Is it to early?

3 Replies

About a two months ago, i noticed a house down the block from me was not being taken care of. i.e. long grass,gutters falling off ect.ect.. I talked to the people next door and no one knows what happened.

Is it to early to see if it is in forclosure? Where do I start? I think there is a certain time frame in Wisconsin where there is not much that can be done.

Any help or advise ?



Hi Rob,

There could be a bunch of different things going on there. Here's a few things you can do quickly, without spending any money: 

-If this house is by you in Elkhorn, you can look it up on the Walworth Cty website. They have all of the ownership info on there, like a lot of cities, counties, etc now do. 

-Then, based on who the listed owner is, you can go to WI CCAP website and enter that name and see if a foreclosure suit has been started on that property. If it is a common name or if that person is no stranger to the court system, due to numerous criminal and civil cases, look through the cases under the "Caption" column for one that has a bank name or some financial company's name vs your owner's name. So if the house is owned by Ralph Fishbones, it would say something like "Wells Fargo Financial vs Ralph Fishbones" or "Ralph Fishbones, et al". Click on that case and it takes you to the case info screen and under "class code description" it will say "Foreclosure of Mortgage". If its not a common name, check the address for the defendant and it if it matches that house, then that place is being foreclosed on. If its a common name, then things get more complicated, you have to make sure its the right person, etc.  Sometimes you can match things up with a middle name, birth date, etc although I don't think CCAP lists birth dates on civil cases. If it gets too complicated, you can just go to one of the websites with info on houses being foreclosed actually sponsors this forum, so maybe check them out!

-If there is a foreclosure suit in progress on the house, you might have some options if you're really interested in the place. In WI, it GENERALLY it takes a year or so to foreclose, but that can vary widely based on a lot of different factors with the bank, the borrower or other things too. Sometimes, the (soon to be former) owner will stay right up until the very end or even past it and have to be evicted by the sheriff, other times they've been gone for months or longer before its ever sold at the auction. 

-Once you find out what's going on there, who the owner is, if there is a foreclosure suit in progress, etc you should check back on here for some more advice on what your next move might be if you really want the place. If it is vacant and you can find out who the owners are, assuming there's a mortgage on it, you might be able to get a short sale price from the bank and buy it that way. There are other people on BP who really know the ins and outs of how to do that. If its already well through the foreclosure process, it will get scheduled for an auction date, its either 6 or 8 weeks, I forget which, that they (the bank or really the law firm handling the case) have to start placing public notices of the auction date. I'm not sure where the Walworth Co ads are placed. So, then you can bid on it at the auction, but there are lots of pitfalls in buying at auction so you have to learn all about those before you go and bid. Again, members here on BP can help with that, I've bought probably 15 or more houses at auction here in Milwaukee and Waukesha Co.

-Or, it might be an absentee owner, or it may have passed to a relative if someone died or who knows what and if there's no mortgage, you might be able to buy it by contacting that person. Again, it all starts with finding out who the owner is from the Walworth Co website.

Good Luck!

Those are all great suggestions. If this is something you are really interested in you can just have a title company run a title report on the property. This will verify current ownership, provide info on where the tax bill goes to (in case it was a rental the bill may go to another address the owner has), information on any foreclosure activities and probate records.

Once you have this information you can determine the next best step. You may contact the bank if it is already bank owned, contact the owner for a short sale possibility, etc.

You can run a title search on any subject property. You can specify that you also want to run a lein search, mortgage search, tax search etc.....

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