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Returning from overseas, getting mortgage

Trying to keep a very long story as short as possible:

I'm coming back from 7 years in China.  Previously owned / mortgaged a home in the bay area, which my ex- and I sold (for a profit, ~3 yrs of perfect payment history, etc).  Basically, before 2007 I had a long, spotless credit history.

Unfotunately, I did a poor job of managing my US finances while I was out of the country.  A dispute arose about my 2007 and 2008 CA state tax returns.  I ignored the problem, and they became liens in 2010 and 2011, which I further ignored.  The liens became levies.  Finally, now that I'm coming back to the US, I have taken care of them (paid in full / released).  In the interim, whatever small amount of money I had in my US bank account was taken out by levy.  My account was eventually closed due to no money / inactivity.  The credit card associated with that account was closed after some sort of fee ($99) went unpaid for 3-4 months.  My only other credit card was closed due to inactivity last year.

But wait, there's more . . . In China, I left my job in Mar 2012, and will start my new job in the USA on Jan 1 2013, meaning essentially that I will have been unemployed for 9 mos.

I've made ~$180k per year for the last several years (except for this year, since I only worked 3 mos), and will make about that in that going forward.  I have a good amount of cash, and want to make a $100k downpayment to buy a condo for ~$400k.  I have zero other debt.

I would love to avoid renting for a year or two to get my credit fixed back up.  Any way for a guy like me to get a mortgage under these circumstances?
  • November 12 2012 - San Jose
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Answers (6)

In order to qualify for a traditional mortgage program (conventional or FHA) your credit score will need to be 620 or higher.  A year on a new job based on previous employment details is likely to be required. 
A hard money lender may be your only source but paying $12K+ more per year than a standard mortgage, may make waiting a much better option.
  • November 12 2012
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Do you know what your credit score is? It will all be dependant on that!
  • November 12 2012
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Yes, it is 613.  :(
  • November 12 2012
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  • November 13 2012
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You need to immediately reestablish some positive credit. get a family or friend to add you as an authorized user on a well established low balance credit card or get some new secured cards opened up. You can probably get around the employment issue since you are returning from overseas and have a large down payment. Probably have to go FHA.

Let me know if I can help.

  • November 13 2012
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I wish you do well in the US. Suggest you to save as much and establish your credit and to your new job.   25% down for a 400K home and even with a pre-approve letter will unlikely to get any sellers excited. They have way too many solid offers and people with cash. The market will move up but not as crazy as 2012.
  • January 04 2013
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