Finding Preforeclosures Door to Door - Posted by Brian

Posted by Rich-FL on November 29, 2001 at 20:25:39:


Finding Preforeclosures Door to Door - Posted by Brian

Posted by Brian on November 29, 2001 at 08:20:25:

Has anyone found pre-foreclosure information in a courthouse or by using a service and then gone straight to the person? In books and courses I’ve read it is the most effective way to wholesale, but can be dangerous. I was wondering if anybody has had any experience


Re: Finding Preforeclosures Door to Door (Long) - Posted by Rich[FL]

Posted by Rich[FL] on November 29, 2001 at 18:55:09:

I had an email from Barry(FL) asking me about what I am looking at when reviewing the online records from the courthouse and tax office. I didn’t see anything private or personal in the email so I’m posting it here in case someone else can find some useful information from it.

Hey Rich,
Read your post on creonline Re: Lis Pendens. am curious as I am a newbie, I live in Volusia county and have the same info available but am not sure what I am looking at. Could you please explain the info that I am seeing?
Who is the person that you are looking to contact etc.

Thanks In advance,
Barry (FL)

Hi Barry!

The best thing for you to do, at least at first, is to go the courthouse (where the records are) and talk to the people there. Ask them where you can go to view the records. Then, as you’re looking through them, ask them what the various abbreviations mean. Often, they’ll have a “cheat sheet” that will decode all those obtuse terms! Once you go do a few searches from the courthouse with their help, you’ll be better able to tackle and understand what you’re looking at via the internet. If you don’t have time to go in person, call them up and ask them how to get the “decoder ring” to understand what you’re seeing on the screen .

Anyway, a Lis Pendens is basically a notice to the world that some legal action is being taken against the person named. What you want to look for is is a Lis Pendens that is filed by a bank or mortgage company – that’ll be your first clue that a foreclosure may be imminent (this is also one of THE first steps in the foreclosure process, to notify the “world”). At that point, you’ll have a name. From that name, you can search back to see when the property was purchased because both the deed and mortgage will be filed in the same records database (usually). You’ll be able to see how much he paid for the house and what his approximate mortgage was. You’ll also get a rough idea of how much he still owes by doing your own mortgage amortization calculations. You may also find there are other liens against the property - homeowner/condo associations, local creditors, US Government (IRS, etc).

NOTE: up here in Panama City, they’ve taken away our ability to actually view the documents themselves online; we have to physically go to the courthouse to view the documents. All we get to see are the record summaries. Viewing the documents will give you all available information about the real estate transaction including the address. Since I don’t get to view these documents and I can’t take time off work to get to the courthouse, I have to take the next step, which may be a good idea anyway.

Look up the name in the county tax records, which are also online here. The courthouse records you just looked at will usually have a legal description of the property (lotX, Block Y, of the palm tree plat, etc, etc.) It’ll be in shorthand so make sure you get what you need to understand that group of abbreviations too while you’re at the courthouse. Anyway, back on the property tax assessor’s web site, you can look up the the property by last name. Often you’ll get several tens or hundreds of hits; you can then search on first name using the browser’s search function to search within the displayed page. Since there may be several people with the same first and last names, you can then use the person’s middle initial and/or legal description to make sure you have the correct record.

Looking at this record you can get the property address, and if the owners don’t physically live there, you can get their mailing address. Our records here also include a link to the most recent sales data. We can look at the property description and layout on the lot; we get basic information on square footage, bedrooms, baths, construction materials, etc. Everything the property assessor needs to make his appraisal. One other quick step I’ve taken here is to go back to the property search page (you can search by property address, name, or parcel number which is a unique number for every property in the county) and, using the parcel number for the address in question, search for the numbers slightly above and below to get a listing of all, or most, of the properties on that street. Then I can look at these properties’ recent sales history to get an idea of what the values are in the neighborhood.

Now you have a pretty good idea of the property in question, the address of the property, and the address of the owner. This is where I’m starting my postcard writing campaign.

I don’t know if this is the same information you’re looking at or not. Hopefully this will help you understand the process I’m going through right now which may get you on the right track. If you have any other questions, don’t hesitate to post or email.


Re: Finding Preforeclosures Door to Door - Posted by tarheel t

Posted by tarheel t on November 29, 2001 at 16:31:28:

That is the very best way to find out who and what you are dealing with. I have been yelled at a few times and told to leave but never have I been physically assaulted.
You learn so much by going straight to the source.For example, many times the occupants are tenants and will tell you where to find the owner. Other times you will at least see a glimpse of the inside, maybe the only one who has, and you can use that advantage later if the property comes up on the steps.
I have never hesitated to knock on the door and have found many times the folks just open up and want to tell you everything. The key is to be very courtious and dont act pushy. Leave immediately if asked.

Tracy Thompson

Re: Finding Preforeclosures Door to Door - Posted by GL

Posted by GL on November 29, 2001 at 15:39:24:

You need to find sellers who need to sell. If they are going to be coy, waste your time, hold out for more money, then refuse to sign, who needs it?

So send out a businesslike letter or postcard. If they are motivated at all they will call, if they aren’t motivated you won’t be able to make a deal anyway.

Re: Finding Preforeclosures Door to Door - Posted by Rich[FL]

Posted by Rich[FL] on November 29, 2001 at 10:37:53:

Hi Brian. I’m just starting out exploring the pre-foreclosure arena here. Since our records are all online, it’s relatively easy to look daily for the Lis Pendens notices in the public records then do a reverse search on the name in the tax records to get both the property address and the mailing address (if different) of the owners. My first step is to send out some non-threatening post cards to the owners saying something along the lines of (Local Investors looking to buy homes in your area…if you need to sell or know someone who does, call for more information.)

I figure in a couple of weeks if I haven’t heard anything, I’ll send them a little more hard hitting postcard then maybe follow that up with one of Joe Kaiser’s famous hit 'em between the eyes letters as the sale date gets closer.

I’ve heard both good and bad things (horror stories) of going face-to-face with the pre-foreclosure people. For now, I’ll do the letter writing campaign. Over the last 4 days or so, I’ve found 17 people I’m sending the first postcards to. We’ll see what kind of response I end up getting.

Best of luck!


Where are you located? - Posted by Rich-FL

Posted by Rich-FL on November 29, 2001 at 16:35:29:


Where are you located in Florida?



Re: Finding Preforeclosures Door to Door - Posted by HouseGoddess

Posted by HouseGoddess on November 29, 2001 at 13:00:41:

What kind of horror stories are we talking about…physical assualt?

Re: Where are you located? - Posted by Rich[FL]

Posted by Rich[FL] on November 29, 2001 at 18:47:35:

Rich-FL -

I’m up in the panhandle: Panama City. You?