You may have served your time and paid your dues, but unfortunately, punishment for a felony can sometimes last a lifetime. Sometimes, some of the biggest challenges a convicted felon will face don’t show up until after their release from prison. We all know that finding a job and securing rental housing is much more challenging as a convicted felon, but can a felony also prevent you from purchasing a home?
Do Mortgage Lenders Do Background Checks?
Despite being arrested years ago and already serving your time, your felony remains on your record. Now that you are trying to turn your life around, you may be wondering if your convicted felon status will prevent you from ever being able to purchase a home.
There are no legal protections that say a lender must approve someone for a home loan, so the requirements are always determined by the lender. Some lenders will undergo background checks on their applicants to ensure that they are loaning to honest and qualified people. If the background check does not pass, they may question whether they should grant the applicant a loan.
However, not all lenders require background checks. For Federal Housing Administration (FHA) loans, a criminal background check is also not a requirement. However, what is needed is:
- A credit score of at least 500
- A debt-to-income ratio of 50% or less
- A 3.5% down payment if your credit score is 580 or higher
- A 10% down payment if your credit score is 500-579
- The home must be your primary residence
Although not all lenders do background checks on their home loan applicants, that does not mean that convicted felons are in the clear. Most lenders will look into your history of employment and residency, often going back as far as ten years. If you were imprisoned within the last decade, there is a good chance that the lender will find out, and it could affect your loan approval.
The best way to prevent any hiccups during the mortgage approval process is to prevent a felony conviction in the first place. Depending on your circumstances, a Florida criminal defense attorney may be able to help mitigate criminal charges or prevent the conviction of a felony charge entirely.
Help Protect Your Future by Fighting a Florida Felony Charge with an Attorney
In Florida, a felony conviction can impede your future ambitions. Convicted felons have fewer career options, are unable to vote in elections, and cannot purchase a firearm. If you find yourself facing a felony charge, do not try to handle the situation alone. A felony conviction has lifelong consequences. Don’t risk the trial without qualified legal representation. Contact The Law Office of Gabriel & Gabriel today.
Having served Palm Beach County communities for over 30 years, Attorney Brian Gabriel has defended numerous clients with their felony cases. He knows your reputation and future are riding on the outcome of your case and will do everything he can to fight for your rights. For a free consultation, call (561) 622-5575 or complete a contact form today.