What are the FHA, VA, USDA, Conventional, and Jumbo Mortgage guidelines for getting a mortgage after bankruptcy (short sale or foreclosure)?

Not as bad as you think.  It will be anywhere from one year of payments in a chapter 13 case, up to seven years.

I normally tell clients that it will be 2 years and 4 months after their chapter 7 case filing before they can buy a home after bankruptcy (2 year wait plus the four months it takes for your case to discharge).  mortgage guidelines

I was reading an article by Scott Schang which laid it out so much better than I have ever done.  Here is the article.  Here is a huge block quote which gives his timing guidelines (thanks for the hard work and excellent article Mr. Schang!) (I have added some bold to make it more readable on this blog):

2015 FHA Guidelines
Bankruptcy – You may apply for a FHA insured loan after your bankruptcy has been discharged for TWO (2) years with a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy. You may apply for a FHA insured loan after your bankruptcy has been discharged for ONE (1) year with a Chapter 13 Bankruptcy
Foreclosure – You may apply for a FHA insured loan THREE (3) years after the sale/deed transfer date.
Short Sale / Deed in Lieu – You may apply for a FHA insured loan THREE (3) years after the sale date of your foreclosure. FHA treats a short sale the same as a Foreclosure for now.
Credit must be re-established with a 640 minimum credit score
2015 VA Guidelines
Bankruptcy Ch 7 – You may apply for a VA guaranteed loan TWO (2) years after a chapter 7 Bankruptcy
Bankruptcy Ch 13 – If you have finished making all payments satisfactorily, the lender may conclude that you have reestablished satisfactory credit.
If you have satisfactorily made at least 12 months worth of the payments and the Trustee or the Bankruptcy Judge approves of the new credit, the lender may give favorable consideration.
Foreclosure – You may apply for a VA guaranteed loan TWO (2) years after a foreclosure
Short Sale / Deed in Lieu – You may apply for a VA guaranteed loan TWO (2) years after a short sale, unless it was a VA loan then restrictions apply
Credit must be re-established with a minimum 620 credit score
2015 USDA Guidelines
Bankruptcy – You may apply for a USDA rural loan THREE (3) years after the discharge of a Chapter 7 or 13 Bankruptcy
Foreclosure – You may apply for a USDA rural loan THREE (3) years after a Foreclosure
Short Sale / Deed in Lieu of Foreclosure – If you had big issues the deed in lieu of foreclosure will be viewed as a foreclosure and you would want to wait no less than 3 years if the score is under 640. Over 640 your UW will make the call but typically not less than one year.
UPDATED 12/2014 – Mortgage debt included in Bankruptcy will go by BK discharge date, and subsequent foreclosure, short sale, or deed in lieu of foreclosure will not count as an additional waiting period, as long as you are off title for any defaulted mortgages.
Link to 12/1/2014 USDA Guideline – HB-1-3555 Attachment 10-B See Page 4 of 6

Although I have not personally processed a USDA with a short sale under 3 years, I have heard of instances when it is possible to buy again with re-established credit in as little as 18 months.In some cases there is not a waiting period.

If the credit was perfect and they had to move because of a relocation or something and had no choice but to ask for a deed in lieu of foreclosure you would be ok.

2015 Conventional (Fannie Mae) – UPDATED 12/2014
Bankruptcy – You may apply for a Conventional, Fannie Mae loan after your Chapter 7 bankruptcy has been discharged for FOUR (4) years, TWO (2) years from the discharge of a Chapter 13
Foreclosure – You may apply for a Conventional, Fannie Mae loan SEVEN (7) years after the sale date of your foreclosure. Additional qualifying requirements may apply,
Short Sale / Deed in Lieu of Foreclosure –
UPDATED – Effective 7/29/2014: Waiting period for subsequent foreclosure that was included in Bankruptcy is waived. If mortgage is included in Bankruptcy, waiting period defaults to FOUR (4) from the discharge date.
UPDATED – Effective 8/16/2014: Short Sale or Deed in Lieu of Foreclosure not included in a Bankruptcy has a new Waiting Period of FOUR (4) years from date your name is removed from title. This replaces the ability to buy in 24 months with 20% down payment and minimum 680 credit score.
Currently treated the same as a foreclosure with a waiting time of SEVEN (7) years before you can buy again using a Fannie Mae conventional home loan.
TWO (2) Years up to Maximum 80% Loan to Value | 20% Down Payment
FOUR (4) Years up to Maximum 90% Loan to Value | 10% Down Payment – Subject to Private Mortgage Insurance underwriting guidelines.

SEVEN (7) Years above 90% Loan to Value | with less than 10% Down Payment – Subject to Private Mortgage Insurance underwriting guidelines.
Credit must be re-established with a minimum 620 credit score.

Fannie Mae has reduced waiting periods in cases of extenuating circumstances – The death of a primary wage earner seems to be the only one I have been able to identify up to this point.

2014 Jumbo Mortgage Guidelines
Bankruptcy – You may apply for a Jumbo mortgage loan once any chapter of bankruptcy has been discharged for FOUR (4) years, FIVE (5) years if multiple bankruptcy occurs on credit profile.
Foreclosure – You may apply for a Jumbo mortgage loan SEVEN (7) years after the sale date of your foreclosure. Additional qualifying requirements may apply,
Short Sale / Deed in Lieu of Foreclosure – You may apply for a Jumbo mortgage loan:
FOUR (4) Years from Short Sale or Deed in Lieu of Foreclosure with Maximum 80% Loan to Value
NOTE: If hardship is the result of an extenuating circumstance, waiting periods may be reduced. Contact lender for details.

Again, this is Scott Schang’s work, and if you want to thank him, go to the original article.