You’ve filed for bankruptcy. How difficult will it be to find a place to rent?
Not as difficult as you think. Sure, it may be a little more difficult to find a corporate apartment to rent after you’ve filed bankruptcy, which usually translates into a slightly larger security deposit and a shorter lease period to convince the bureaucrats that you will be able to afford the lease. Depending on the rental agency, you may even have to find a co-signer, but the key is to be patient to find the right place for you and your family.
There is a small chance that you will have to apply to multiple apartment complexes after filing a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, but it is important to remember that your chances of securing a lease go up dramatically when you are honest and up front about your bankruptcy filing. People love a story, and because we have all suffered through the worst economic crisis since the 1930’s, most rental agencies and office staff are very understanding of a bankruptcy filing. I have helped many clients file both Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcies, and not one has complained to me that an apartment complex has turned them down.
Here are a few tips to help you in your search:
- If you have a good rental history, be sure to point that out.
- If you’ve filed bankruptcy, you likely have a little more disposable income than normal. If you get any push back from the leasing office, offer first and last month’s rent up front.
- If you there is one apartment complex that you absolutely have to live in, whether it be for the excellent school district or proximity to work, it is better to apply prior to filing.
- Individual landlords tend to be a bit more understanding than apartment complexes. A bonus is that the only rules they have to follow are self-imposed, so no need to worry about some leasing agent telling you that they would love to help, but it’s “against policy.”
Remember, fear of not being able to find a place to live should not prevent you from obtaining financial freedom and peace of mind.