Filing for bankruptcy is a challenging decision, and while it’s a path to financial recovery, it can come with temporary hardships. One such hardship is the challenge of apartment hunting during the process. Here, we explore how filing a Chapter 13 bankruptcy in Virginia impacts your ability to secure an apartment and some tips to improve your chances.
Impact of Ongoing Bankruptcy Cases on Apartment Hunting
When you file for bankruptcy, it becomes public record. Many landlords and property management companies perform credit checks and see this record, which can make them hesitant to rent to you. The concern primarily revolves around whether the applicant will be a reliable tenant in terms of timely rent payments, especially when they are currently under financial distress. Chapter 13 bankruptcy, in particular, involves repaying some or all of your debts over 3 to 5 years, which can strain your monthly budget.
Is it Illegal to Discriminate Based on Bankruptcy Proceedings?
While bankruptcy may seem like a red flag to landlords, it’s important to note that they aren’t government entities, and therefore, the rules around discrimination are different. While federal law prohibits employers from discriminating against an individual solely because of bankruptcy, it doesn’t explicitly offer the same protection to potential tenants. This means that while it isn’t ideal, landlords can choose not to rent to someone based on their bankruptcy status.
How to Improve Your Chances of Getting an Apartment After Bankruptcy
It’s essential to approach apartment hunting post-bankruptcy with a proactive strategy. Firstly, be upfront about your situation. When you’re honest with potential landlords, it can lead to a more understanding relationship. Additionally, consider offering a higher security deposit or finding a co-signer with a strong credit score. Another tactic is to present proof of steady employment and income, showing you have the means to make consistent rent payments. Lastly, gathering reference letters from previous landlords can go a long way in building trust.
Why It May be Easier to Get an Apartment When Filing Chapter 7 Bankruptcy
If your Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy case is still ongoing, your chances of getting an apartment are undoubtedly low. However, it might be slightly easier with Chapter 7. The reason is that while Chapter 13 extends for a more extended period with a repayment plan, Chapter 7 is a straight liquidation bankruptcy. Once your assets are liquidated and debts discharged in Chapter 7, the financial slate is cleaner. Some landlords may perceive this as a fresh start and may understand that any new debt acquired after the Chapter 7 filing date will be the tenant’s sole responsibility.
Request a Consultation with The Law Offices of Robert S. Brandt for Help with Your Chapter 13 Bankruptcy in Virginia
If you’re facing challenges related to Chapter 13 bankruptcy in Virginia, you don’t have to navigate this journey alone. The Law Offices of Robert S. Brandt can provide expert advice and guidance tailored to your unique situation. Whether it’s understanding the nuances of bankruptcy or seeking help in securing an apartment during this period, professional consultation can make a difference. Don’t hesitate to contact me and set your financial path straight again.