How Long Does a Foreclosure Stay on Your Credit?

September 15, 2009 No Comments »


More mortgage crisis Q&A: “How long does a foreclosure stay on your credit?”

With all the foreclosures sprouting up, struggling homeowners that are either going through the process or teetering on the brink may be wondering what the repercussions are, aside from the obvious, losing your home.

Well, with regard to credit, foreclosure is a very serious delinquency, and one that will stay on your credit report for up to seven years (typically from the date of filing).

Initially, the foreclosure will hit your credit score big time, likely dropping it more than 150 points, pushing even the most prime borrower into subprime status.

The amount it will drop will vary based on your credit history.  If your credit score was essentially flawless, you’ll see a larger drop.  If your credit score was already dinged up, the drop won’t be as severe.

Essentially, two borrowers with different credit scores hit with foreclosure will end up in similar places.

Time is Your Friend, Kind Of…

As time goes by, your credit score will inch up, assuming you continue to pay your other bills and meet other commitments in a timely fashion (this is key to recovery).  Be sure not to miss any subsequent payments, or you’ll set yourself back.  Even on unrelated credit tradelines, such as a credit card or an auto loan/lease.

The presence of the foreclosure record on your credit report doesn’t mean you can’t obtain mortgage financing for seven years, but it does mean creditors will be able to see the red flag and punish you accordingly.

Even if you meet the bank or lender’s requirements for past foreclosures, an underwriter could still determine that you are too risky for a subsequent mortgage if you’ve got other iffy stuff going on.

You may also be subject to more stringent guidelines going forward, like no stated income documentation and a larger down payment requirement.

Keep in mind that the longer you put off foreclosure, the longer the recovery period; that’s not to say give in, but take note.

Like any other derogatory credit account, it’s possible to get a foreclosure removed from your credit report, though you’ll probably need a compelling reason and a whole lot of legwork. But it could certainly be worth your time.

Plenty of homeowners fight to get foreclosures reversed due to faulty paperwork and other lender and loan servicer shortcomings.  If you’re able to do so, be sure to get everything in writing so you can get the foreclosure removed from your credit report as well!

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