Will I Be Able to Rent a Philadelphia Apartment After Bankruptcy?

Bankruptcy can often mean downsizing your life. That may mean giving up a house or moving to a less expensive apartment. Renting an apartment can be competitive. It is smart to look ahead and wonder whether you will be able to secure the housing you need in the future before choosing to file bankruptcy today.

While filing for bankruptcy will help you eliminate or pay down overwhelming debt, it is important to remember that it could impact other aspects of your life, including your ability to rent an apartment. You need to be realistic about your situation. A bankruptcy will appear on your credit report and most landlords will require a credit check before renting an apartment. Fortunately, there are steps you could take to improve your credit score immediately following your bankruptcy discharge.

Bankruptcy is designed to provide individuals and couples a fresh start. Many people who file for bankruptcy will be able to rent an apartment or even purchase a home. Realistically, if you filed for bankruptcy or are considering doing so, your creditworthiness is probably rather poor. The experienced Philadelphia bankruptcy lawyers at Young, Marr, Mallis & Associates are available to help you get back on your feet. Call our law offices at (215) 701-6519.

Filing Bankruptcy Increases Your Credit Score.

It may be hard to believe, but filing bankruptcy usually helps your credit score.

This is because you may have a very high debt to income ratio, or a vast array of collection items, each dragging your score down by many points.

When you file for bankruptcy, all of those items go away and become resolved. You’re left with a clean slate. Your score may go up by as many as 50 points immediately. In addition, potential landlords may see that you do not have many obligations, which means you’re more likely to be able to pay your rent.

It is also important to remember that all potential creditors do not consider bankruptcy a terrible thing. You will find many creditors willing to extend you credit as you should have more disposable income because you just discharged your previous financial obligations. Furthermore, you are not eligible for another discharge for many years. The Bankruptcy Code is written to discourage multiple filings. Some landlords will be more concerned about how much money you have to pay your rent than your credit history.

Your Philadelphia Bankruptcy Filing Date and Case Status

The type of bankruptcy you filed could impact your ability to rent an apartment. If you are in a current Chapter 13 case, you have proposed a plan to the court to reorganize your debt. If you want to rent an apartment, you will not only have to have an agreeable landlord, you will have to obtain court approval. Taking on any additional debt requires a court order. Our Pennsylvania bankruptcy lawyers will have to work closely with your potential landlord and the Chapter 13 trustee. Some landlords might not want to go through this extended process.

If you are currently in the middle of a Chapter 7 case, you might also find landlords hesitant to rent you an apartment. However, any debt you incur after the filing date is not included in your discharge. Therefore, the bankruptcy will not adversely affect your obligation to pay a landlord.

A bankruptcy will stay on your credit report for up to ten years. Some landlords will not consider renting to you immediately following a discharge. Often, they will want to wait until up to two years from your filing date. However, as time passes, the impact of your bankruptcy filing decreases.

Steps to Improve Your Chances of Renting After Filing for Bankruptcy in Philadelphia

Every bankruptcy filer has a unique situation. However, there are some common steps people could use to improve their chances of securing an apartment rental after bankruptcy.

Find the Right Property

It is important to research the rental properties in your area. Some landlords and rental companies offer rentals with no credit checks. In other situations, you might find available rentals around colleges or universities where landlords are used to renting to people with little or no credit histories. Renting from private landlords also offers people who filed for bankruptcy a better chance than a large rental company. Being able to personally connect with a landlord will help them understand your unique circumstances.

List of References or a Co-Signer

You are trying to convince a landlord of your reliability. Having references available from an employer and previous landlords can help support your case. It could also be helpful to have a family member or friend with a good credit rating to co-sign on your rental agreement. However, this person will legally assume all financial obligations under the lease if you default, so it might be difficult to find someone who will accept that risk.

Provide Proof of Income and Previous Rental Payments

A credit report only shows a portion of your financial picture. A potential landlord is concerned about your ability to regularly pay your monthly rent. If you provide proof of your salary and proof of previous rental payments, you will demonstrate that you are reliable. Having a steady income is important in securing an apartment rental in Philadelphia. Even if you filed for bankruptcy, showing proof of steady employment will improve your chances of obtaining an apartment rental.

Actively Work to Improve Your Credit

By working with our Bensalem Bankruptcy attorneys, you have discharged a significant amount of debt. However, there are more steps you could take to improve your financial situation. Applying for a secured credit card is one way to start improving your credit score. Ensuring you continue to pay any current bills timely is also vital in keeping your credit score moving up. If you are taking these steps and being proactive, a potential landlord might be willing to overlook a recent bankruptcy.

Be Patient

Sometimes, waiting is the best advice. It might take some time to improve your credit score to get into the apartment your want. In other cases, you might have to accept an apartment that is low on your list for a year or two. By making prompt payments and taking other steps to improve your credit, you will open other rental options. For many people, the first step in opening those options is eliminating debt through bankruptcy.

There are Bankruptcy-Friendly Apartments all over Philadelphia.

After the 2008 housing crash enough people had filed for bankruptcy that few landlords were willing to hold it against them. This attitude has largely persisted among Philadelphia landlords.

There are quite a few bankruptcy-friendly apartment complexes in the city. Some do not check credit scores at all.  Some do, but are still open to bad-credit renters. You can also secure the help of Philadelphia apartment finders who know the area and know exactly who might be willing to work with you.

You May Need a Larger Deposit to Rent an Apartment in Philadelphia

This reassurance does come with the caveat that many apartments will require larger deposits in order to work with you. It’s a good idea to call around so you can find out what they will want from you, and to save up.

Fortunately, avoiding monthly payments from credit cards and other collectors should help you get the money you need to start your new, downsized life. You should also experience less stress as a result.

Contact Our Philadelphia Bankruptcy Lawyers to Understand How Bankruptcy Affects Apartment Rentals

Filing for bankruptcy could be the first step in getting your feet back on firm financial ground. An improved financial situation will often help you get the apartment your want. Bankruptcy could be your best option. You can call us for a free consultation to find out! We will look at your unique financial situation and will help you decide whether bankruptcy relief is your best choice.Your appointment with us is a no-obligation session where you can ask all of your questions and get legal advice. Call Young, Marr, Mallis & Associates to speak with one of our Upper Darby bankruptcy attorneys. The number for our law offices is (215) 701-6519.

Related Articles

The Bankruptcy Process

Many people live paycheck-to-paycheck or have minimal savings. These circumstances mean that even a small financial setback could result in a crisis. When you cannot pay your utility bills, mortgage, […]

Read More »

How Bankruptcy Can Protect You

Filing for bankruptcy is often thought of as a sign of failure. At best, it is seen as a last resort when faced with too many bills, collection letters, or […]

Read More »

Means Testing in Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 Bankruptcy

Bankruptcy has many layers. Before filing, a potential debtor will have to gather their bills, bank statements, tax returns, and proof of all household income for the previous six months. […]

Read More »

Have an Attorney Review Your Case for Free

Get a Free Case Evaluation

Contact Our Attorneys To Learn How We Can Help Your Case


12 Convenient Locations Across Pennsylvania and New Jersey

Philadelphia, PA

7909 Bustletown Ave, 1st Floor Philadelphia, PA 19152 (215) 607-7478 Get Directions

Quakertown, PA

328 Broad St. Quakertown, PA 18951 (215) 515-6876 Get Directions

Allentown, PA

137 N 5th St. Suite A Allentown, PA 18102 (215) 240-4082 Get Directions

Jenkintown, PA

135 Old York Road Jenkintown, PA 19046 (215) 544-3347 Get Directions

Easton, PA

101 Larry Holmes Dr. #212 Easton, PA 18042 (215) 515-7077 Get Directions

Bala Cynwyd, PA

2 Bala Plaza, Suite 300 Bala Cynwyd, PA 19004 (610) 557-3209 Get Directions

Bensalem, PA

3554 Hulmeville Rd, #102 Bensalem, PA 19020 (215) 515-6389 Get Directions

Plymouth Meeting, PA

600 W. Germantown Pike #400 Plymouth Meeting, PA 19462 (215) 515-6876 Get Directions

Harrisburg, PA

2225 Sycamore St Harrisburg, PA 17111 (717) 864-8887 Get Directions

Cinnaminson, NJ

909 Route 130 South #202 Cinnaminson, NJ 08077 (609) 796-4344 Get Directions

Hamilton Twp., NJ

100 Horizon Center Blvd., 1st and 2nd Floors Hamilton Township, NJ 08691 (609) 236-8649 Get Directions

Marlton, NJ

10000 Lincoln Drive E One Greentree Centre, Suite 201 Marlton, NJ 08053 (856) 213-2805 Get Directions

Piscataway, NJ

200 Centennial Ave. Suite 200 Piscataway, NJ 08854 (908) 367-7256 Get Directions