Going through a foreclosure can be a traumatic experience, but it doesn’t mean you can never own a home again. If you have recently been through a foreclosure, here are some ways you can bounce back and put yourself back on the path to homeownership.
• Clean up your credit. The first step on the road to recovery is rebuilding your credit score. According to a recent study by FICO, the higher your credit score before the foreclosure, the longer it takes to fully recover. For example, a homeowner with a credit score of 680 would take around three years to get back to their pre-foreclosure credit score. But a homeowner who started out with a score of 780 would require seven years after a foreclosure to return to their pre-foreclosure credit score. The best way to repair your credit is to keep using credit- RESPONSIBLY. To avoid missing a payment, set up automated payments. The biggest mistake people make is cutting up their credit cards or closing out lines of credit. This leaves you with a large gap in your credit history. Lenders want to see that you are using credit regularly in a responsible way.
• Putting in the time. You will need to find a lender willing to offer you a mortgage. Some government backed loans can help speed up the process. For many people, an FHA loan will be the quickest path back to homeownership. After a foreclosure, the government requires a three-year waiting period before you can qualify for another FHA-backed loan. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac loans have an even longer wait time. Those lenders both require a seven year period before you will be considered for a new loan. There are exceptions. For example, if you can prove that the foreclosure was the result of an unexpected job loss or a death in the family.
• Tax Obligation. It comes as a shock to many that the federal government considers a forgiven debt as a form of income, which means you may have to pay income tax on a foreclosure. Congress passed a law in 2007 that exempted up to $2 million in forgiven debt in most cases of foreclosures. The law expired at the end of last year, but if your foreclosure was finalized before then, you will likely be in the clear. Even if you do not qualify under this act, there are other exceptions. For instance, in cases of bankruptcy the government will not pursue you.
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Choosing the right attorney can make the difference between whether or not you can keep your home. A well-qualified Miami foreclosure defense attorney will not only help you keep your home, but they will be able to negotiate a loan that has payments you can afford. Miami foreclosure defense attorney Timothy Kingcade has helped many facing foreclosure alleviate their stress by letting them stay in their homes for at least another year, allowing them to re-organize their lives. If you have any questions on the topic of foreclosure please feel free to contact me at (305) 285-9100. You can also find useful consumer information on the Kingcade & Garcia website at www.miamibankruptcy.com.