how to buy a foreclosure at courthouse

If the owner doesn’t bring the payments current within 30 days, the lender files of a Notice of Default in the county where the property is located.
If the property owner doesn’t make the mortgage payments or fails to pay the property tax, an auction is scheduled.
The county prints lists of property facing auction in the legal section of local newspapers.
If the payments aren’t made, the lender files a Notice of Sale and schedules a auction in 21 days.
The lender contacts the property owner if the mortgage payments aren’t made as scheduled.
If the taxes aren’t paid, the property is sold at auction.
Property owners may redeem the property by paying all back taxes and fees prior to the auction.

When buying on the courthouse steps, which happens the first Tues of every month, you'll need to remember 2 things: FIRST, you need to come prepared to pay CASH and only cash.
for more information on how to buy an Atlanta property at the courthouse steps our #2 Top Foreclosure Myth of 2012 and what to expect when buying a home at the courthouse steps.
Just like any other investment, buying a property at the courthouse steps offers the greatest potential return on investment; however, it also holds the highest risk to the investor, due to the limited means of investigating as mentioned above.
Also strongly recomended is that someone interested in doing this to actually play a Monopoly Game version and follow a few properties from beginning to end – actually drive to the properties and at least look at them from the curb, check title, etc., know what the property is worth and if the house makes it to the steps listen to what happens when it’s cried.
However, you can and should order a title report to determine any liens that are on the property because when you purchase a property at the courthouse steps you get everything that comes with it (such as liens, an additional mortgage, past due taxes, etc.). In addition, a survey would determine the lot lines and if there are any easements or encroachments on the property.
It is definitely best to wait until it goes into foreclosure to have less hassle and most likely better deal! I would say the courthouse steps process is more for an investor, not your typical buyer.
I concur! I tried to assist a buyer in purchasing a home on the court house steps only to find out there was a second mortgage on the property the seller (whom we had been in contact with on a regular basis) did not inform us of.
So if a buyer is smart, very well prepared, all due diligence done & follows the rule “Buyer Beware” ; then he can definitely get a great deal at the courthouse steps.
Attending a sale on the courthouse steps is like going to a zoo during feeding time…a lot of hungry buyers looking to get the “meal” of the century.
Thank you for unveiling the urban myth! It’s such a difficult process to explain to a buyer and they always think that they will get a deal at the courthouse steps.
If you’re thinking of purchasing a property at the courthouse steps, it’s very important that you do your Due Diligence.
Auctioneer Jay Gafner leads a foreclosure auction in front of the San Diego County Courthouse as potential investors, clad in Hawaiian shirts for the auction’s "Aloha Thursday," chat in the foreground.
But there’s also been an increase in the number of sales that banks have canceled, frustrating buyers who’ve researched a property only to get to the steps and discover it’s not for sale that day.
At a time when normal deals are muddled with extra negotiations and delays, there’s something striking about the unadorned procedure underway every day at the courthouse steps in downtown San Diego, El Cajon and Oceanside.
“They look at it and look at each other and we’re shaking our heads, but you just deal with what it is,” said Ward Hannigan, a mainstay in the local foreclosure scene since 1982 who now trains others how to win on the courthouse steps.
There’s been a growing number of auctioned homes selling at these auctions on the courthouse steps, rather than just going back to the bank.
During the auction, the bidders usually chat with their counterparts or bosses who are sitting at the computer researching the property while they’re at the courthouse bidding.
“This appears very primitive,” says Brad Tuck, an investor and a regular at auctions in downtown San Diego and in El Cajon.
Auctions that are utilized by the banks to clear foreclosure property and auctions on the court house steps which is the final step to the foreclosure process.
Homes sold in foreclosure on the court steps are sold for all cash! "Ordinary People" are advised to sterr clear of them.
Best bet is for a buyer to work with a good real estate agent and focus on homes that have been taken back by the bank, having failed to sell at auction.
Record Information Services has the information you need to begin your research for foreclosed properties.  We gather the pre-foreclosure when it is newly filed, follow that recording through to sale and update our reports weekly.  Liens and other important information is also provided for you to make decisions early on whether you will want to invest it a particular property.
Step five.       To buy the property at the foreclosure auction you would ignore all liens that were recorded junior in time to the one going to sale.
Step three.    Determine the property’s fair market value (after fix-up) from local comparable sales.
These auctions don’t just take place at the courthouse (and they don’t really happen on the steps – auctioneers and bidders sit in a covered courtyard just outside the entrance to the central courts building).
I asked Dusty to meet me at the courthouse steps yesterday because a bulk of the trustee’s sales in Maricopa County happen here.
The courthouse steps are not a place for novice real estate investors or primary home buyers.
We got a bidder’s card, talked to the bank reps and found out that one house we saw and researched had an opening bid within our budget and under the assessed value of the home — so we bid on it! Two other investors counter-bid a few times, but we won the bid and got our first house at the foreclosure auction.
My husband and I have just recently achieved our long-time goal of buying a foreclosed house, turning it into a rental property and creating a steady stream of income from the monthly rent we collect (at 17 percent profit on the initial cash investment every year).
Very good post! I have thought about buying a foreclosed property, but really don’t have the time to invest in researching the area, heading to the courthouse, renovating the house, etc.
After you identify a few houses in your chosen location or size range, research each offered property’s sales and tax history, as well as its current assessed value on the County Property Appraiser’s website, which are all public record.
Once you hear this number you will need to evaluate on the spot whether purchasing the property is financially feasible given your cash budget, current market conditions, the research you did on the property and your personal criteria and plan for the investment.
Our county publishes a twice-weekly list of the properties to be sold at the foreclosure auction held each Tuesday and Thursday at 11 a.m. A large portion of our time each week is spent physically viewing the properties and researching them online or in the courthouse books.
Next, research each property owner (also listed on the County Appraiser’s property record page) online via the County Clerk of Courts Public Record Search because whatever that the owner owes regarding that property outside of the loans (liens, back taxes, etc.), you will owe when you purchase a foreclosure home.
Instead, you need to start the bidding at the acceptable opening bid amount for each property, which is the lowest amount the bank is willing to accept for a property at the auction that day.
People get the idea they can buy a house at auction for $100 because they have heard that someone “bid on behalf of the plaintiff (the bank) for $100.” But auction buyers cannot counter the bank bid at $150 dollars.
What if the previous owner took steps to deal with drainage that caused a problem for the next door neighbor and you will be required to put it back.  What if there is an easement to a neighbor accross the front yard, or if cars can not be parked in a certain spot or the fence is illegal and must come down.  (just listing a few things I can remember finding out about during the course of a property transaction- these are real issue that can happen, they might be rare, but keep in mind in a foreclosure it is sometimes things like this that made the owner decide to just walk – between the cost of the home and the unfixable issue…they left)- waiting until foreclosure is done where you can buy it NOT in a rush and have time to investigate and discover such issues is highly recommended.
Buying Tax Certificates Over-the-Counter: The best way to avoid the competitive bidding at the annual tax sale, which might destroy either the maximum potential yield or the extraordinary security that an investor might obtain when buying a tax certificate, is to buy such certificate over-the-counter.
In states considered "pure certificate states" (with certain exceptions such as Missouri), those tax certificates not sold at the annual tax sale can be purchased over-the-counter.
Attend the sale, and double check the accuracy of the county lists.
Investors buy them from the same official who conducted the annual tax sale, and exceptions also apply in certain states.
To find what will be auctioned the courthouses publish list of properties with auction dates that is posted on the courthouse wall and published in the local legal notice paper or you can subscribe to a service.
Here (Milwaukee) they have foreclosure auctions in a room of the county courthouse once every Monday morning.  Other places I hear actually hold the auctions on the courthouse steps.
For judicial foreclosure states you will typically still find a notice of foreclosure sale recorded at the county recorders office.
Once you find the initial information on the notice, you'll then need to attend the auction (typically, but not always on the courthouse steps even though these foreclosures happen outside the court system).
Bottom line, the data is publicly, and freely, available at either the county recorder or directly from the court, but it is difficult and time consuming to extract, so if you value your time, you will likely end up using a service that spreads the cost across many users.
I find it much more comfortable to buy from the banks after the foreclosure is done.  I can get title insurance and properly inspect the property.
Auctions are held at 10:00 am on the west steps of the county courthouse at 1000 Guadalupe St., Austin, Texas, on the first Tuesday of the month.
A list of properties to be auctioned is made available in the Austin Chronicle 21 days prior to the auction.
Methods of payment include cash, check, cashiers check, money order and major credit card.
There are some other institutions that have done well by buying up 1st position loans that are going into foreclosure, at a deep discount, (price paid is not readily avail to the public), and then taking the property back at a trustee sale (foreclosure) and later selling the property as a "bank owned" for what looks to be a loss (based on last public record of sale, house sold for much less and well below loans taken) but might, in fact, be at a handsome profit.
At that "above market" price, there were likely no third party investors willing to bid and consequently it went "bank owned." Fannie Mae (new owner) then handed off the property to their REO team and put it up for sale … ultimately selling it @ $160K.’s business model is to sell some properties in-person at foreclosure auctions and other properties solely online.
I’ve attended some in-person foreclosure auctions, to watch how the game is played, as well as watching online auctions on and Bid4Assets.
I’m glad your auction was a success! I’ve read reports online of people winning the auction but the bank refusing the offer – basically de facto, unstated reserve prices.
I knew that would add a few minutes to the closing time if there was a last-second bid, but I also figured that the other bidder(s) were using e-mail as a notification, and the e-mail wouldn’t go out until after the auction closed if I waited until the last minute to place a bid.
We snagged a great deal on the property through the foreclosure auction website, and I’d certainly buy a rental from a foreclosure website again.
When properties are bought and sold through, the seller has 15 business days to accept the price.
Did it take 15 days for to notify you the bank accepted your offer, or did auction inform you it was accepted and then it took 15 days to get signed copy of contract from bank.
The representative wanted to confirm that I knew that it was an all-cash auction and that the property was being sold “where is, as is,” with no contingencies.
The report must give the name of the borrower; the lender; the date, time and place of the sale; recording information about the deed; the name of the foreclosure buyer; the price at which the property was sold and the name of the person making the report.
The term "record owner" means any person owning a present or future interest in the real property, which interest is of record at the time that the notice of hearing is filed and would be affected by the foreclosure proceeding, but does not mean or include the trustee in a deed of trust or the owner or holder of a mortgage, deed of trust, judgment, mechanic’s or materialman’s , or other or security interest in the real property.
North Carolina foreclosure states that all sales of real property, under a power of sale contained in any mortgage or deed of trust to secure the payment of money, by any mortgagee or trustee, through an agent or attorney for that purpose, appointed orally or in writing by such mortgagee or trustee, whether such writing has been or shall be registered or not, shall be valid, whether or not such mortgagee or trustee was or shall be present at such sale.
The mortgagee or trustee granted a power of sale under a mortgage or deed of trust who seeks to exercise such power of sale shall file with the clerk of court a notice of hearing in accordance with the terms of this section.
When the clerk offers the property for resale due to the deposit of an upset bid, then the notice of the resale must be posted at the courthouse door for 15 days prior to the sale.
(More details will follow on the sale itself.) The notice must describe the property and state the terms of the sale and that the property will be sold subject to taxes, special assessments and any other terms required by the deed of trust, which must be specifically described.
If someone other than the borrower owns or claims ownership of the property in an instrument that has been recorded, then such a person must be mentioned in the notice of the foreclosure sale.
The notice of the sale must be mailed first class mail at least 20 days before the sale to the borrower and any other owner or record title or lien claimant at the address last known to the trustee or the lender.
The notice must state that the borrower does not have to appear, and that failure to attend does not preclude the buyer from trying to cure the default or buy at the foreclosure sale.
(c) When a mortgage or deed of trust with power of sale of real property designates the place of sale within the county, the sale shall be held at the place so designated.
However, in those instances that publication would be authorized, service may be made by posting a notice in a conspicuous place and manner upon the property not less than 20 days prior to the date of the hearing, and if service upon a party cannot be effected after a reasonable and diligent effort in a manner authorized above, notice to such party may be given by posting the notice in a conspicuous place and manner upon the property not less than 20 days prior to the date of hearing.
A notice of the postponement must be posted on the courthouse door, and be given orally to each party who is normally entitled to notice of a foreclosure sale.
That the debtor should keep the trustee or mortgagee notified in writing of his address so that he can be mailed copies of the notice of foreclosure setting forth the terms under which the sale will be held, and notice of any postponements or re-sales.
The notice of the sale of the real estate must be posted at the courthouse door for 20 days prior to the sale.
The holder has confirmed in writing to the person giving the notice, or if the holder is giving the notice, the holder shall confirm in the notice, that, within 30 days of the date of the notice, the debtor was sent by first-class mail at the debtor’s last known address a written statement of the amount of principal and interest that the holder claims in good faith is owed as of the date of the written statement, a daily interest charge based on the contract rate as of the date of the statement, and the amount of other expenses the holder contends it is owed as of the date of the statement.
The notice shall specify a time and place for the hearing before the clerk of court and shall be served not less than 10 days prior to the date of such hearing.
The notice shall contain a statement that if the debtor does not intend to contest the creditor’s allegations of default, the debtor does not have to appear at the hearing and that his failure to attend the hearing will not affect his right to pay the indebtedness and thereby prevent the proposed sale, or to attend the actual sale, should he elect to do so.
If the sale is made to someone other than the lender, or if the lender resells to a good-faith buyer and such a buyer holds the land six months, then a person who did not receive a notice of sale loses the right to challenge the foreclosure.
The notice must state that the borrower has the right to appear before the clerk of the court at the date and time specified and show cause as to why the foreclosure should not be held.
An upset bid consists of making a higher bid than the foreclosure bid within a set time, which will cause the property to go through a resale, which may happen again and again! After the final sale, the sale is reported to the court clerk.
THE ABOVE SALE(S) TO BE HELD AT THE CIRCUIT COURT FOR CHARLES CO., 200 CHARLES ST., LAPLATA, MD 20646 (Sales will be held in the breezeway between the Circuit Court and the District Court).
“While foreclosure judgments foreclose the interests of inferior mortgagees, lien holders and any other persons or entities named as parties to the action, served with process and whose interests are legally foreclosed by the court, title issued by the clerk after a judicial sale is not warranted to be free of any potential claims.
Once all proceeds are paid in full, the Clerk will issue a certificate of sale and the bidder must then provide documentary stamps to the Clerk’s Office within ten (10) days.
The Clerk’s Office is responsible for conducting foreclosure sales in accordance with Chapter 45, F.S. Sales are held at 11:00 am every Tuesday and Thursday (except on legal holidays) in the first floor lobby of the Hernando County Government Center.
Payments must be made in one of the following formats: ACH, wire transfer, cash, cashier’s check, or money order made payable to the Clerk of the Court and Comptroller.
Immediately after the final bid is made and accepted for a property, you must post with the Clerk a required deposit of 5% of the final bid; this amount will be deducted from the initial auction deposit.
The remaining balance and the court registry fees must be paid no later than 5:00 pm ET on the day of the sale or the following day.

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