Tenants getting hammered in the Foreclosure Process

    According to a recent “foreclosure related” article by DS News – approximately 40% of properties that are foreclosed on are tenant occupied.

    We have seen similar scenarios in our present market.  Watching as we do when it comes to the verification of occupancy stage, for the few banks that trust us with the sales of their foreclosures, hammers this unpleasant fact home.  Approaching the door after we get the order to list the bank’s foreclosure asset is strangely familiar.

    Rentals in the Santa Clarita ValleyWhen I served for those 17 years “regular” with the LAPD, I had been assigned to work with those serving Search Warrants at Residences.  While I’m not intent on busting down the door with a few other cops and detectives in tow, it’s somewhat similar.  I’m not there to give “knock and notice” in serving a search warrant.  I’m not there to search your residence.  I am there to see if the property is occupied (lived in currently) and to see who that occupant is.

    I have found in my Foreclosure Experience that the same approximate numbers apply that DS News had reported.  We see that almost half of the properties that I go to secure, after assignment, are tenant occupied.  So it starts, I have to explain to the tenant something that their landlord did not.  The home has gone the way of Foreclosure.

    They are not very happy and we do our best to offer them money called, “Cash for Keys”, if they are willing to vacate the home. (typically within 14 days)  However, there is nothing we can do, except offer them.  If they have a signed lease in place and if they are willing to pay the new owner, “the bank”, the current rent as laid out in the lease – then they are good to go for the most part.  If they are not then they have to be evicted.

    Either way, whether they pay or are evicted – it is something they did not want to have a part of. They just wanted the previous owner to live up to their obligation with regard to keeping current on their mortgage payments.

    That knock on the door is quite revealing.  Once I find out that the home is tenant occupied, it’s really strange.  They look at me as if, I’m the bad guy – sometimes.  Any little bit of attitude typically has to do with how I’m presenting to them, of course.  If I am treating them as dirt bags and speaking with them in demeaning tones – I get what I deserve with their bad attitudes.

    However, if I am nothing but peaches and cream, the bad attitude is on them.  However, I get this.  Having to dishevel  your family out of no fault of your own.  I think even natural disasters are easier to deal with than Tenants being notified that the home they are renting is in foreclosure.

    We have some options to assist our “tenant” friends in the Santa Clarita real estate market with what is going on with the home, condo or town-home they are renting.  The contact is typically started with the tenant getting letters via certified mail.  While you cannot open someone else’s mail, if it’s not addressed to you, they somehow do and find out that there has been a Notice of Default filed on the home they are renting. They then google their address and find one of Santa Clarita real estate foreclosure blogs with their address on a Notice of Default list.  They contact my team and I and I send them the foreclosure activity report for the home they are renting.

    How can you insure, as a renter, that this won’t happen to you?  You cannot – the best you can do it to have 6 months in the property you are renting.  And that can only happen if you see that the owners are current on their mortgage payments.  I say “payments” because they may have more than one loan.  If that is the case, either of the lien holders can move forward with Foreclosure.

    Be safe – let us know if we can help you.  We don’t do any Tenant representation when it comes to securing rentals.  However, we do love to help.  Contact me to help you in any way we can and thanks for reading, sharing and re-posting.


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    Paris and Connor MacIvor

    Connor and Paris MacIvor are in the Top 1% of Realtors Nationwide, starting their real estate business in 1998 with RE/MAX Gateway - Santa Clarita Valley and Valencia CA. Their becoming licensed real estate consultants and representatives came from the horrible experience they had when they bought their first home. There were many things that the agent they had hired did not explain and disclose, which per law he should have. Getting that agent on the phone after they closed escrow and after he had gotten paid was impossible. Paris and Connor called the broker, the board of realtors, the office manager and all they received was the promise of a phone call back. The remedy did come, but not as fast and in the way they wanted. That act - that bad agent was the reason why Paris and Connor became Realtors. That was all they needed to vow to never let the same fate befall anyone else, that befell them. Today Connor and Paris are focused on client service. Protection and top-shelf service with regard to their real estate clientele. They primarily work within the Santa Clarita Valley and Valencia CA. However, for a referral, where 80+ of their business is referrals they have License and Will Travel to other parts of Ventura County, Los Angeles County, and Orange County to handle real estate transactions for those who trust their real estate operation. Writing on their Real Estate Blog is a passion. SCVnest.com/blog is where you will find over 10,000 real estate articles. Go to SCVnest.com/radio to listen to their latest real estate radio broadcast.

    3 Responses to “Tenants getting hammered in the Foreclosure Process”

    • PeonInChief

      Written on

      One bit of information you’ve overlooked, and that is that even a tenant renting month-to-month has the right to a 90-days’ notice under the federal Protecting Tenants at Foreclosure Act (PTFA), and cannot be evicted until the 90-days’ notice has expired. And the Governor signed legislation writing the PTFA protections into California law, as of January 1, 2013.

      I cannot imagine that a tenant, unless she was packed and ready to go, would take cash-for-keys in exchange for 14 days. I couldn’t even pack up my house in two weeks.

      • paris911

        Written on

        Thanks for the info. It always seems if a tenant stood their ground they were able to be in the now “bank owned” asset for at least 6 months. And that was without any type of provable lease in place. I totally get that 14 days thing – You’d be surprised how many accept those terms. We have seen some banks offer up as much as 10k – apparently money is still a good motivator. Thanks so much for commenting, it means a lot – Connor…


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