I am just getting started and am looking to purchase pre-foreclosures or properties being auctioned off by the county. Can anyone tell me how to check to see if there are any liens on the properties? Can you also tell me how to get a hold of the owners mortgage balance along with if there are more than 1 mortgage on a property?
@Tiffany Swann Great that you're getting going! As far as mortgages/liens, you'll need to check the county land records (either the Register of Deeds, Recorder of Deeds, etc). Many larger counties have this information available online. You'll be able to find the deeds to verify current ownership and chain of title and it'll also show all mortgages and/or liens that are filed in the land records (i.e.: Mechanic Liens, State Tax Liens; Federal Tax Liens, etc.) You'll also want to check local AND federal court records for judgments against the current owner. If you actually go down to the courthouse, the employees there should be able to help you find what you're looking for (some places are more cooperative than others).
For the mortgage balance the only way you'll get an official payoff amount is to contact the lender with the borrower's permission; so what I usually do is take the open mortgages and run them through a mortgage amortization calculator to get a ballpark of where the balance might be. I usually check online to see what typical mortgage rates were at the time the mortgage originated and plug that in along with the original loan amount on the mortgage. It gets me pretty close usually.
Thank you so much for this info! This helps alot!
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