Pre-foreclosure - owner not found - Posted by JA - MIA

Posted by Jonathan on July 03, 2002 at 17:16:21:


I’ve had similiar experience and am copying an email Joe Kaiser sent me that may help. see below.


At some point, there’s nothing more you can do, so give up and rethink your approach.

When we can’t find an owner on a property we really want to check out, we order title, hoping for liens we can acquire and get the property that way.

We picked up a big check last week on just such a property. Bought a lien for less than 10 cents on the dollar, foreclosed, and two days before the redemption period ended a junior lienholder came in and paid us off.

$37k. Darn ;-).

Joe Kaiser

Pre-foreclosure - owner not found - Posted by JA - MIA

Posted by JA - MIA on July 02, 2002 at 12:47:44:

I have tracked down the bank which owns the loan that has been sold over 4 times. They referred me to the attorney handling the case of this SFH foreclosure. The attorney cannot release any info on the loan balance and delinquent taxes. I have the owner’s name, but she is not residing on the property, and I cannot find her name listed anywhere in my state (FL).

I have left messages in the mailbox for the owner and even spoke to neighbors. No one knows where she is.

The house goes for sale by the bank on August 1st.

What are my options here? I’d like to snatch this house before auction.


Re: Pre-foreclosure - owner not found - Posted by Kristy

Posted by Kristy on July 03, 2002 at 02:32:50:

Check the county records for a Death certificate. Look in the phone book for anyone with the same last name and call all of them asking if they know her or are related to her.
As far as a short sale, probably not likely, but maybe be able to do a discounted mortgage, you buy the mortgage that is foreclosing for a discount then foreclose your self. If she has passed away and no probate has been filed, if the price is right you could make some money.

Re: Pre-foreclosure - owner not found - Posted by Jonathan

Posted by Jonathan on July 02, 2002 at 17:21:52:


I am located in Ft. Lauderdale and I have found plenty of vacants, but very tough to find the owners.

Couple of thoughts:

  1. I have postcards I print from my computer and mail them hoping they will get forwarded and owner will respond.
  2. Short sale - Determine what the comps are. Sometimes you can get this from a realtor if you phrase it right. Tell them you are an investor looking to work with a realtor and by the way, could you give me a few comps. Once you know what the prices are, go take some bad pictures of the property, estimate what the repairs will be and fax an offer to the attorney with the pictures and estimated costs to repair. If I know that the comps are, I usually try and make an offer of 50% of the value and negotiate from there. Sometimes the attorney/bank will negotiate when they have a solid offer unless they already know that they can get FMV for the property which may be the case here. Doesn’t hurt to try.

Good luck.


Re: Pre-foreclosure - owner not found - Posted by luke-NC

Posted by luke-NC on July 02, 2002 at 13:56:42:

Did you try mailing a letter to her? Try that and put “address service requested” on the letter, that may forward to her new address. Also, do a hand written envelop that doesnt look business, or she might throw it away without even looking at it, thinking its a bill. Maybe snoop around and ask the mailman too if he or she knows…

Try this and see…Otherwise you might out of luck…
lots of times these people just up and leave without a trace.

Re: Pre-foreclosure - owner not found - Posted by Juan

Posted by Juan on July 06, 2002 at 13:53:35:

Check the foreclosure file at the courthouse, there should be a record from the officer who served the homeowner. Many times the officer will make handwritten notes on the file as to where he has been to look for the person or where he served the homeowner.

See if the neighbors know where the homeowner works or worked.

Discounting the mortgage is good but do your due diligence, ensure that there are no other liens attached to the property. You can have your attorney or title company do this for you.

Short sale without owner, not likely - Posted by Michael A. Bardelli

Posted by Michael A. Bardelli on July 02, 2002 at 21:40:39:

How are you doing a short sale on a property without a contract between you and the owner. The bank/attorney has no right to and cannot convey title without the owner’s consent. The owner does not lose ownership of the property until the trustee’s sale has occured. Maybe in your state it is different. Here in Virginia, you must have a signed contract with the owner before you can try to negotiate a short sale. In my market, properties are going for full retail or better so short sales are few and far between here.
Michael A. Bardelli

Re: Short sale without owner, not likely - Posted by JA - MIA

Posted by JA - MIA on July 02, 2002 at 23:50:20:

you are absolutely correct. the thing is that i cannot, for the life in me, find this owner. i have searched high and low. i spoke with the bank only to find out the status of the foreclosure. they referred me to their attorney, who in turn told me that the sale date is august 1. so, in effect, the owner still owns the house. the bank and i cannot negotiate b/c i have no contract with the seller… who happened to fall off this planet. i’m spinning my wheels, but there’s great potential with this house… and I WANT IT!!

any ideas here??

thanx, joe

Re: Short sale without owner, not likely - Posted by Jonathan

Posted by Jonathan on July 02, 2002 at 22:00:24:


You are right and I assumed that Joe knew that he had to work closely with the owner. It appears to me that he has that relationship intact and I was merely addressing the second phase of how to negotiate with the attorney/bank when he has the permission of the owner.

Sorry for the confusion.