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Searches for Foreclosed Properties
You can determine if a property is in foreclosure by doing these online searches.
The first step is to identify the legal owner of the property. You can identify the owner by using the Property Appraiser's Property Search Application. You can search by address, owner's name or folio number.
Along with the owner's name, write or print the legal description of the property which you may need in the next step.
Find Recorded Documents
Go to Clerk of Court's website and search in recorded documents for a Lis Pendens against this property. You must search by owner's name. This can be tricky because the owner may own multiple properties and there may be hundreds of recorded documents with that name if it is a common name. Narrow your search by specifying the document type "LIS" for Lis Pendens.
Once you see a Lis Pendens, open the PDF of the document to read to see which property the Lis Pendens is for or click on the document number.
A Lis Pendens references the legal description (which sounds something like lot 5 block 4, in XYZ subdivision) and not the street address.
If you find a Lis Pendens that matches the legal description of the property, then you know that at some point the mortgaging entity initiated a foreclosure.
But this doesn't mean that the property is STILL in foreclosure or that it was EVER in foreclosure, which is why you have to go on to Step 3
Note: While you are looking for the Lis Pendens, if you find the mortgage recorded for that property, print it too, because you might need it in the next step. Mortgages are recorded with the category "MOR" and they will have to reference a street or legal address. Look for all mortgages on this property, especially the most recent one.
Search the Civil / Probate Docket
Search the civil/probate docket on the Clerk of Courts website. You can search by case number, which may be listed on the Lis Pendens (but sometimes this doesn't work). If you can't find a case that way, then search by the owners name (but again this may be complicated if the owner is in foreclosure on multiple properties)
Look on the Lis Pendens and mortgage documents to find out who the foreclosing Plaintiff is (i.e. Bank of America, Deutsche Bank, etc.). You want to find the case where the plaintiff is the bank/mortgagor listed on the Lis Pendens and the owner is the defendant.
Once you have found the right case, open the docket and look to see the procedural posture of the case. Has there been a final judgment or has the judicial sale been set? Was the case dismissed?Back to Top Page Last Edited: Tue Jul 30, 2013 1:59:05 PM
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