yourself!

About The Author: Bob Vogel

Bob Vogel is the chief writer for Gustan Cho Associates Commercial And Residential Mortgage Information Center and editor in chief. Bob Vogel, a career veteran accountant and an expert in all fields of accounting, is also the Assistant Sales Manager at The Money Store and in charge of training income analysis for all of our licensed mortgage loan originators, mortgage processors, and mortgage underwriters, as well as support staff. Bob Vogel runs training seminars in income tax analysis as well as qualifying income for self employed borrowers nationwide. We look forward to upcoming blogs by Mr. Bob Vogel in the coming days and weeks. Stay tuned!!!!!

The information contained on Gustan Cho Associates website is for informational purposes only and is not an advertisement for products offered by The Gustan Cho Team @ Gustan Cho Associates or its affiliates. The views and opinions expressed herein are those of the author and/or guest writers of Gustan Cho Associates Mortgage & Real Estate Information Resource Center website and do not reflect the policy of Gustan Cho Associates Lenders Network, its officers, subsidiaries, parent, or affiliates.

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