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Will I Be Able to Rent an Apartment After My Bankruptcy Discharge?

Will I Be Able to Rent an Apartment After My Bankruptcy Discharge?

By Tracy L. Hirsch

If you’re concerned about getting approved to rent an apartment while having a bankruptcy listed on your credit report, we have three tips that may help you secure a rental agreement.

If you filed a Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy in Louisville, KY, and recently received a discharge from your bankruptcy plan, congratulations! You’re now on a path to financial stability where you have a fresh start.

Even though you’re enjoying your new-found freedom, you may have concerns about renting and leasing.

As you’re already aware, a bankruptcy filing stays on your credit report for several years (ten years for a Chapter 7, and seven years for a Chapter 13).

As a result, you may be worried about trying to rent an apartment since any potential landlord will want to run a credit check to see your payment history.

While it’s true that some landlords may initially be hesitant to rent to you if they see that you filed a Kentucky bankruptcy in the past few years, many of them will be will to rent to you if you do your homework upfront.

Here are five tips on how to secure an apartment after being discharged from your bankruptcy:

1.) Make sure you’re paying all of your bills on time and in full.

If you have monthly payment obligations (such as car payments), make sure that you’re paying those on time every single month, and also paying the full monthly payment amount.

For example, if your car payment is $275 a month, and it’s due on the 15th of every month, be sure to pay $275, and pay it a few days early (such as the 12th or 13th or every month).

If you were making your car payments on time while you were in your bankruptcy plan, and the landlord sees that you’re still making those car payments on time, it will show that you that you are responsible, and that you will most likely pay your rent on time.

Having late or missed payments on your credit report will be much more of a factor than having a bankruptcy on there.

Remember: Going above and beyond with your application could pay off in the long run.

2.) Be upfront and honest with a prospective landlord.

If you’re filling out a rental application, it’s important to let the landlord of the apartment complex know that you filed a bankruptcy, and have received a discharge.

Even though they’ll be able to see that for themselves on your credit report, it’s wise to let them know ahead of time (before they review your application), so that you can explain your situation.

Maybe you had a lot of medical debt from a car accident, or you lost your job and had to rely on credit cards, and as a result, needed to file for bankruptcy to get back on your feet financially.

If you can show that you’ve been making your payments on time, and explain that the bankruptcy helped you get through a tough time in your life, it’s more likely that they will see you as a person, and not just a name with a bankruptcy attached to it.

Also, be sure to emphasize that because of your bankruptcy, you no longer have any debt, and as a result, you have enough money to put toward rent. Since most people assume that bankruptcy is ‘bad’ (which is a myth), turning it into a positive can go a long way!

If you can explain that in person, it’s ideal, but if the landlord is unable to meet with you, be sure to write a well-written letter, and staple it to the top of your application (or add the letter as a PDF if you’re submitting your application electronically).

Additionally, tell your landlord upfront that you’re willing to pay first and last month’s rent in order to secure a rental agreement. This leads us to our next tip.

3.) Save up money for a security deposit.

To reassure your potential landlord that you will make your rental payments on time, let them know upfront (in person or in your letter) that you’re willing to pay your first and last month’s rent upfront as a security deposit.

This will prove to them that you’re serious about your rental agreement, and that you’ve prepared for it financially. When they see that you’re responsible, and that you’re willing to go the extra mile to prove that you’ll be a reliable tenant, you’ll be more likely to gain their trust, and thus secure a rental agreement.

4.) Attach copies of your pay stubs with your rental application.

In addition the above mentioned tips, it’s a good idea to attach your past six months of paystubs so that the landlord can see that you have steady income.

They’ll be more likely to offer you an apartment if they can see that you make enough to be able to afford rent, and that your income situation is stable.

5.) Provide reference letters with your application.

Providing references, from people who can attest to your upstanding character, will go a long way. Kindly ask your employer, church leader, and/or past landlords to write a reference letter for you, outlining the ways that you are responsible and reliable.

This will help bolster all of the other documents that you attach to your rental application.

Most landlords will be really impressed with all of the work that you did ahead of time, and will be willing to consider approving you for a rental agreement.

Again, going above and beyond to reassure them that your bankruptcy actually helped you get back on your feet, and providing documents to prove that, will increase your chances of landing an apartment that you love.

If you or someone you know needs to file for bankruptcy, but you (or they) have concerns, I’m here to reassure you that filing a bankruptcy will not permanently ruin your financial future.

I’ve been a Louisville bankruptcy attorney for 22 years, and am here to tell you that it’s possible to rebuild your credit fairly quickly after being discharged from bankruptcy.

To find out if bankruptcy is what you need to get back on your feet, I offer free phone consultations. You can text or call my cell phone at (502) 435-2593.

In the meantime, if you want to learn more about bankruptcy, check out the main menu on our homepage to find the specific topics that you’re interested in.

Just remember, no matter what’s going on in your situation, there’s always hope!

All the best,

Tracy L. Hirsch

Louisville Bankruptcy Attorney

Ready to discuss your options? Let's chat!

(502) 435-2593

Need help immediately? Tap on the phone number to call!

Tax pic 2021

Here’s How Filing Your Taxes Can Lead to a Debt-Free Life

Here's How Filing Your Taxes Can Lead to a Debt-Free Life

By Tracy L. Hirsch

Do you currently have more debt than you can pay back? Your tax refund might help you get rid of all of it, even if your tax refund doesn’t cover the total amount of debt. Here’s how.

The past two years have been incredibly difficult (to make an understatement). On top of navigating the pandemic, many people in Louisville, KY, and across the nation, had their hours cut or lost their jobs altogether.

If that happened to you, you’re not alone. Millions of Americans had a drastic reduction in income due to sickness and or job loss, and (understandably) they turned to credit cards to help keep them afloat financially.

While credit cards can be incredibly beneficial to get through a brief financial rough patch, they can cause stress when used long-term, since the minimum monthly payments can become too much to bear as the total balance continues to increase.

These past two years have put people between a rock and a hard place by presenting then with two difficult decisions — they either don’t pay their bills, and lose their home, car, and other assets, or they use credit cards to stay afloat, but get to a place where they can’t catch up in paying them back, and possibly still end up in a situation where their home goes into foreclosure or their car gets repossessed.

It’s incredibly heartbreaking, and often seems like there’s no hope.

I’m here to tell you that there’s hope, and it can start with your tax refund. You might be thinking, “My tax refund is only $1,800, and I have $20,000 of debt. How can my tax refund help when it’ll barely take care of 10% of my debt?”

That’s a great question. If you had a small amount of credit card debt, you could just directly pay it off with your tax refund, but if your refund is way smaller than your total debt balance, it probably still seems like you’re stuck. The good news is that you can use your tax refund to file for a personal bankruptcy to help you get a fresh start financially.

Now you may be thinking, “How is that good news? Won’t bankruptcy ruin my life?” That’s a valid question, and the straightforward answer is: No, bankruptcy won’t ruin your financial future. In fact, it can help you save your house and your car, while also permanently getting rid of your credit card debt!

And in regards to your future credit, once you complete your bankruptcy plan, you can rebuild your credit within two years, as long as you pay all of your bills on time (such as your mortgage, car payment, utilities, and so on),

Now you might be thinking, “Okay, that’s a relief to hear, but how does all of this tie into my tax refunds?” That’s another great question. When filing for bankruptcy, there are filing fees and attorney fees that have to paid upfront in order to officially file your case with the Court. If you don’t have any extra money right now, you can use your tax refund money to pay for those fees.

Overall, using your tax refund money to cover the cost of filing fees for your Kentucky bankruptcy is a smart move when you consider the multiple benefits of bankruptcy:

1.) Your creditors will stop contacting you. Once you file for bankruptcy, your creditors are not allowed to call you multiple times a day or send harassing letters in the mail, and they can’t take money out of your paycheck or bank account!

2.) You can protect your home and your car. If your home is in danger of foreclosure, or your car is going to be repossessed, bankruptcy can put a stop to that!

3.) You get to keep all of the money in your paychecks. If a creditor has sued you and has obtained the right to take 25% of each of your pay checks (called a “wage garnishment”), bankruptcy can put a stop to that too!

If you’d like to find out if bankruptcy would help your specific situation, I offer free phone consultations, and can often do same-day appointments for those phone calls.

With 22 years of experience as a Louisville bankruptcy attorney, I can help you determine whether or not bankruptcy can give you the financial freedom you’ve been looking for.

The best part is that you can reach me directly on my cell phone. To set up a free consultation, please call or text me at (502) 435-2593, or fill out the contact form below.

If you’re ready to get on a path to a debt-free life, your tax refund may be the first step in getting you there, and I’ll help you take care of the rest!

All the best,

Tracy L. Hirsch

*Disclaimer: This blog post is purely informational, and should not be construed as legal advice. If you have debt and want to learn more about your options, meet with an experienced bankruptcy attorney in Louisville, Kentucky to find out what would work best for you.

Ready to discuss your options? Let's chat!

(502) 435-2593

Need help immediately? Tap on the phone number to call!