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The Best Way to Find PreForeclosure Properties

When the bank decides to foreclosure on a homeowner’s property, they file what is often called a Notice of Default or Notice of Trustee’s Sale.  This is done at the local county courthouse of the county that the respective property is located in.  The bank sends this notice and it is posted as public record.  That means that anyone who can find the county courthouse records can see this public information.

If you’re going to be a PreForeclosures investor, knowing what new foreclosures are being filed at the county courthouse is very advantageous.  It gives you the inside track as to which new foreclosure filings are being recorded in your respective county.

There are many different methods to gathering this data.  The first, and most obvious is to go down to your local county courthouse and mine the data yourself.  While this method is free, I do not recommend it.  It is very time consuming, and if you don’t have any experience, it can be a frustrating and time wasting task.

Fortunately for us, in today’s information age, many county courthouses put their data online.  You should visit the website of the county that you’re interested in and find out if they post their public announcements online.  If you do find the public announcements online you’ll be able to read the new foreclosures on a daily basis, as they are filed.

Some counties, however, aren’t as Internet savvy as others, and don’t yet post their information online.  For these counties, I recommend going to a list provider who gathers such data, and paying for it.  There are many businesses out there that are based on going to the county courthouse, gathering new foreclosure filings, putting them into a list format, and then selling that data.  Most list companies either email it or fax it to you: some do it daily and others do it weekly. 

You’re probably wondering why I would recommend paying for information that is free to the public?  The answer is simple: it’s a much better use of your time and energy to outsource this function to a company that specializes in mining this data.

Another method of obtaining this is information is thru a title company.  A lot of title companies compile and send out lists of foreclosures for free.  While this is a great “free” resource, the data coming from title companies isn’t necessarily the freshest, newest data.  While you might not be paying for the information, it’s not very valuable if you’re finding out about a foreclosure that was filed a week or two ago.  Chances are those people have been already contacted by a lot of other investors, realtors, mortgage brokers and bankruptcy attorneys offering services to them.

The best way to find preforeclosure homes is to use a list provider.  Finding good reliable data is the first step if you want to market to homeowners in foreclosure, and it’s very often worth it to pay someone (or a company) to mine this data for you.  Once you’ve developed a system to have this information delivered to you, your marketing becomes a lot easier.  We have compiled a free state-by-state resource of foreclosure list providers that can be found by visiting