Just 10 days before Christmas 2009, Ganel Appolon found an envelope taped to his front door. He and his family were being evicted from their Tamarac, Fla., home. Appolon had fallen behind on his mortgage payments, and the lender repossessed the property under terms of his bankruptcy filing.
Despite the financial setback, Appolon vowed to own again.
He spent the next four years saving money and rebuilding his credit. Last fall, he qualified for another mortgage and in December bought a three-bedroom home in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., for $177,500.
“I feel free,” said Appolon, a 46-year-old electrician. “My kids are really, really happy. They kept saying, ‘Thank you, Daddy. Thank you, Daddy.’ ”
Appolon’s experience may give hope to tens of thousands of people snared in the housing collapse. Many of those people thought they’d never own again — or at least have to wait a decade or longer to even think about it. Instead, lenders and real estate agents say many former homeowners are recapturing the American Dream, as “boomerang buyers.”
“Time will heal everything, and that’s what’s happening here,” said Jim Flood, regional manager for Supreme Lending in Plantation, Fla. “I think it’s great that people are getting a second chance. Don’t we all want that in life?”
How many are getting that chance? No one knows. The government and housing industry don’t track it. But lending titans such as Bank of America, as well as community banks and credit unions, typically follow the guidelines from government-run mortgage companies Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, which together insure about half of the nation’s home loans.
Fannie and Freddie require someone with a previous foreclosure to wait seven years before qualifying for a new mortgage. But if the foreclosure was included in the bankruptcy, as it was for Appolon, the borrower has to wait only four years.
A person who unloaded a home before the bank foreclosed — such as through a short sale — must wait two years to get another Fannie or Freddie loan.
A consumer seeking a Federal Housing Administration-backed loan can qualify three years after a foreclosure or short sale.
From The Detroit News: http://www.detroitnews.com/article/20140310/BIZ03/303100014#ixzz2vZSyueTe