Getting A VA loan after bankruptcy or foreclosure




Getting a VA loan after bankruptcy or foreclosure is really not that difficult for Veterans in Orange County, CA.  But many Veterans do not realize how quickly the VA loan can become a viable option after a major credit event.


Foreclosure and bankruptcy are definite obstacles for many Veterans trying to buy a home, but with the VA mortgage program it is possible to maneuver around these obstacles more quickly than with other types of financing. Bankruptcy’s and foreclosures only require a two year waiting period before qualifying for a VA loan.

Waiting Period After Bankruptcy

There are two primary type of bankruptcy that an individual can file for. A Chapter 7 bankruptcy seizes an individuals assets and liquidates their value to satisfy the necessary debts. All debts are “discharged” through the bankruptcy. The VA program requires a waiting period of two years after a Veteran discharges a Chapter 7 bankruptcy. A Chapter 13 bankruptcy is a court-mandated process that restructures an individual’s debt and sets up a repayment plan. Chapter 13 repayment plans can take anywhere from three years to five years to complete. The VA loan program will allow a Veteran to qualify for  VA loan after only a 12 month wait period, starting from from the date of the filing. The Veteran will need to prove that they have been making their Chapter 13 payments on time, but this is still a very opportunity for a Veteran to purchase a home. A potential borrower with Chapter 13 bankruptcy must also get permission from the bankruptcy trustee before taking on an additional monthly payment. It’s also important to note that it is possible to refinance into a VA loan and pay off the Chapter 13 with proceeds from the loan.

FICO Score Requirements for the VA Loan Program

Many VA lenders will look for a credit score of at least 620 when qualifying for a VA loan, but there are lenders who will go down to a 580 FICO score. Still, it is important to begin working on credit restoration immediately after the bankruptcy is discharged. To minimize the damage, it is very important to put a lot of effort into repairing and strengthening your credit score during their waiting period prior to qualifying. And definitely do not have any late payments after the bankruptcy is discharged.

VA Loan After Foreclosure or Short Sale

A foreclosure or short sale are also significant derogatory credit events. Most loan programs require wait periods of up to 7 years before qualifying for a loan. But VA only requires a two year wait period from the date of the foreclosure or short sale. The “clock” can start earlier than the actual recorded date of the foreclosure if the mortgage for the property was included in an already discharged bankruptcy and the Veteran can prove they moved out of the property prior to the bankruptcy discharge date.

Not all lenders underwrite the same. It is beneficial to meet with a local Orange County VA lender to ensure you are on the proper path toward future qualification. The VA loan specialist you consult with should be able to prepare custom loan scenarios that will provide you with the numbers you’ll need to know about before you start the home buying process.


Authored by Tim Storm, an Orange County VA Loan Officer specializing in VA Loan. MLO 223456. – Please contact my office at the Home Point Financial. My direct line is 949-640-3102. I will prepare custom VA loan scenarios which will be matched up to your financial goals, both long and short term. I also prepare a Video Explanation of the your scenarios so that you are able to fully understand the numbers BEFORE you have started the loan process.