Renting after Bankruptcy and/or Foreclosure

House For Rent

It’s a fact, many homeowners are being foreclosed leaving them to rent while recouping and rebuilding. Having a recent foreclosure can make renting hard because landlords fear you might have a problem paying rent or late paying the rent. Fortunately, you can still rent after a foreclosure and/or bankruptcy.  Many landlords are undeterred by foreclosed former homeowners as long as other types of credit are good. Many landlords will understand the need of a bankruptcy and such eliminated most other debt leaving the prospective tenant a lesser burden to pay the rent.

Still, you need to be selective on your prospective landlord, too. Follow the tips in this guide and you will certainly have your first line of defense against fraud reasonably well covered.

Find No Credit Check Apartments and Houses

Large apartment complexes are typically owned by companies that have strict corporate approval criteria. Ask the manager if they exclude folks that have had a foreclosure or a recent bankruptcy. Again, you, too, need to do some screening of your potential landlord.

You’re more likely to get a credit check at one of these complexes (and denied if you have a foreclosure) so don’t apply where you know you are going to be denied. Why suffer the brain damage and humiliation?

Instead, look for houses, condos, townhomes, duplexes, and small apartment buildings that are owned by a single landlord. These types of landlords are less likely to do credit checks. Look for these types of residences:

  • Check for signage by driving or walking the neighborhood you like.
  • Ask friends and family. Ask social media friends.
  • Check craigslist but be very careful as there is a great deal of fraud in the public arena. Here is another excellent fraud detection toolsite which will help you verify the average price of rentals in different markets

Bring a Co-Signer

You can get approved for an apartment, even one of the larger apartment complexes, if you have a co-signer or guarantor. Keep in mind your co-signer will be responsible for any unpaid rent or damaged done to the apartment when you move out. I am one of those who refer to cosigning as financial ‘suicide by pen’.

Offer a Larger Deposit

Depending on the rental market conditions, offering a larger deposit could make your application more appealing to the management or landlord.

Purchase a Lease Guarantee Insurance Policy

On January 4, 2017, the Washington Post reported on a new business which underwrites an insurance policy guaranteeing the renter will pay the lease payments. The WAPO report is titled How to secure an apartment when you have bad credit. The subject of the report is a company named LeaseLock,

Keep Paying Your Other Bills

A foreclosure or bankruptcy might set you back, but it won’t ruin you, unless you let it. Continue paying your other bills. People with foreclosure often have more 90-day late pays to explain on their credit reports than those who haven’t gone through foreclosure. Those late payments make you even riskier in the eyes of a landlord. If you can prove to a landlord that defaulting on your mortgage was an isolated incident, you may be able to rent despite your foreclosure.

Rent To Own

 Sounds too good to be true?

Sounds too good to be true?

As I’ve previously written about this subject, this is very often a terrible idea. With very few exceptions, I have never seen a financially advantageous rent or lease to own contract. This is not to say they don’t exist. This is to say you need an experienced real estate attorney to review the document(s) for you prior to your entering such an agreement. I have seen back to back fraudulent lease-to-own situations. Use care, you do not need to buy someone elses problem unless it is good for you.

Don’t Lie

“Don’t ask, don’t tell” is a good philosophy to follow when it comes to renting after foreclosure. However, lying about it will probably cost you a rental opportunity. If you’re asked if you’ve ever had a foreclosure, be honest. Explain the situation and focus on how you’ve turned your finances around. Make sure the landlord understands that what caused the bankruptcy and/or foreclosure won’t cause you to be late on your rent.

Take a proactive stance by explaining your situation, be brief and forthright with the property owner or manager. You can also sign up for a service such as Transunion’s SmartMove . “Your credit rating is completely unaffected. The screening process is quick, easy—and all online. Only limited information is provided to the Landlord – your SSN and account numbers are not provided.”

Rental Payments And Credit Reporting

Rental Karma, a Denver based company will report your rental payments to two of the three national Credit Reporting Agencies. Pinch is an app which reports to all 3 bureaus and is no cost to the renter.

As of June 2016, Experian RentBureau affiliated with Yardi, a real estate software solutions provider, to initiate an interface which will allow renters to build ‘credit’ history by having their rent payments reported. The converse is also true.

What You Can Expect To Pay

Landlords and tenants may use the free software provided by RentMetrics to get a sense of market rates by entering an area or an address and reviewing reasonably accurate pricing information of comparable units in the address’s neighborhood.

Better To Rent Or Own?

I must start with the answer: It depends. It depends on your employment, income, goals, expectations and many financial factors not all of which are related to the cost of housing. How certain are you of your ability to earn the same or more money if your employer relocates or closes? What are the long term aspects of the housing market where you wish to live? On May of 2014, the New York Times published an article in The Upshot section which contains a very useful and easy calculator. This is the link to their Rent or Own calculator.

I am not paid by nor do I endorse any business or website referenced in my posts.

For Rent Image Credit

Too Good To Be True Image Credit

Financially Speaking™ James Spray RMLO, CNE, FICO Pro | CO LMO 100008715 | NMLS 257365 | September 2, 2011  | Updated 05/22/18
Notice: The information on this blog is opinion and information. While I have made every effort to link accurate and complete information, I cannot guarantee it is correct. Please seek legal assistance to make certain your legal interpretation and decisions are correct. This information is not legal advice and is for guidance only. You may use this information in whole and not in part providing you give full attribution to James Spray.

15 comments on “Renting after Bankruptcy and/or Foreclosure

  1. tony powers says:

    James, while i on’ have to worry about the above issues, thank you for “liking” my post cell hell. continue…


  2. James Spray says:

    Hey all – is now nationwide. Nifty tool. Some are links to agents others to Craigs list.


  3. James Spray says:

    If landlords use credit scores to deny, request higher deposit, etc., the landlord has a higher requirement to disclose –


  4. James Spray says:

    Here is a related link to a good article on Huffington Post – – Has not only to do with walking away and how but a great comment on “screening” a landlord near the end.


  5. James Spray says:

    To ensure that your payments are recieved by the landlord, send your monthly rent payment on a timely basis with proof of receipt of the payment from your landlord. This can be done with overnight mail, Certified Mail Return Receipt requested or simply make your payment directly into landlords account so your payment always clears on time. Tip of the hat to Justin for this suggestion.


  6. James Spray says:

    Lexis Nexis to Screen Tenants – multiple levels of screening including credit, civil and criminal history.


  7. James Spray says:

    This is another reputable web site to seek rental informaion –


  8. James Spray says:

    Denver rental vacancies edge higher in third quarter


  9. James Spray says:

    More on the story of Denver rental vacancies rising


  10. James Spray says:

    NYT – Renters getting credit rated 1/5/12


  11. James Spray says:

    Good article on the subject by a bankruptcy attorney:


  12. James Spray says:

    Anong the more recent rental search engines is:


  13. James Spray says:

    Interesting concept – a Denver company will for a startup fee + a monthly subscription report your rental payments to one of the three national Credit Reporting Agencies. Unfortunately they appear to only report to Experian which offers to increase your credit scores. The catch is that these are not the FICO Scores that are used by the vast majority (over 90%) of lenders and all first mortgage lenders. For more information read:
    (this is not an endorsement but an informational reference) and (for balance)


  14. James Spray says:

    Remotely’s Home Automation Features
    Why Is Remotely The Only Choice For Property Managers? Why Will Your Residents Love Remotely?


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