Obtaining a Property That Has Been Sitting Empty

3 Replies

There is a property that has been sitting empty. It seems that the previous owner (now deceased) has done what he could to keep anyone from purchasing it after he was gone. We have researched it as in depth as we think we can go. However, we have come to the conclusion that it is a bank owned property that is sitting, just deteriorating. We would like to know if there is a way to go about obtaining it or even getting anyone to talk to us more in depth about it.

hi nicholas. it sounds like you have what is called a " zombie" house. banks sometimes just sit on houses. years ago, the feds were concerned with so many of the foreclosure houses hitting the market and causing a huge downturn in the market. so, they passed legislation limiting the amount of houses banks could put out on the market. as a result, banks tend to put the higher dollar houses out there to sell to recoup as much of their money as they can. who wouldn't? i would if i were in that situation. so, these smaller dollar houses, the houses with lower loans, just sit. in the mean time, they fall apart. sometimes, and i have bought 2 houses this way, banks will just write the house off. if they figure the house will never bring enough money or they will have far too much money wrapped up in keeping the house for years before they can sell it, they just file a release of lien or release of mortgage on the house with the county and basically write it off their books. then, the previous owner has a free house. most of the time the owners have moved on and have no idea the bank did this because most often, the bank will send the letter to the last know address, which is the house they foreclosed on, and the people have already gone. what you have to do then is first, find the release of lien paperwork at the county. get a copy. find the owner. this part can be hard. what i did was run a check on the persons name to see if they own any houses in the area. chances are, if they moved, they rented a place, but they may actually own another house near by. do what you have to do to find them. look in the white pages if you have to. both of mine were found within 3 miles of the house. 

in the case you are talking about, it sounds like this guy is dead. ok, did he have any relatives? you can find that out simply by reading past obituaries until you find his. they almost always list spouses, children, brothers and sisters, etc. then find them. one of them has the authorization to sell you that house. if it is still bank owned, go sit down with the manager of the REO department. bring them pictures of what their house looks like now. give them a little motivation to get it off their books. good luck to you

Big national bank? If yes, probably not until it goes thru their asset manager and gets listed.

If local bank, perhaps.

Not very encouraged to chase a turtle like this one.

I would call the "Special Assets" department of the bank that owns the house and ask to speak with the asset manager in charge of X address. Then let them know you're interested in looking into buying the property. That may be the catalyst to engage the bank in dialogue about buying it from them.

They'll let you know what their process is for selling a property.

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