Preforeclosure in Florida - Can you approach homeowner at their home?

7 Replies

I was wondering if it is legal to knock on the door of a homeowner that is in preforeclosure and ask them if they need help with their mortgage?  I am in Florida.  Thanks Matt

Nope, not unless you have a credit counselor license from HUD or you are in a non-profit credit counseling position or you're an attorney.

Search here on BP "HUD Credit Counselor" that might pull up the thread that can get newbies nailed. In fact, there are several federal laws that can trip you up dealing in a pre-foreclosure, especially if you are wholesaling and can't buy yourself.

BTW, welcome to BP.

Do you really feel you have a legal and financial background to approach people in foreclosure, I question that since you asked the question, but really, any idea of the types of issues that can be involved in a foreclosure, dealing with a bank, the time constraints you have to get to a solution, the issues and damages that bad or poor advice can play on the property owners, not to mention the legal aspects, and that jerking around an owner and a bank, making promises or implications that fall through can create more liability for you than you could possibly gain? I suggest you stay far away from pre-foreclosures  without an attorney at you side, or a qualified person and we don't have any qualified here on BP except our attorney members, not that I know of. I'm sure some guru type will claim to be, but they are post likely, not really. :)

Medium logoscopiccroppedblue2Bill Gulley, General Real Estate Academy | https://generalrealestateacademy.com

But I think it would be perfectly legal to ask them if you can buy their home.  Just not present it as "helping" when what you are doing is wanting to buy.

Wow, @Bill Gulley ! By the way...for what it's worth, yeah. I'd definitely consult with an attorney (or a much more experienced investor) on the ins and outs of pre-foreclosure. Maybe find a local REIA group and go to a few meetings. Get to know some folks there that have worked PF's before...maybe partner with them or intern for them for a little bit. Just some ideas. You may find there are simpler ways to find deals. And welcome to BP!

Originally posted by @Jim Viens :

Wow, @Bill Gulley ! By the way...for what it's worth, yeah. I'd definitely consult with an attorney (or a much more experienced investor) on the ins and outs of pre-foreclosure. Maybe find a local REIA group and go to a few meetings. Get to know some folks there that have worked PF's before...maybe partner with them or intern for them for a little bit. Just some ideas. You may find there are simpler ways to find deals. And welcome to BP!

 The question was whether you can offer "help" with a pre-foreclosure.  The answer is no, and Bill explained why.

You can, I am pretty sure, offer to buy.  Even if you are a wholesaler.

Originally posted by @Jim Viens :

Wow, @Bill G. , you're making a whole pile of assumptions there. He never mentioned wholesaling...maybe he's interested in it as a buy/hold? He doesn't even have a completed profile so you couldn't have gotten that idea there. This is also his first post so it couldn't have been gleaned from another place on BP. There are also no hints as to his financial status/ability to close on a deal. But you still made the statement "...especially if you are wholesaling and can't buy yourself." which implies that is exactly what you think the situation is. He asked a simple question. Of course he doesn't know the intricacies of pre-foreclosures...that's why he asked. 

I've seen several of your posts in the last few days and I'm really floored at your level of condescension and the amount of ridicule you heap on people that are just wanting to get up and going in REI. I have no doubts about your bona-fides in REI, I'm just really beginning to wonder about your people-skills and sense of tact (BOTH of which are as essential to ANY business as the knowledge of the field). You're really beginning to create more "heat" than "light" with your snide comments and running-down of those you consider less than fit for REI. It must wear on you to always be the smartest guy in the room. Perhaps it would help if you ask yourself this question before posting: "Am I helping this person in a positive way or am I tearing them down personally and/or professionally."

Don't know if you'll take this to heart or if this will just ignite another flame-war. I truly wish you the best as I do everyone here on BP trying to get their business going or keep it thriving.

Sorry to hijack your thread, @Matt Wong ! By the way...for what it's worth, yeah. I'd definitely consult with an attorney (or a much more experienced investor) on the ins and outs of pre-foreclosure. Maybe find a local REIA group and go to a few meetings. Get to know some folks there that have worked PF's before...maybe partner with them or intern for them for a little bit. Just some ideas. You may find there are simpler ways to find deals. And welcome to BP!

And, so your point is what?

Some things are more obvious to me than others.

Guy asked if he could do something that has been recently a highly regulated mater. Asking the question is evidence that he is not qualified, if he had been, he won't be asking the question.

True, wholesaling was not mentioned. The assumption was made as about wholesaling since this matter has come up several times as a wholesale tactic, it's been a popular strategy and if you play the numbers, chances are that this is one more wholesaler asking about pre-foreclosures, I could be wrong, but I bet not, the flavor is too strong as to the overall knowledge about the matter. Looking at recent posts, hundreds, wholesalers trump the forums. So, as long as I've been around, my bet is placed.

There was no condescending tone meant, just a matter of a fact style I use as I type too much as it is to type more to tip toe over the feelings of new folks. At some point, new folks need to spray on some TuffSkin and grow a pair as RE is not a place for the mild, the meek or that faint of heart, it's a pretty cut throat nasty business.  

Yes, it gets extremely frustrating being the smartest guy in the room, I really do wish there were others that would speak up, I know they are out there, but seems I got the staff and banner. I really do miss the attorneys that use to post, hope they weren't offended. 

No flame war here, I don't mind your remarks at all. Yes, it gets old, trying to keep guru types away from new folks, keeping the blind from leading the blind and putting up with public forum posts where someone without a clue just gets the urge to make some uniformed stupid remark.

Gotta understand, my self appointed position here has nothing to do with winning the hearts of any member, I'm not here running for class president or King of the Prom. I don't do business with anyone one this site, nor will I, not like I haven't been asked or even begged. Much like the response when Dr. Richard Kimball  was trying to get away and what's his face playing the US Marshall told him "I don't care" referring to his guilt.

I have typed thousands of posts and sent personal replies to PMs  giving answers to questions and I come back to see the same questions being asked again in forums, much like they answer was never given. Now, I understand getting a second opinion, but frankly, I guess, after having been paid more than many attorneys in my area for consultation in RE matters, giving advice away for nothing and seeing it being discounted as if it had never been given, is a bitter pill to swallow. I usually disregard that as I take into consideration the ones inquiring as being uniformed, so, it's okay. So, if a condescending tone escapes from my keyboard, sorry about that. I tell folks once to help, twice to correct and after that, my military nature of instruction takes over.

Which now leads me to comment on the suggestions you made.

Telling newbies to go attend some REI meeting where there are most likely idiot investors, scammy type predators or other local yokels isn't the best suggestion when the OP is asking about a mater that is highly regulated, scrutinized by regulatory authorities and beyond the scope of knowledge of 90% of those dealing in RE and such matter being an issue of federal law. It's a lot like someone with a high fever of 102 with chills asking someone at a coffee shop if they should see a doctor and the patron tells them to go home and take an aspirin. Obviously the patron doesn't understand the possible seriousness of the situation and puts the poor guy at further risk by giving flipped advice.

But, you make a good point, I may take a break from this rat race, you have no idea how old this gets.   :)       

Medium logoscopiccroppedblue2Bill Gulley, General Real Estate Academy | https://generalrealestateacademy.com

Someone somewhere could probably come up with 9 different reasons why knocking on anyone's door could be illegal...  the fact is, we do most of our business by having our Acquisition Managers (A-Team) go out door knocking.  We do about 10 doors every Saturday and pick up at least one new deal every week.  

While I don't personally think there is anything illegal about "talking to your neighbors" or marketing your business (After all, I am still one of the naive who still believe this is America) my advice would be go do a few deals so you can afford a great attorney to defend you IF some pinko tries to stop you from talking to your neighbors about what you do for a living.  And if what you do for a living doesn't HELP people, you should quit now.

Easier to ask for forgiveness than for permission. 

In California, we knock on doors to see how we can help someone behind in their payments. Help can be, first and foremost,,, listening to the problem and how they got there. Tell them life is not over and they will have to fight their way back like many millions of Americans after the banks did what they did. You may be able to help with a loan, help them short sale and help them get setup to buy another home if they cant afford the one they are in. Some banks don't care if the original owner starts to lease or buy back after you get them through a short sale. 

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