Should I rent to someone that filed BK? - Posted by Jorge

Posted by Russ Sims on August 12, 2003 at 13:16:10:

Good comments from Ed. I would just take issue with the notion that bad credit is better than a B.K., because you can rent to someone with bad credit only to have them file for B.K. and then good luck evicting them anytime soon…we had one tenant live in our house rent free for 4 months.We had to deal with the Federal B.K. court, get eviction stays lifted and pay off 2 attorneys (one to get the stay lifted and one to do the eviction).Sheesh! Got educated about B.K.s the hard way. $5,000 later we got him out, and he even had the nerve to appear before the eviction judge to plead his case…the judge nearly laughed him out of court.

Should I rent to someone that filed BK? - Posted by Jorge

Posted by Jorge on August 11, 2003 at 20:06:38:

I am in the process of trying to rent out my primary residence before I move back to Denver. Now I was looking thru the application that I pulled of of Carlton Sheets program. In the application it asks for the applicants account numbers to their credit references. Should I keep that on there and ask for that info? or Should I just pull their credit report to find out that info?
Also, I have a potential prospect that is coming over tonight to look at the place. She already told me that she filed bankruptcy 2 yrs ago due to a divorce. Should I even consider someone that filed bk? Any thoughts would be great!

Thanks again,


Re: Should I rent to someone that filed BK? - Posted by Jorge

Posted by Jorge on August 12, 2003 at 18:28:19:

thanks for all the advice. She never showed up though. I hate that! I could have understood if the house was a dump. Its only 1 yr old and looks nice from the outside. I don’t get it. I guess everything happens for a reason.


BK = Burger King? haha… NT - Posted by nickP

Posted by nickP on August 12, 2003 at 09:06:40:


I rented to 3 BK’s - Posted by Frank Chin

Posted by Frank Chin on August 12, 2003 at 08:07:32:

Hi Jorge:

So far, I rented to 3 tenants with BK on their records, in all my years landlording. All of the BK were more than 2 years old at time of rental.

Tenant 1 ran into trouble two years into his tenanacy, and his retired mom and dad paid the rent for a while. He was evicted owing over 6K. He filed bankruptcy again - BUT paid me two years later, over 5K of the 6K, when he cleaned up. He was on drugs at the time.

Tenant 2 was a police officer, and claimed the BK was due to his first wife whom he divorced. He paid the rent OK for almost two years till he decided to buy a house and skipped out on the last three months rent pointing out I already have one and a half month security. And the reason for not paying me “I was 3K short on my downpayment”.

Tenant 3 was an elderly grandpa, an easy going fella, and didn’t want to talk about his BK. I took a chance, and as it turned out, he filed because he guaranteed a loan for his son’s business that went bad. He was one of the best tenants I ever had, paid his rent on time for over five years he was there, and complimented me on how nice the apartment is on the few occasions that he had a complaint.

Conclusion. Paying bills, and trustworthiness, is a habit. Tenant 1 and 2 had bad habits that had nothing to do with being able to pay or not.

Tenant 1’s bad habit is drugs. Tenant 2 found out how easy it was to skip out on bills and tried again.

Tenant 3 had no choice, as he had no way to make up 100K in loans on a “Doorman’s” salary.

So this is my track record on BK’s, so you be the judge.

Frank Chin

Depends… - Posted by ben(oh)

Posted by ben(oh) on August 12, 2003 at 06:59:36:

if they are in ch 13 they may be able to include the rent in the bk. this would prevent you form evicting–could take months, sometimes years. also, if ch 7 is discharged they may be able to re-open. this is a legal question, i would get a legal opinion.

Re: Should I rent to someone that filed BK? - Posted by Brad Crouch

Posted by Brad Crouch on August 11, 2003 at 21:27:59:


As for asking credit questions and for references, yes you should ask those. The main goal is to get a renter that is trustworthy. By asking those questions and then pulling a credit report, you will see if they are “truth tellers” and then make your decision accordingly. You should charge them at least $25 for pulling their credit report, per person. You might not want to mention that you’re going to check their credit till after they fill out the application.

Or you could mention it upfront and see if they still want to fill out the application. That would be the quick way. But bear in mind that many people think their credit is worse than it actually is. Maybe the things they wouldn’t talk about are really not enough for you to decide negatively.

If they are hesitant to pay for the credit report, they have just disqualified themselves.

As for the bankruptcy, ask them to explain it. This is reasonable, and if they don’t make an explination that is “satisfactory” to you, they have just disqualified themselves.

Good Luck,


Re: Should I rent to someone that filed BK? - Posted by Thomas

Posted by Thomas on August 11, 2003 at 20:46:03:

I would pull a credit report and see what her credit looks like since the BK as well as before regarding late pmts and such, especially since the BK. Often in a divorce spouses take on the debts of their ex when the ex files for BK since they were probably joint accounts while married, and they have no other choice than to file themselves. Other times they simply have too much debt load on their own after they become a 1 income family for debts incurred beforehand where they and the spouse were ok when married with 2 incomes for debts on either both or just her name that she was responsible for in the decree. Personally, Bk is not necessarily a reason for me to turn someone down if it looks like it was caused be either of the above. Now if they were divorced for a couple years and she racked up the debts afterwards or has lots of late pmts since the BK I would not hesitate to turn her down. Also check her debt load since the BK to see if she seems to be running up her debt again to where it looks like she may be getting into trouble. Others may have better opinions however.

get off the computer and go to your room!! - Posted by pops

Posted by pops on August 12, 2003 at 09:29:27:

parents please watch your children.

Frank’s always right… - Posted by Long Beach Ed

Posted by Long Beach Ed on August 12, 2003 at 10:12:02:

A deadbeat is a deadbeat.

Tenants seldom better themselves, they only get worse.

Why rent to someone who already stolen peoples’ money? Unless your place is a real dive and you can’t find tenant without horns on his head to rent it, I wouldn’t give it to someone with shot credit if my life depended on it.

A BK is even worse than bad credit. These people know the system and have already been given a free ride.

Forget it!

  • Ed

Amen as to the “bad habits”! (nt) - Posted by Eric C

Posted by Eric C on August 12, 2003 at 09:19:23:

Question - Posted by randyOH

Posted by randyOH on August 13, 2003 at 09:57:35:

At what point do you ask the prospective tenant to pay for a credit check? I would think you would wait until you have decided to rent to them based on the info in the application. Then they know if their credit checks out, they get the property.

If you tell them they have to pay for a credit check and they may not get the property regardless of how it looks, I would think they would refuse to pay.

Just wondering how you handle it.