The honest answer to Home Buyer's question is that there are many other ways to find the foreclosure information you're looking for. If you're simply looking for a house to live in, the easiest way might be to contact a Realtor who specializes in selling bank-owned homes and ask the agent to help you find a property. You can find agents in your area by doing a property search on RealtyTrac, or there's a directory of brokers who specialize in REOs (bank owned homes) on this website: http://reoredbook.com/index.cfm.
If you'd like to find the property yourself, you can sort through the records at the county courthouse. Your county may make some of the records available online as well. Accessing these shouldn't cost you anything. Most states also make it mandatory for lenders to post notices of auction sales in local newspapers. You'll probably have to pay for the paper, but it's almost free.
Services like ours are really intended for people who want more than the basic foreclosure notice. Typically, they're looking for loan information, comparable sales and estimated property values so they can determine if the property represents a good bargain. They want photos and other images and details about the property (beds, baths, square feet) so they can be sure it's the kind of home they're interested in. And they might want an interactive map that shows them where the property is located and if there are other foreclosures in the neighborhood (which may indicate a problem).
It's those kinds of features - plus the convenience factor of being able to search anywhere in the country without leaving your desk - that people pay for. You really can use the site to your heart's content for 7 days absolutely free, but based on what you indicated in your question, you'd probably be best off working with a real estate professional to find what you're looking for.
There's a boatload of free information on foreclosures, state laws, buying strategies and other related information that might be useful to anyone in the market at this link: http://www.realtytrac.com/foreclosure/overview.html. No subscription (or credit card) required.
Good luck with your search!
The foreclosure market can be a great place to find a deal and will remain so for some time to come. Playing the short sale game, equity share buying or optioning short sales, etc. is simply a waste of time. Since foreclosures are easier to understand for the layperson, this is where you will see the next big fraud ring evolve. This was done in the 90's yet, with the advancement of the Internet, this time will surely be something special. I do not feel that RealtyTrac is part of the new scam but, there are many out there and we will see many more that are cleverly disguised in the coming months. CAVEAT EMPTOR!
You say you would like a list of foreclosures. Well, banks can not sell them to you except on the courthouse steps so, an agent will, most likely, be involved at some point in the game. Most foreclosures will end up on the open market (MLS) and an agent that is local to the market you wish to invest in can provide you a list of available foreclosures and probably help you out along the way. Properties I see at auction right now have not been much of a deal at all. Many, if not most, seem to hit the open market at less than their original reserve prices.
You also state that you simply wish to purchase foreclosures and not much else with them. Are you a collector of sorts? Eventually, you may want to consider monetising your foreclosure and either re-selling or leasing the property can be a good way to accomplish that, if so inclined. If you do choose to monetise them, an agent may again be able to assist you although, this time it may cost you so, a relationship with an agent may come in handy.
For consumers....Dont pay for public information and don't fall for scams designed to feed you bad information in order to get you to pay for even more....bad information. Utilize the services of a professional or....spend the next year or so reading every bit of information that you can before handing over even 1 dollar to anyone. If after a year or so of reading an researching you still find yourself confused, hire an agent, invest in mutual funds or.....hide what money you have in your mattress.
Months later my property search lead my back to Realty Trac where I've been an active member going on 2 years now with a good discount! Granted there is comprehensive data which I've favored to be in my benefit, however to each their own and is not for everybody. Should it NOT be for you... it is your responsibility to own up to your actions.
At least one article supports your fear of RealtyTrac questionable buisiness ethics: http://www.oregonherald.com/n/special-reports/real_estate/re
Most of these positive comments are provided by RealtyTrac employees
RealtyTrac is not a scam but is a waste of money. Use common sense!
Contact a agent if your looking to buy a property.
PLEASE FILE A COMPLAINT WITH BBB
It is simple and takes 5 minutes
My Complaint Details
1 Venture Plaza,Suite 300
Irvine, CA 92618
Contact: Naderi, Kvon
Phone: (877) 888-8722
Complaint Description - Posted 4/1/2009 3:43:31 PM
After cancelling during "free 7 day" trial period, i have been billed by 2 other affiliated companies, first 39.95 by rti publishing and then an undetermined amount by realestatepromoter.Com, that they emailed me regarding theirattempt to collect, but i had already cancelled the credit card. This is happening to many others as detailed at this web site: http://800notes.Com/phone.Aspx/1-801-705-5325
Complaint Summary: Deceptive business practices.
Resolution Sought: Stop authorizing 3rd party associates to attach payments to customers of their "free 7 day trial". These are clearly deceptive business practices.
Company's Initial Response - Posted 04/09/2009:
RealtyTrac provides two promotional offers to new members during the registration process. One offer involves a one-year subscription to the Foreclosure News Report, an investor magazine. The other involves a 30-day trial subscription to the Real Estate Promoter, an investor website service. William Cole registered for a 7-day free trial of RealtyTrac on 2/19/2009 1:02:32 AM PST. At the time of the registration, there was a 30-day free trial offer from Real Estate Promoter. He accepted this offer, the terms of which clearly state â€œBy clicking CONTINUE, you authorize RealtyTrac to send your name, address, contact and credit card information via secure encryption to Real Estate Promoter for processing. Cancel anytime during your trial period and you will not be charged. If you do not cancel your website within 30 days of accepting this trial offer, your credit card will be billed monthly hosting fee of $39.95 each month until canceled. William Cole was next offered a one-year subscription to the Foreclosure News Report, which he also accepted. The offer page for the Foreclosure News Report clearly states â€œBy clicking CONTINUE you authorize RTI Publishing, Inc. to send you a FREE issue of The Foreclosure News Report. If you do not cancel within 30 days of ordering this issue, you authorize RTI Publishing, Inc. to charge your credit card $39.95 for a one year subscription to The Foreclosure News Reportâ€. Although William Cole cancelled the RealtyTrac account, there was no attempt by him to cancel the 30-day trial subscription to the Foreclosure News Report during the trial period provided. After William Scott contacted RTI Publishing regarding the charge, a refund in the amount of $39.95 was issued by them on 3/24/2009 6:08:18 PM to the same card used to pay for the subscription. Realtytrac has contacted Real Estate Promoter on William Coleâ€™s behalf, and found that his trial with them was canceled when he called their offices on 4/1/2009, and no further billing attempts have been made. All charges have been refunded.
Initial Response Summary: William Cole did not cancel other free trials enrolled in during RealtyTrac trial signup, and was charged per the trial terms. All charges have been refunded.
Consumer's Rebuttal - Posted 04/12/2009
THIS is what their notice says when you agree to join:..."Upon the expiration of the 7 day trial you will be enrolled in a subscription program and be billed $49.95 for 1 month. If you do not wish to be enrolled into a subscription program, simply cancel prior to the expiration of your free trial period and you will not be charged. The subscription will automatically renew every month for $49.95 until you cancel..."Which implies that all you need to do to avoid being charged is cancel during the 7-day trial when in reality they only cancel you from one service of the the THREE services that include RTI and Realestatepromoter.com, Neither of which I agreed to join and both of which charge you on a recurring basis until you cancel. No where do they tell you this and many are caught up in this scam. On the phone when I called to complain, they kept insisting that I must have "accidentally" clicked on something without realizing it. I had to cancel 3 different services to stop them from charging me and get 2 charges reversed weeks after I had already canceled realtytrac.com.
Company's Final Response: Company's Final Response - Posted 04/16/2009
The trial period for RealtyTrac is exclusive of other offers. The terms for the trials of Foreclosure News Report and Real Estate Promoter are clearly stated on separate pages, and can be accepted by clicking â€œcontinueâ€, or declined by clicking â€œno thanks, continue with registration.
When you sign up for the 7 day free trial there is usually some type of promotion on the screen. I've signed up for the 7 day trial 2 different times with 2 different credit cards without being charged for anything. How is this? Well I actually paid attention to what I was clicking and I took the time to read the terms and conditions because I just don't type my credit card information on any website I feel like. I cancelled on the 6th day or sooner too. So, I'm not an angry clueless dude typing away garbage about a company that makes things perfectly clear up front because I actually read about what I was getting myself into.
For those people that think a 7 day trial is garbage because you're required to give your credit card info, you should open your mind a bit and think about why it is they do that. It's pretty simple. Yet, if you're the guy or gal typing your credit card info in with little or no thought about why they require it then I guess I shouldn't be too surprised that you blindly agreed to pay $49.95 on top of that. Anyway, they ask for a credit card number so you can't continually abuse the 7 day free trial. Without the credit card people could make up random info to get the free trial. Most people I know also have more than one e-mail address too. So with the requirement of providing your credit card info it also limits the abuse of their 7 day free trial. I
'm sure many people like realtytrac and let the trial roll over into the montly membership. I can't believe that a company that I hear quoted all the time on the news for real estate info gets by on scamming people. There are so many bogus accusations of fraud made by people on this site and other sites it's not worth my time to address it more than I already have.
I have to finish this with a last parting shot.
"My book keeper pays the bills" and "they charged me for 6 months and I just figured it out" and the other balogne excuses on here are pretty funny to me. It's not realtytrac's fault that you don't pay attention to what you're doing and that you don't monitor your bank and credit accouints. It's not their fault that you agreed to their terms and conditions and provided your personal info including credit card number more than willingly. You want to make a fast buck off a foreclosure but you can't even read terms and conditions. You people should be ashamed of your lies and baseless accusations. I unchecked the box for receiving replies. I don't care what people like you think of me and what I said. It's all true, everything I said, all of it. If you don't believe me then you're dilusional. Shape up people!
I use Bank of America's Bank Americard. They have a free service called ShopSafe. It allows me to create a unique credit card number which is linked to my primary account. The new number is only valid for a limited time and for a limited amount, which I set up upfront. So I can create a new number, give it to realtytrac, let them try and charge it - charges will get denied.
I can't believe NPR keeps quoting them as a source.
Get either a BofA credit card or an American Express - I believe they have a similar service.
You can manage your email alerts for individual Trulia Voices questions via the link below. You can adjust the frequency with which you receive the alerts or you can delete the question from your list altogether.
Let us know if you experience any difficulties with this process or if you need further assistance.
Choose Your Subscription
7-Day Trial (FREE)
You will not be charged if you cancel before your trial ends.
Your price after the trial period is $59.95 per month until you cancel.
You can terminate 5 different ways, as long as you receive your confirmation # your all set, obviously if you dont receive it, dont expect it to be canceled. If need be they are available to take your call.
Member may terminate membership by one of five ways that applies to their type of membership, as follows:
1. All members may terminate membership online, using the "Edit My Profile" feature in the "My RealtyTrac" section of the Site, accessible to Member upon login.
2. All members may terminate membership by e-mailing a cancellation request to email@example.com at least five (5) days prior to the desired cancellation date.
3. All members may terminate membership by telephoning a cancellation request to 877.888.8722 during the business hours of 8am to 5pm PST Monday through Friday. A $5 dollar service and processing fee will be applied for paying membership cancellation requests processed via telephone.
4. All members may terminate a membership by faxing a cancellation request to 949.861.9413 at least five (5) days prior to the desired cancellation date.
5. Only paying members may terminate by mailing a cancellation request to RealtyTrac Inc., One Venture Plaza, Suite 300, Irvine, CA 92618. Such cancellation will be effective approximately ten (10) days after receipt.
Good luck, USArmywife
I am in Yavapai county and only work this area.
Good luck, there are some great deals out there go get them.
To locate direct databases for free try - http://www.foreclosurenest.com/
They have over 60 different lending / gov / reo management institution links that display listings direct and free. Good luck.
So I thought.
Then, a few days later, my CC was charged the full subscription amount. So, I contacted Mr. Beanland via phone to find that he had already left for the day. Instead of leaving a voicemail, I emailed him the following:
I phoned and spoke with you last Thursday, 28 April 2011 at appx. 12:15pm PST to cancel my subscription to RealtyTrac at the end of my trial period. I told you that I was not interested in a RealtyTrac subscription since ForeclosureRadar.com's service is a better fit for my needs. You said that I would be receiving an email confirming cancellation, and gave me the following confirmation number: #########.
Unfortunately, my charge card was run regardless of the above discussion in the amounts of $5 and $44.95 on 02 May 2011, and I expect both charges to be reversed or refunded immediately. I have not logged onto any account with RealtyTrac since calling to cancel my trial nearly a week ago, and am not in any way interested in the service. I will call you early tomorrow to verify your receipt of this message, as well as to ensure that the matter is being resolved. Thank you.
He replied with the following email the following morning:
I have no record of your phone call or any emails from you. I just pulled up my notes on my auto dialer and I show 5 calls to you with no contact. I left at least 3 voice messages for you and 1 email but again no record of contact. Can you tell me who you spoke with at RealtyTrac or who you emailed.
I have placed a cancellation on your account so you cannot be billed in the future. Until I did this your account was active. I assure you if we spoke your account cancellation would have been placed immediately.
I then replied to his email with all my facts & records in a less-than-nice tone, and magically (!) he responded with a standard caught-red-handed "I've processed your refund...it might take 3-5 business days to process...thank you for using RT..." email.
So, moral of the story: if you're not sure you want the RealtyTrac service, sign up for the free trial. However, make sure you keep meticulous records, in case they decide they want to ignore your attempts to cancel before being charged. As the saying goes: caveat emptor.
For anyone looking for Bill Beanland's contact info (I coudn't find his email ANYWHERE!), here it is:
Sr Account Executive, Real Estate Services
This company commits out-and-out fraud.
The parent company of RealtyTrac is supposedly named E-Harbor, and I believe they are based in Irvine, CA but have a â€œcustomer serviceâ€ office in Utah.
I signed up for RealtyTrac's 1 month promotion in Dec. 2008. I inadvertently allowed the 30 day promo period to lapse and called them to cancel on the 31st day, only to be told that I was too late and that I would be billed for the next month. However, they talked me into 3 more months of service for a reduced advance payment, so I took that option and prepaid the 3-month bill of $49.95 in Jan. My Jan. Visa bill listed RealtyTrac, Inc. as the billing company. Access to the site was cut off at the end of the 3-month period and I thought I was done with it.
However, unbeknownst to me, the company used the credit card I paid the RealtyTrac bill with to enroll me, without my knowledge, in yet another service, a â€œReal Estate Investor Website and URL Centerâ€, http://www.repinvest.com at $44.95 per month which, I just recently found out, started in Feb. 2009 with the billing company being NOT RealtyTrac, but REPROM00. This was clearly a â€œserviceâ€ I had not signed up for, nor had any knowledge about. I found out later that REPROM00 is Real Estate Promotions.
Since my bookkeeper gets the credit card bills and writes the checks, I don't see credit card billings unless she has a question. She assumed these billings from REPROM00 of $44.95 each month were legitimate and didn't mention them. I happened to see my July 2009 bill with the charge and called the company on July 6 asking what this was for. They claimed that "I" had set this up which, of course, I had not. The "service" was canceled finally, but only after my pressing of Josh, the representative I was talking to, to do so.
I had never even heard of http://www.repinvest.com, let alone enrolled. After going to this site on July 6 while on the phone to Josh, I discovered that the site is merely a website hosting template for real estate investors, which I would never need for a huge variety of reasons, the main one being that I have an IT person on my staff who implements any website content that I might need. However, I would never need a site like that anyway.
I recently went back through all my credit card bills and discovered that $44.95 had been billed by REPROM00 for http://www.repinvest.com from Feb. 2009 through July. I called the company yet again today and was told they would refund the last 60 days of http://www.repinvest.com which, of course, is not sufficient under the circumstances.
Those of us who have been so bilked need to band together and make sure the Federal Trade Commission and the Better Business Bureaus in Irvine, CA and Salt Lake City, UT know about this fraudulent company and puts them out of business. Maybe we should band together and consider a class-action lawsuit as well.
Post your accurate experience on 'RipOffReport.com' and use it yourself before you sign up.
Bank failed to get you home purchase through underwriting within a week of the agreed upon closing date. Let folks know!
Sign up for a CRM trial period and can't cancel! Let folks know!
Buy a program that is so flawed with fatal errors as to make it unuseable! Let folks know.
I have been a Realtor for more than 24 years!
Realtytrac will share your personal, private & credit card information with companies they consider affiliates!
These so-called affiliates, without your consent, will bill your credit card for services you did not order!
This company must be reported to the BBB!
What happened to personal information? This company tried to make three bogus charges to my credit card account!
Watch-out! You have been forwarned!
I got billed about 3 weeks after I cancelled - for 39.95! I have proof that I cancelled. Now I have to waste time calling them to get a refund. Annoying. Don't waste your time with this! Travis
That is all well understood, however, your company has changed the unsubscription procedure in order to make it really hard to unsubscribe.
Apparently it used to be in your "edit my profile" section
Then, a cancelling option would show up in "My Account" section.
Well, not anymore guys. Now we have to call these guys in order to cancel a subscription.
This according to the new rules:
If for any reason you're not satisfied with your RealtyTrac subscription, you may call us to cancel your account.
If you have an agent subscription, please call us at 888-444-3336 during business hours (Monday - Friday, 8AM - 5PM Pacific Time) to cancel your account.
All other subscribers may cancel their subscription by calling customer support at 877-888-8722 during business hours (Monday - Friday, 8AM - 5PM Pacific Time).
If you cancel during your free trial, your account will be canceled immediately and your credit card will not be charged. If you cancel a monthly or mutli-month paid membership, you will continue to have access to your account until your current term ends. However, you will not be eligible for a prorated refund of any portion of your current term's paid membership fee.
249 complaints says it all
"Most complainants allege unauthorized credit or debit card charges relating to the 7 day trial offer. Other customers complain of unclear disclosures, or that they experience difficulties implementing cancellation procedures. Other complainants allege that they agreed to a trial offer only, and was not aware they were enrolled in a subscription service. Other customers complain the company continues billing after cancellation, or that the company provides their billing information to other businesses who bill for third party products or services . The company responds to most complaints by agreeing to cancel subscriptions and issue refunds."
Advantages of calling:
1) You know you won't accidentally sign up for coaching
2) If you're willing to pay more upfront, you can save money
For example, I paid $350 for 16 months (so, that's about $22/month).
They have other discounts where you pay for fewer months (but pay more per month).
According to the Salesman, I'll get a notice at month #15 that asks if I want to renew.
If I renew, I can go another 16 months at the same price; otherwise, there's no more
service and no more charging of my acct after the 16 months ends. We'll see....!
I worked with a very successful investor who has been using Realty Trac for years
to look for distressed properties throughout the U.S. -- he uses it a lot!
Full Disclosure: if you see comments from Agents on this site, they might be Realty Trac's agents.
For example, Sam Xavier is a ReMax agent in the Los Angeles area who works with Realty Trac.
An interesting bonus is, if I buy from Sam, Realty Trac will credit my $350.
Also, I do not work for Realty Trac in any way - I'm an investor looking for deals! Good luck, everybody!
I canceled the trial and and up getting e-mail spams for the last 2 months. No matter how I unsubscribe to them but another one comes daily that has a new unsubscribe link. This down right unlawful SPAM.
There product is about wasting your time please don't fall for it.
We are now looking at our bank statement only to find they charged us AFTER our cancelation...ugh!
I called they was told I needed to call back in an hour because they couldn't help me on the line I called which was specifically about billing questions...so, why could you not help me?
Simple, you don't want to help anyone!
When we found this site there were about 20 houses listed for our area in foreclosure, we signed in, and found out the list wasn't current at all, there was only ONE house listed and was foreclosing for $99,000?!?! that's not a foreclosure, that's a rip off!
These people are nothing but leaches!