Renting after a Mortgage Foreclosure

By Sheryl Landrum
Mortgage Credit Problems Columnist

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When a homeowner has lost their home to a mortgage foreclosure, their credit is usually heavily damaged. This can have immense repercussions for those who now need a home to rent.

In the first six months of 2007, San Diego County had a record 2,896 foreclosures, compared to 445 during the first half of 2006, representing an increase of 551 percent. Unfortunately, San Diego is not the only county experiencing a high rate of mortgage foreclosures.  Those displaced by foreclosures can have a difficult time finding a new home to rent. What do the experts recommend when seeking a place to rent after going through a mortgage foreclosure?

First, be honest about your foreclosure. Robert Pinnegar, executive director of the San Diego County Apartment Association, says "there is no way to hide a bank foreclosure from the computerized tenant screening process." Landlords will be more sympathetic to a renter who discloses a foreclosure than one who tries to hide it.

Smaller locally owned complexes and properties are generally more willing to work with a renter who has had a home foreclosure than large complexes owned by corporations. It is much easier to get sympathy from a person than a corporation.

Be prepared to offer a generous deposit or to rent with a corenter with good credit. Many people displaced into the rental market through a foreclosure may sweeten the rental pot by offering a more generous deposit than what is asked. Also, if you know someone who is an established tenant at a complex, you may find the landlord will allow you to corent with them.

Remember, if you have had a mortgage foreclosure it will show up on your credit report and will be seen by a potential landlord. Keeping the rest of your credit as clean as possible will tell a potential landlord you are sincere about being a good tenant.

The San Diego Union-Tribune, Sunday, August 19, 2007, "After Foreclosure" by Emmet Pierce

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