While a DWI can present many obstacles after you pay your debt to society, it doesn’t necessarily stop you from getting a mortgage in Texas. You can get a mortgage with a DWI, but it may not be an easy or smooth process.
The decision to approve you for a loan after a DWI conviction is up to the lender. No federal or state law protects people convicted of crimes from discrimination based on those offenses. The best way to ensure you don’t suffer discrimination after a DWI is to prevent a conviction with a DWI lawyer.
Mortgage Loan Approval is Subject to the Lender’s Policies
Depending on how you look at it, being subject to the lender’s policies can be a good thing or a bad thing. Remember that it works the same way for people without criminal records. Loan approval is always subject to the lender’s discretion, but a criminal history may raise concerns over whether you are responsible or stable enough to repay your loan.
An ethical mortgage lender will act according to their policies. If their policies indicate that background checks must be run and applicants with criminal records will be denied, they are within their rights to do so. Some mortgage lender policies may stipulate applicants with misdemeanors are permissible, but those with felonies will be denied.
The law offers protection against discrimination based on race, religion, gender, and family status, but it does not protect those with criminal convictions.
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Will a Mortgage Lender Do a Background Check?
A lender may or may not do a background check. While they reserve the right, they do not often perform them. They may consider your credit score, income, living situation, and employment history more important. If the uncertainty makes you anxious, you can search specifically for lenders that do not do background checks.
Lenders May Discover Your DWI Conviction Even Without a Background Check
It’s important to remember that the information you’re hoping to avoid could be revealed in other ways. Gaps in your employment or questions about where you lived for a specific time could put you in a dubious position if you served jail time in recent years. You may have to disclose your DWI conviction either way.
You Can Always Explain Your DWI to the Mortgage Lender
All that being said, your loan may still be approved. You’ll have the opportunity to explain your situation and how you’ve made strides to put your life on the right track since that time. It’s also likely that you wouldn’t be applying for a mortgage loan if you didn’t feel confident in your progress and ability to take on the financial responsibility of buying a home.
You May Face Higher Interest Rates if You Have a DWI
If your mortgage lender does overlook your DWI in favor of approving your loan, you may face higher interest rates. A higher APR would ensure they can make a profit on your loan and cover a portion of missed payments if you become delinquent. If your interest rates are too high, don’t be afraid to shop around.
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Getting Your DWI Offense Sealed Can Help You Get a Mortgage Loan
Struggling through the mortgage lending process may not be your only option. Depending on the specifics of your conviction, you may be able to get your DWI sealed. A Houston DWI lawyer can help you file a petition for nondisclosure.
If an order granting the petition is issued, government entities, including courts, the clerk of the courts, prosecutors, and law enforcement, can’t disclose your conviction.
Some of the criteria you must meet to have your DWI sealed include:
- You are a first-time DWI offender.
- Your blood alcohol concentration was under 0.15.
- You weren’t involved in an accident with another party.
- You have never been convicted of any other crime or received a deferred adjudication for them.
- You completed any mandatory jail time or community supervision.
- You paid all fines, court costs, and restitution required in your case.
- You waited the required time before petitioning for nondisclosure.
There are other important stipulations for a nondisclosure petition in Texas; therefore, it’s a good idea to contact a DWI defense attorney. Your lawyer will inform you of your petition’s legal requirements and deadlines and help you meet them.
Don’t Let Your Past Ruin Your Future, Call Blass Law
Those who have been convicted of driving while intoxicated but want to distance themselves from that lifestyle should still be able to get a mortgage. Your past should not stop you from having a future.
The best way to avoid the obstacles a DWI conviction might create is to fight the charges from the beginning. A Houston DWI defense attorney at Blass Law will work hard to preserve your freedom and future. Call us today for a confidential case evaluation.