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Frequently Asked Questions
What do I need to take with me to bid at a trustee sale?
To bid you need to qualify, which in most states means you will be required to show the auctioneer identification, and cash or cashiers checks sufficient to cover the full amount you wish to bid (though Arizona requires only a deposit).
Most investors take cashiers checks made out to themselves. If you are not the winning bidder, you can easily redeposit the funds, and if you are the winning bidder, you can endorse the check over to the trustee.
Q-How can I get the opening bids even faster?
The lender gets to make the first bid, which is called the opening bid. Some now also refer to it as the drop bid, because lenders now often substantially discount the opening bid from the amount owed. The laws regarding opening bids vary from state to state. In California the lender/trustee is under no legal obligation to announce the opening bid in advance of the sale. They typically release the opening bid the day before or the morning of the sale. Sometimes the opening bid is not announced until the sale starts. The research team at ForeclosureRadar works diligently to post opening bids as quickly as possible. We also provide the trustee name, phone number and TS number so that you can manually call the trustee for last minute information if you prefer.
Why would the lender post an opening bid that is substantially higher than the value of the property?
The lender can discount the opening bid or add the additional interest that has accrued on the loan to the published bid. It is impossible to know for sure which lenders will discount the opening bid. Oftentimes the lender is the servicer of the loan for another investor and the opening bid is set by the actual investor. There could be additional interests involved, like the existence of a Mortgage Insurance policy. This may cause the lender to set the opening bid at the full amount owed on the loan.
I am the winning bidder. How soon can I change the locks if the property is vacant?
If the property is vacant you can change the locks right away and take possession of the property.
Can I give the owner a 3-day notice right away?
Provided the Trustees Deed is recorded within 14 days of the sale, the effective date of your ownership is on the date of the sale. Many investors make contact with the occupants right away, but wait until the Trustees Deed is recorded to serve a 3-day notice.
What if the tenant will not show me a lease/rental agreement?
Under the Protecting Tenants in Foreclosure Act you are obligated to give a renter 90-days notice if they are renting on a month-to-month tenancy, or honor the terms of the lease provided it is a valid lease, with fair market rents, and signed prior to the Notice of Default. If the renter fails to pay under the terms of that lease, then you would have the right to evict them with 3 days notice for failure to pay.
Do you offer seminars, coaching or mentoring?
We are always willing to work with groups and individuals on how to best use our software. We do not charge for email support or our webinars, and we will consider requests for training groups in person. We do not offer any systems or programs on how to make money in foreclosures. We are working hard to find trainers and resources that we will be able to confidently refer you to in the near future.
Do you track Commercial Properties?
Yes. We track all foreclosures and allow you to search and filter by property type.
Examples of various property types include: Single Family, Condominium, Commercial, Industrial, Agricultural, Land and several others.
What is the difference between an Opening Bid and the Published Bid?
The Published Bid is the estimated opening bid published in the Notice of Trustee Sale, where as the Opening Bid is the actual amount at which the lender plans to, or did, start the bidding at auction.
Does ForeclosureRadar offer Notice of Default lists?
Yes. By utilizing our 60 various search criteria, we provide users the ability to print customized NOD lists tailored to meet their needs and add efficiency into their workday. Within seconds, you can eliminate hours of wasted time sifting through unwanted listings using other providers pre-formatted NOD lists.
What counties do you offer service in?
For a complete list of the states and counties we service see: Coverage Areas.
Why is a credit card required for the free trial?
A credit card is required to insure uninterrupted service should you choose not to cancel service before the trial period expires. Your credit card will not be billed during the trial period, however, we will check to see if the credit card is valid for the term selected. If you do not want to continue service beyond the trial, you must cancel the service, otherwise your card will be billed.
How do I cancel?
ALERT: This is for ForeclosureRadar Subscriptions ONLY. If you are attempting to cancel a subscription with Health Radar (a completely unrelated company) you need to go to the site CancelRadar.com. DO NOT CONTACT US if you are a HEALTH RADAR Customer. For ForeclosureRadar Customers: We’re sorry to see you go, but you can immediately cancel your service by logging in and going to your My Account page. Once there, simply click the cancel button and tell us why you have chosen to discontinue the service. If for any reason you can’t login, feel free to contact us. Our customer service team is happy to help all ForeclosureRadar customers.
I have a billing question.
Please contact us. We want for you to be happy and satisfied with our services. We will do our best to promptly reply to any inquiries during business hours, pacific time.
Can I cancel at anytime?
Yes. Your subscription is month-to-month. Once you cancel, you will receive no further charges, and continue to have access to our software through the balance of your paid or trial period.
Do you offer discounts on subscription fees?
Yes. You may sign-up for an extended commitment and enjoy savings of up to 25% off. If you are a member of CAR, you can receive an additional 10% discount by simply entering in your NRDS # at sign-up or prior to your next billing under your account settings.
You can change to an extended plan or enter in your NRDS # by signing into your account, visiting your My Account page, and navigating to the Billing page. Once there, click the Change Service button which will show you all of the currently available options.
Why does your site indicate that there are less opportunities than other sites?
We believe we have the most accurate count of real foreclosure opportunities in the business. We only include Notices of Default (as Preforeclosure opportunities) for 120 days after they are issued, or until a Notice of Sale is filed, whichever occurs first. If a Notice of Sale has not been filed within 120 days the owner has likely resolved the problem. Similarly, we only include Bank Owned opportunities for 120 days after the auction, as the bank will have likely listed the property in the MLS by that point. If you want to lookup properties over 120 days, you can still search our historical data.
The most significant difference between ForeclosureRadar™ and other sites is regarding active auction opportunities. We include auction opportunities from the date the Notice of Sale is filed until the foreclosure is actually sold, or the foreclosure is cancelled. As the only site that actively tracks every auction in California, we are the only company who can actively remove Auction opportunities as soon as they are resolved.
Bottom line…by only including active opportunities, we show fewer opportunities than our competitors, but save you from wasting time on dead deals.
How reliable is your data?
We try really hard to ensure our data is accurate, but unfortunately, we cannot guarantee the accuracy of our data as we gather it from a variety of sources.
Before purchasing a property, you should verify all details; and if possible, purchase title insurance. If you think you’ve found an error in our data, please contact us to report it. Also, please keep the following in mind:
- Property information (beds, baths, sq ft, etc.) comes from the county assessor’s office, and only reflects the original details of the property when it was built, and work completed under permit. You should verify these details by physically inspecting the property prior to purchase.
- Title information shows that there may be other items owed on the property including loans, past due property taxes, IRS liens and other encumbrances. Depending on whether the property is purchased before the auction from the owner, at auction, or from the bank after the auction, the purchaser may be responsible for paying some or all of these items. A title insurance policy should identify all of these items and provide insurance in the event it does not. Be careful of lien and loan reports offered by other services – we are not aware of any service other than an insured title policy that reliably provides complete lien and loan information. Even then keep in mind that title companies offer insurance for a reason – they make mistakes too.
- Estimated Equity and Loan Positions are determined using computer models and have not been manually reviewed. As such they should be used with caution and we strongly recommend you do your own due diligence, and when applicable get title insurance.
I think there is an error in your data; can you please verify that it is correct?
How do you determine the Estimated Value of properties on your site?
We use a commercial grade automated valuation model (AVM) which is based on public records data to determine estimated home values for properties. This is a highly ranked AVM, but like all AVM’s it is only as good as the public record data available and does not take into account property condition and other factors which may affect the value. An AVM is no substitute for a professional opinion of value, based on knowledge of the local market and condition of the property, which is best provided by a Realtor® or appraiser.
I just stopped making my house payments. How long before I must move?
In a normal market most lenders would start the foreclosure process after three missed payments. In California the non-judicial foreclosure process takes a minimum of 111 days. We are in unprecedented times in terms of the delays in the foreclosure process. Some lenders are taking over two years to foreclose. Smaller local banks, private beneficiaries, and credit unions may foreclose much faster than the larger banks. It is impossible to know exactly how long you have before the foreclosure will take place. It is reasonable that you would have at least seven months before a sale date is set. You can read more about why lenders are delaying the foreclosure process by going tohttp://www.foreclosuretruth.com/blog/sean/foreclosure-roulette/.
I have asked the lender to produce the original note. Can they still foreclose?
This is becoming a popular practice for delaying a foreclosure. Although it MAY be useful as a delaying tactic it will likely not result in eliminating the debt. The idea was that these loans were sold so quickly and the document tracking was so poor that the original note was lost, and that without it the lender would have no proof of the loan. The truth is that a lender can simply file an Affidavit of Lost Original and it would be up to the homeowner to prove that the loan was paid off in order to stop the foreclosure.
The lender substituted the trustee right before they filed the Notice of Default. Is this legal?
The lender has the right to sell or transfer the servicing of the loan and can substitute the trustee at any time. Prior to filing a Notice of Default and starting the foreclosure process they should make sure the paperwork is in order and record any necessary Assignments or Substitutions of Trustee.
A third party has asked me to pay a monthly fee to stop the foreclosure. Is there a chance that I could get my house for free?
There are many organizations that claim to provide foreclosure-delaying services. Although these strategies can be effective in delaying the foreclosure process they will not likely result in the elimination of any debt secured by the property. There is usually nothing they can do that you cannot likely do yourself, for example calling the bank and requesting a postponement or filing bankruptcy. Finally many of these services are scams and some states like California have passed laws limiting the claims they can make and the fees they can charge.
Can I redeem my property after a Trustee Sale?
This depends on the state. Some states do allow for a redemption period following a foreclosure. In California there is NO Redemption period for non-judicial foreclosures. The ONE exception to this rule in California is for non-judicial homeowner association lien foreclosures. If your HOA forecloses on your property you have a 90-day redemption period.
I just found out my landlord is not paying the mortgage. Do I still have to pay rent?
The rent is still due regardless of the loan status. As long as you are receiving the benefit of the occupancy as outlined in your lease/rental agreement, then you are obligated to pay the agreed upon amount. Even if a landlord is in foreclosure, they can still evict you for non-payment of rent. Many renters stop paying rent when they find out about the foreclosure because they do not believe that the landlord will pursue an eviction if they are losing the house anyway. Keep in mind that sometimes a landlord may be in foreclosure, but actively pursuing a modification of the loan terms. In this case they are working to correct the issue and any loss of rent may impact their ability to receive a modification.
What happens to my security deposit after a foreclosure?
The security deposit remains with the prior owner and the bank/investor that acquired the property is not obligated to refund the security deposit. Often times the lender/investor will offer a cash-for-keys incentive for you to be out by a certain date. Even if you accept the cash-for-keys, you can still pursue the collection of your security deposit through small claims court from your prior landlord. Keep in mind that if you stopped making rent payments prior to the foreclosure sale, the landlord can apply the security deposit toward the unpaid rent.
Can the bank change the locks and lock me out after a foreclosure?
After a property goes to foreclosure the bank/investor will have a representative contact you. During this occupancy check, their first objective is to find out if you are a renter or the prior owner. They will also want to know if you intend to move or if they can negotiate a move-out date. If you are not home, they will leave a note with a contact number. It is in your best interest to call them or they could assume that the property has been abandoned.
If you are living in the property they cannot just change the locks and lock you out of the property, instead they must first give you notice (in California renters without a long term lease get 90-days notice while owners get 3 days notice), then file an unlawful detainer lawsuit (eviction), and finally get a judgment ordering the eviction. The eviction process typically takes 30-90 days in California. Most banks/investors will offer you cash-4-keys paying you to leave the property quickly and clean.
If they believe the property is vacant or abandoned they can enter and change the locks. If you come home to find the locks changed and you are still living in the property, contact them (they typically leave a note on the door or window with a contact number) and if you can prove that you still live there, they should turn over a new key.
How long does the eviction process take?
This varies from state to state and, in the case of rent-controlled areas, it could vary from city to city. In California it takes approximately 60-90 days if the eviction is contested and the tenant answers the complaint.
Do I have to pay rent during the notice period?
The Protecting Tenants in Foreclosure Act extended the notice period before eviction to 90 days, but was unclear whether or not the tenant must pay rent during that period. While being evicted due to foreclosure now requires 90 days notice, eviction for non-payment of rent still only requires 3 days notice. Most eviction attorneys recommend that the bank/investor does NOT pursue an eviction for non-payment during the 90 day notice period. This does not mean that they cannot try to collect on this past due rent after the 90 days expire. In fact, the bank/investor is entitled to fair market rents from the day they take ownership and will typically receive a monetary judgment against the homeowner for the unpaid rent at the end of the eviction process. This is one more reason why renters should consider accepting cash-4-keys rather than fight the eviction.