So i went yesterday to the county court house and sheriffs office and both told me they do not have any sort of PRE foreclosure lists that most tell me they should have, they only have those that already have an auction date set. What is the best way to get a PRE foreclosure list in Essex or any other part of North Jersey?
First of all, properties on the auction list are still "pre-foreclosure". Though I realize this isn't what you are trying to track down.
A quick Google search indicates that to go straight to the source you need to visit the register of deeds and mortgages: http://www.essexregister.com/.
Many counties have these public records available online now, which makes the search much more convenient (I didn't see an online search for your county, but it may be available somewhere). What you're actually look for homeowners for whom a "Lis Pendens" has been recorded.
There are also commercial enterprises that will sell you a list: http://njlispendens.com/.
When you get (or compile) your list, it helps to have realistic expectations - you aren't the first person to think of this and you'll be the hundredth person to contact most of these distressed homeowners, of which there are fewer and fewer these days...and even less of them with equity.
@Shmuli Wilhelm Why not compile your own pre-foreclosure list? I agree with Jeff above that working foreclosures is a competitive market. In addition to lis pendens you should consider searching for "substitution of trustee" filings with your local recorders office or register of deeds office, depending on what they call it in your neck of the woods. Some of these filings can be an indicator of potential foreclosures.
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