Question Details

Frankie, Other/Just Looking in 07304

how do I go about finding out how much seller owes in outstanding mortgages?

Asked by Frankie, 07304 Fri Jul 20, 2007

A friend told me when buying a house, I should check to see if Seller cashed out all the equity in the house and whether there are outstanding mortgages. I was told my realtor can find that out for me, but when I asked, the agent said she did not have access to mortgage info.

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Hi Frankie:
Financial data on any client is confidential. Although, mortgage and deed information is readily available - current balance data is not. If an agent were to come into possession of this information they would not share it with anyone.

I'm sure you have read this clause before, but I think it bears repeating. Agents/Brokers are held to a very high standard of conduct. Information you need to make a decision will be given to you - no question.

However, balances etc. have no place in determining price you as a buyer would pay. Comparable Sales, Current Market Value/Activity, and individual buyer's desireability are what come into play.

I hope this will dissuade you from pursuing this area; as in essence you are asking people in the know to divulge information that is confidential.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Fri Jul 20, 2007
I would have to ask why you would want that information. The deeds of trust at the county registrar/ clerk would only record the debt owed at that particular time. It would not provide a "real time" or present debt, thereby it would not provide the information you're seeking. Nor should this information be sought in conjunction with buying real property, unless that information has already been made lawfully public. i.e. - liens filed at the county records office.

Unless you assumed the seller's mortgages, I don't think it's any of your business.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Fri Jul 20, 2007
To take it a step further, a title search will turn up additional encumbrances on the property as well. While this is general done by a title company as part of the escrow process for a home under contract, you can order a report on a property (it's all public record) that you are not contracted to buy for a fee. Given the amount of errors I find in tax records, I usually take what the county has recorded with a grain of salt.
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1 vote Thank Flag Link Fri Jul 20, 2007
You can search for short sales in MLS now. You might want to try this.
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0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Nov 26, 2007
Brian gave you the exact info you needed. My only additional comment is that deed info might be online for your county.
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0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jul 20, 2007
Deborah Madey, Real Estate Pro in Brick, NJ
The mortgages / deeds of trust get registered with the Registrar of Deeds. Go look up the property and you will see the liens on it.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jul 20, 2007
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