Found some distressed properties, next step? (in Boca Raton, FL)

4 Replies

My wife and I have been bike riding for dollars around the neighborhoods we are targeting. We're compiling a list of the junkiest houses and cross checking their status realty trac and property appraiser and have been sending yellow letters.

First question, is it possible to contact trustee and make an offer? 

We talked to one nosy neighbor who gave us tremendous detail about a great potential property. Apparently the house has been vacant for 3-4 years and the bank simply hasn't taken possession of the home. The bank sends someone out once a month or so who walks around the house and takes pics, but nothing becomes of it. 

Could I do a title search and try to work a deal with lender? 

Any suggestions? 

I will throw this out there also, if anyone has any real advice for me, I will gladly consult pro-bono as I am a licensed GC (my specialty is structural contracting). 

Thanks in advance!!

@Mike Coyne   If no one responds I recommend you do a search of those who leave near you. Than you can read their profile. If it looks like someone has the expertise than you can pm them. Not everyone see's all the messages, but most people get pm's straight to their email box.

There are a lot of houses in Florida that haven't reached foreclosure, but the owners have simply given up and walked away.  The banks hire companies to watch over the properties and make sure they don't become a real eyesore and stack up code violations. I wish I could get that list from the companies that take care of those houses.

A legal method to capitalize on this is to find the owner and have them give you a QCD.  You will be the official deed holder, owner of record, and have the legal ability to rent out the house.  The bank will eventually foreclose.  I know several that employ that strategy.  Remember, you risk becoming the "evil investor" in this scenario and I've seen TV shows exposing investors that do this.  Legal?  Yes.  Ethical? Not too sure.

@Jean Norton  Even acquiring legal title to real estate with a Federally insured or Frannie loan could be considered rent skimming if the loan is not brought current. I'm not opposed to pushing the envelope of certain statutes, but that's not one I'd be aggressive with myself.

@Mike Coyne Since you're just in the planing mode, before you execute, I suggest you continue creating a list and identify those properties which have substantial equity (max 50% LTV). Those are the ones that merit tracking down record owners prior to foreclosure.

Tag those on your list currently in foreclosure.  Those with low equity will eventually be sold at foreclosure sale or listed with a broker if bank owned. Little opportunity now.

If you persist, some will no doubt be owned by persons now deceased. Some may be owned by older folks who are in senior living facilities or hospitalized. There will be some properties whose owner(s) are incarcerated, or suffer from substance abuse, severe mental or emotional issues or just don't want to be found. 

All that being said, be clear on what you are looking for: an opportunity to either buy an asset at a discount or an owner's equitable interest at a bargain price. 

Happy Hunting! If successful, maybe you'll write a book on "Cycling Your Way to Riches". 

You should know about taking title to properties that have mortgages where the mortgage holder is not aware of your position nor have they given the OK to assume the mortgage..AND the liability that goes with it.

"697.08 Equity skimming.

(1) It is unlawful for any person, with intent to defraud the owner of real property, to engage in equity skimming, which is, to:

(a) Purchase, within a 3-year period, two or more single-family dwellings, two-family dwellings, three-family dwellings, or four-family dwellings, or a combination thereof, that are subject to a loan that is in default at the time of purchase or within 1 year after the time of purchase, which loan is secured by a mortgage or deed of trust;

(b) Fail to make payments under the mortgage or deed of trust as the payments become due, regardless of whether the purchaser is obligated on the loan; and

(c) Apply, or authorize the application of, rents from such dwellings for the person’s own use.

(2) A violation of subsection (1) constitutes a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided


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