Can You Get a Mortgage After Repossession?

Mortgage from approved.
Mortgage from approved. (Image: alexskopje/iStock/Getty Images)

Your car may be long gone, but the effects of a repossession on your credit remain for years to come. Depending on the date of the repossession and how you handle any leftover debt, you may be able to get a mortgage after a repo.

Lingering Debt

Auto lenders repossess vehicles and auction the cars to recover their losses. You're responsible for the difference between the sale proceeds and the outstanding loan debt. Repossessions can appear on credit reports as unpaid, charged-off, settled, or delinquent and in collection, depending on how you handle the account after the repo. Mortgage lenders usually require you to pay off any remaining balance before approving your home loan.

Settling Up

Pay off the remaining balance on a repo before you apply for a mortgage. The effects of a repo on your score diminish over time, and the account disappears after seven years. However, paying before you apply improves your score sooner and shows the lender that you have the money and ability to manage your debts. Be prepared to write a letter explaining the circumstances that led to the repo and that you've fixed your financial misstep.

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