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Americans Can Still Find a Home after Foreclosure

By Faye Mergel
Published: Sunday, December 20th, 2009

After losing their homes to the bank, many Americans are going through another struggle—finding an apartment. With the big black foreclosure mark on their credit report, it is quite difficult for them to get a landlord’s approval. If they do, they will almost certainly be charged higher rates than other tenants. However, experts say there are still ways for a person to get a nice lodging at a good rate, even if his credit report is still ravaged with a foreclosure.

Americans Can Still Find a Home after ForeclosureWhether a landlord pulls out a credit report is beyond a potential tenant’s control. With everyone looking for security these days, finance experts say most landlords charge tenants according to what they see on a credit report. Yet, they quickly add that a landlord might be more considerate if a person lets him understand his personal or his family’s financial plight. Talking honestly about one’s present and past financial woes and the troubles that led to them is one of the best ways to win over a landlord, experts add.

Conor Fennessy, who heads an apartment association in New Jersey, says a foreclosure does create a negative image against a person, but it is not necessarily a disqualification. He notes that the economy has drastically changed over the past years so their members have been accepting applications which they would normally reject in the past.

Conor also notes that most landlords are looking for honesty and are willing to overlook the foreclosure on an applicant’s credit report as long as he shows strong intent to fix his financial problems. He adds that a person would become even more favorable to a lender if he undergoes counseling.

Specialists explained that renting is a form of credit so landlords naturally want some assurance that they will be paid. A landlord gives lodging because a tenant promises to pay his rent every month, so apartment owners charge higher to those who are in great risk of defaulting, that is, those who have negative marks on their credit report.

In the United States, 3.5 million people experience homelessness in any given year. Most were temporary. Finance counselor, Phyllis Kaye, says people who undergo foreclosure most likely have several other negative marks on their credit report. Since housing bill is typically the first bill people pay, she strongly believes that there are other bills left unpaid.

Kaye encourages people who have lost their homes to get a professional help so they can begin to clean up their credit report and re-establish good credit.

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