VA Home Loans and Guidelines For Bankruptcy and Foreclosures

I receive a lot of VA loan questions in regards to bankruptcies (BK) and foreclosures. Most of the time the questions are determining how long a borrower has to wait after their bankruptcy before they become eligible for a VA loan? Or is there anything they can do while they wait to help their chances of getting approved for a VA loan once the waiting period is up. So let’s dig in because as of right now the VA underwriting guidelines are much more flexible than conventional or FHA loan guidelines.

Chapter 7 Bankruptcy

First, a chapter 7 bankruptcy involves a complete discharge of debtors. Once the petition is file and accepted by the court and the BK is finalized the borrower is released from liability from the creditors. Generally, with a chapter 7 bankruptcy the VA underwriting guidelines require a 2 years waiting period from the discharge date of the bankruptcy before financing becomes available. There are, however, certain uncontrollable circumstances such as medical conditions or job loss that allow for financing 1 year after the discharge date but these are very rare. To contrast this with conventional guidelines at the time of the article Fannie Mae is now requiring a 4 year waiting period after a chapter 7 BK.

Chapter 13 Bankruptcy

A chapter 13 on the other hand is called a wage earners plan. A trustee is appointed from the court and a repayment plan is negotiated. A veteran may actually be eligible for a VA mortgage while in the chapter 13 bankruptcy; but will need to have at least made 12 on time payments and have approval for the loan by the court trustee. Also, after the chapter 13 is finished the veteran borrower is eligible immediately. Fannie Mae requires a 2 year waiting period after the discharge.


The VA guidelines state the foreclosure period follow the same rules as the Chapter 7 Bankruptcy. Basically, the veteran borrower needs to wait 2 years. Fannie Mae requires a 5 year waiting period now after the completion of the foreclosure, ouch.

Tips for after a Bankruptcy

As a top VA lender that has dealt with their fair share of bankruptcies we’ve put together a few tips that borrower can put to go use.

  • I strongly recommend after the bankruptcy has been discharged that you mail in a full copy of your discharge paperwork with all of the appropriate schedules the three credit bureaus Equifax, Experian and TransUnion. Often time some of the accounts included in the bankruptcy won’t reflect that accurately.
  • I also suggest you start by pulling your credit at least once a year from each of the nationwide consumer credit reporting companies. Keep track of what’s gone on and make sure there are no inaccuracies by the time you are ready to apply for a VA loan.
  • In addition, if you don’t have any remaining creditors after your bankruptcy we strongly recommend reestablishing your credit if you have not already done so. Sometimes a borrower with a lack of credit is just as hard as approving borrowers with poor credit. And of course always, always, make your payments on time!

Of course the VA loan bankruptcy guidelines could change or be amended in the future but so far most of the VA guidelines have stayed the same.

Tips to Avoid a Medical Bankruptcy

Did you know that more than half of all bankruptcies are because people are unable to pay their medical bills? This matter cannot be neglected anymore due to the factor that numerous people have to lodge complaint for a bankruptcy due to the expensiveness of medical bills day after day. Something that you need to understand is that in order to avoid a medical bankruptcy you first need to know how you can avoid it and what steps you need to make in order to stay away from a bankruptcy. If there is one thing you do not want to do that would be filing for a bankruptcy because all that is going to do is ruin your credit for 7 years or more and hurt your borrowing power even more than you will ever know.

When it comes to staying on the sidelines of a financial problem of great tips I have for you is simply not to be in a place where you cannot pay for your bills. I know that medical bills are usually unexpected but the fact of the matter is you can not cover too much thinking with respect to payments of others, because everything seems to return all their medical bills. My advice to you is to make sure that you don’t have any debt anywhere else because the second you get a medical bill that needs to be paid you should pay it or else you will run the risk of getting a lien on your house, the medical facility taking money from your bank account and even such things as getting your wages garnished.

Tips to avoid a medical bankruptcy

Have proper insurance – The first thing you must do in order to avoid a medical bankruptcy is to have proper insurance. The thing to understand is that many people in the United States does not have adequate insurance and that is a major reason why so many people have to file a medical bankruptcy. My advice to you is to do whatever you can in order to get the best insurance possible because without it you will have higher odds of filing a bankruptcy when you really should not have to.

Plan ahead – If you know you will need to go into operating room for something important then you need to have a plan and be prepared to pay cash for whatever it is you are needing. What most people don’t understand is there is always enough time to save up for a medical procedure so if you know one is coming up then sell things, cut costs, and ultimately save part of your income in order to cover your medical costs.

The most important factor a person have to know in order to escape a medical bankruptcy is to be sure that the outstanding bills are paid off or about to be paid off.