CRR Blog

What is the Best Way to buy a Foreclosure Property?


Each week, the CRR blog will be providing answers

to the most common and important foreclosure questions.

This question is the most basic, and most commonly asked.

It assumes that there is only one BEST answer.

This is not always true.

Every foreclosure is a dynamic process.

It begins with a borrower/owner falling behind on property payments.

The lender contacts the borrower and reminds them to make the payments.

Eventually it becomes evident that the borrower does not intend to do so.

In California, the lender will first notify the borrower that foreclosure is imminent.

This takes 30 days.

Next, the lender will send a Notice of Default.

This starts the actual foreclosure process.

It contains the default amount, or past due payment balance.

It also contains the “As of” date, when the foreclosure began.

The lender cannot schedule an auction for 90 days.

At the end of the 90 days, the lender sends a Notice of Trustee Sale.

The date of the auction usually falls 21 days later.

These are the basics of any foreclosure.

Any time before the auction, you can make an offer to the borrower/owner.

If the loans are LESS than you think the property is worth, make an offer “subject to” the existing loans.

If the loans are GREATER than you think its worth, make a “short sale” offer.

Any time BEFORE the auction, you can buy from the person in default.

If your offer is not accepted, that is ok.

Look at the loans on the property again.

If it goes to auction, which loan is foreclosing?

Which loans will be wiped out?

If they “drop” the bid, which they often do at auction, will the price be right?

If so, then be ready.

Get a cashier’s check and be at the courthouse steps.



Then you are thinking.

Call us if you do not understand any aspect of this process.

We will explain the auction to you.

If it is a bargain, you’ll know.

Not sure? Don’t bid.

Make sure you check all the loans and liens before you make the decision to bid.

That means double-check whatever source you have for your loan info.

Don’t guess… There are no do-overs.

But the auctions are where the best sale prices happen today.

You can save as much as 75% off the original foreclosing loan amount.

Today that translates into somewhere around half the comparable value, or more.

We have seen deals that are truly amazing.

But don’t worry if the auction isn’t for you.

Any time after the auction, you can offer to buy a property from the new owner.

If no one else bids at auction, the foreclosing lender is the “winner”.

The lender is the new owner at this point.

Make them an offer!

The worst that can happen is they say no.

You will be surprised at what they are willing to accept.

You will likely get an answer close to where you want to be.

Don’t let a realtor make you shy.

Make the offer.

Remember that banks foreclose because they need money.

They do not need or want the property.

If the loan amounts are too high and you choose not to bid at auction, the REO offer could become your method of choice.

These are you general methods, and there is never only one path.

Look at the property profile.

Let the facts guide you.

And ask questions.


More to follow…..

More Amazing Drop Bid Sales

Ventura County, Ferrara Drive, Ojai: Sold 12/2/08

1,181 Sq. Ft, 3 bed/2 bath

Minimum Bid:     $527,793

Opening Bid:       $284,900

Sold Amount:    $284,901

Zestimate:          $416,500

San Bernardino County, Pine Forest Street Fontana: Sold 12/5/08

1,893 Sq. Ft, 3 bed/3 bath

Minimum Bid:     $434,435.06

Opening Bid:       $123.750

Sold Amount:    $123,750.01

Zestimate:          $337,500

Clark County, Advancement Avenue, N. Las Vegas Sold 12/3/08

1,273 Sq. Ft, 3 be/2.5 bath

Minimum Bid:     $190,239

Opening Bid:       $37,004.07

Sold Amount:    $47,100.00

Zestimate:          $182,000

Subscriber Questions… CRR Answers…How do you determine who the REO lender/new property owner is?

Many new subscribers ask how you can figure out who the lender is, when they often do not put their own contact information on the notice of trustee sale. First, know that the bank does not own the property until AFTER the sale has taken place. Until that moment, the house belongs to the borrower and the bank is forbidden from looking at any offers without borrower permission. For that reason, the banks normally use the Trustee as a point of contact and a gatekeeper to avoid buyer telephone calls before the sale.   But there is always a way to find out what you want to know.


The Trustee contact information provided on the NTS can be a clue:


ETS, or Executive Trustee Services, services GMAC properties in foreclosure.

If you see ETS on the Notice of Sale, GMAC will own the property.

Similarly, Recontrust and CTC Real Estate Services handle most of the properties for Countrywide. Five Star Service Corp handles properties for Citibank.

California Reconveyance works for WaMu.

Quality Loan handles their own properties, but also has been providing services to other lenders as a Trustee. Note that any Trustee can process a foreclosure for any lender, but most banks follow procedural patterns. Understanding this will help you succeed.


The Trustee can provide you with the information:


Most Independent Trustees are willing to help you by either forwarding your contact information to the lender or providing you with a contact at the bank. This is a courtesy on their part. This is not always the answer, but it is always worth a phone call to the Trustee to find out. Note that there are numbers for automated lines and there are regular telephone numbers. You need the number that someone answers for this method to be effective. Have your trustee sale number handy and be patient.


The answer is always in the Deed of Trust:


Should the above methods prove ineffective, there is a sure way to obtain the lender contact information you need. You can go to the County Recorder’s Office yourself, or call Any Title Company. You want to get a copy of the Deed of Trust for the loan that took the property to auction. You also want any subsequent Notice of Assignment. The Deed of Trust contains the information to contact the bank who wrote the original Deed of Trust. You look for any subsequent Notice of Assignment related to that Deed of trust, because banks often sell their loans to other banks. Once sold, the loan no longer belongs to the original lender. The Notice of Assignment is the documentation of the transaction. It is recorded just like a deed, and it gives you the contact information for the new bank.


Look to our blog each week for additional answers to your questions.

December Drop-bid purchases at Auction

We've been telling everyone about the fantastic deals available at the Trustee Sales for months, so instead of just talking about it we've decided to give some actual examples from our web site. 

Here are three recent sales from Orange, San Diego and LA counties.  There are lots more, so check out the County Records Research web site, do your homework and start making offers

Orange County; Katella Ave., Anaheim

Sold 12/2/08

Minimum Bid:     $591,201.67

Opening Bid:      $316,800.00

Sold Amount:     $316,800.01

Zestimate:          $467,500.00

San Diego County; Silver Oak Ct., Chula Vista

Sold 12/01/08

Minimum Bid:     $1,354,728.50

Opening Bid:      $508,888.00

Sold Amount:     $508,888.01

Zestimate:          $735,500.00

LA County: Gilbert Drive, Santa Clarita

Sold 12/02/08

Minimum Bid:     $543,702

Opening Bid:      $301,680

Sold Amount:     $312,100

Zestimate:          $463, 500

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