Made contact with owner of vacant house, now what?

5 Replies

Hello, I’ve been yellow letter marketing for a bit now and got a response from a lady who is listed as the owner of the home and “would love to sell her home” And it’s one I’m very interested in.   

She told me  “i tried to sell. We went to the day before settlement. The two banks are in a fight as to whose in first place. The first place bank gets the larger share of the selling price. So, I declared bankruptcy. As of January 2013, the state owned the home. 

I contacted her lawyer and the loan servicer  

The lawyer says “Please note that Ms. anonymous  filed a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy with our firm in 2012 and it was Discharged in 2013. Therefore, she is no-longer in bankruptcy.

I’m at a loss. What’s the next step?  I want the house she wants to sell but thinks she can’t. She’s still listed in county records as the owner. Anyone have similar experiences and/or advice?

Originally posted by @Daniel Kern :

Hello, I’ve been yellow letter marketing for a bit now and got a response from a lady who is listed as the owner of the home and “would love to sell her home” And it’s one I’m very interested in.   

She told me  “i tried to sell. We went to the day before settlement. The two banks are in a fight as to whose in first place. The first place bank gets the larger share of the selling price. So, I declared bankruptcy. As of January 2013, the state owned the home. 

I contacted her lawyer and the loan servicer  

The lawyer says “Please note that Ms. anonymous  filed a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy with our firm in 2012 and it was Discharged in 2013. Therefore, she is no-longer in bankruptcy.

I’m at a loss. What’s the next step?  I want the house she wants to sell but thinks she can’t. She’s still listed in county records as the owner. Anyone have similar experiences and/or advice?

 Sure. I've done a couple of these. You have to look at the docket to see if the property was "reaffirmed" which is unlikely and if there is any equity. If the trustee didn't sell the house to settle the debt, then you contact each bank for a payoff amount. The status is *probably* (based on what you've stated) that she is relieved of the debt but the banks still have a claim against the property. It is likely that in any sale one of the banks will be made whole and the second bank will get a portion of what they are owed. There probably isn't any equity or they would have sold the property. In a nut shell, is this property worth worrying about?  Only if you love spending your time learning about foreclosure, bankruptcy, redemption periods and liens. I'd let it go and find one I can make some money on. Or, if you have cash and are good at negotiating you can offer each bank a portion of their interest to get a Special Warranty Deed from each of them. But it would have to be "all cash".

Thanks Mike for your response.  It’s a 200k property so I was hoping to be able to work a deal with a homeowner looking to unload but it seems, from your experiences, that this one might be better left to the banks.  Do you have a process you work through when you find a home that you could share since you mentioned “you’ve done a few” that would help me and other users moving forward?   Any help would be appreciated.  I’ve sent the letters, gotten a few calls, but haven’t closed a deal.  Is there a “right time” to find these off market finds?

I would definitely get her under contract as soon as possible and then figure everything out later. I used to make that mistake in my earlier years. Trying to get all my questions answered and do all my research in the meantime a more experienced investor comes in and puts the property under contract. So therefore, get it under contract ASAP and then figure it out. This could be a very good deal if you can get the junior lien holder to take a steep enough discount. Even the primary lien holder might accept a nice discount as well. Making this a very good deal.