Rebuilding credit score after foreclosure or short sale takes ten years or longer

Evidence suggests that the process of regaining creditworthiness is lengthy. Borrowers who terminated their mortgages for reasons other than default returned to the market about two-and-a-half times faster than those who defaulted. This has important implications for the housing recovery. The improvement in the housing market is often assumed to reflect significant pent-up demand. But an estimated 4 million foreclosures have taken place since 2007. The consumers who went through those foreclosures will return to homeownership only gradually, suggesting that mortgage supply will also be a factor in the housing recovery.

Only 15 percent of short sellers take out another mortgage

As the blue line shows, 12 years after a termination, just above 35% of borrowers with no prior defaults have taken out new mortgages. As the red line shows, borrowers with prior defaults return to the mortgage market very slowly or not at all.

Borrowers who default on mortgages return to the mortgage market at extremely slow rates. Only about 10% of borrowers with a prior serious delinquency regain access to the mortgage market within 10 years of their default. Borrowers who terminate mortgages for reasons other than default return to the market about two-and-a-half times faster than those who default. Renewed access to credit takes even longer for subprime borrowers with a serious delinquency on their record.

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