I am a bankruptcy attorney and I would be happy to assist you. In order to answer your question, I will clarify a few things for you.
First, if you choose to walk away from your home right now, your bankruptcy discharge protects you in that the mortgage company can not later sue you or attempt to recover from you the deficiency. This is the protection your discharge provides.
The options you are discussing are called a "short sale" or "cash for keys." In both options, there are certain contractual obligations and rules which the bank has the right to make, such as not being able to obtain a mortgage through them again for 2 or more years. The reality is that if you actually have money, anyone in America has the right to buy property. If you wanted a $500,000 home after short selling your house and you had cash, then you don't have to wait 2 years. However, obtaining a mortgage is a different story. Most of the larger banks have similar rules and regulations. Some require you wait 3 years to obtain a mortgage and others require only 2 years at their specific mortgage companies. So, to answer your question, if you choose to do a "short sale" or "cash for keys" or "give back the keys" to the bank regarding your home, you will need to apply at multiple mortgage companies to determine if one is wiling to lend to you. Each bank/mortgage lending company will have different rules. However, typically most banks you will go to will say you need two things in order to borrow money from them (mortgage): 1) high credit rating and 2) Two years have passed since the bank took back the house. If you find yourself in that situation, a good option would be to find a home that has an owner willing to do a lease-purchase option contract
. This way you could rent the home for 2 years, and then when you are ready you could buy it from the owner. This is a preferred option for many who are either in bankruptcy or have received a discharge, since it provides time to rebuild your credit.
I hope my answer has assisted you and that you will provide me a positive rating!