Spring is officially, well, springing! Before we know it, the birds chirping and flowers blooming will the backdrop for many “for sale” signs throughout South Jersey. If you are in the market to buy, you will have plenty of choices. If you are looking for a great deal, you may want to skip the Sunday afternoon open houses and head straight for the foreclosure and bank sale listings.
If you find a “notice of default” in the newspaper and knock on the door of the homeowner – before the property actually goes into foreclosure – you may be able to orchestrate a real estate win-win for both yourself and the owner who is clearly in over their head financially.
Consider this scenario: A homeowner has lost his job. Or his wife’s illness has racked up unimaginable debt. Maybe college tuition has caused him to fall behind on his bills – most notably his mortgage. He is facing foreclosure and, likely, even bankruptcy. At this point, he doesn’t have many options. The actual day he needs to move may be some time off – the foreclosure process isn’t quick! – but Mr. Homeowner needs a break from his family’s financial crisis.
Then, you knock on his door. You mention that you saw the notice of default regarding his property and you want to discuss buying it. You know it’s in disrepair. You even may be aware that there are back taxes owed. You are looking for a good investment at a good price; he is looking for a way out that may save his credit from being completely destroyed.
The happy ending may very well be that you are able to negotiate a great deal for yourself that also helps the homeowner save face by helping him avoid an embarrassing foreclosure scenario.
Great news for you, by the way, is that banks and other lenders may be willing to negotiate – even waive – back property taxes on homes in default so they don’t have to deal with the foreclosure process.
First things first: call an skilled real estate lawyer with knowledge of the laws and experience dealing with bank negotiations. Contact Joel R. Spivack, Esq. for a sound legal guidance; he will protect your rights every step of the transaction.