I don't work in LA area, but the following link should provide some guidance.
Even if you pull the records, it won't tell you what the current loan balance is. Mortgages are recorded when made.
Your Realtor can have the local title company pull the outstanding "Deeds of Trust" on the property for you. They are publically available as they are recorded against the property.
Unfortunately, California does have many properties where sellers owe more than what the property is worth. Many purchased with 100% financing and were expecting mass appreciation.
Also, before the closing, the title company will be getting the "payoff balance" for the loan(s) and you will be able to find out what the seller actually owes. If someone disclosed to you that the seller owes a certain amount and he owes less, then that person lied to you.
Let me know if I can be of help.
Do you have an agent representing you or are you dealing directly with the sellers agent? Are you just inquiring on a home or have you actually visited Atlanta and seen the home with an agent? If so, I would recommend that you hire an agent. As an agent here in Atlanta, I do have access to tax records just as any agent in Atlanta or an Agent in any State does which can show the original loan amount on first mortgages and any additional mortgages. Consumers cannot access our online services to obtain this information. This information is only as good as the person who imputed the information from the county. There are typo's and missing information on a regular basis. Even if 100% accurate it would not show if the seller has paid down his mortgage balance.
I am not aware of a public website but you could attempt a Google search. I believe you that do a person check (which is like a background check) on an individual online at a cost which I do believe includes
mortgage amounts; however, based on my earlier statement I do not believe this is worth you while. It has no bearing on what you should or should not pay for a home.
Lorie from Atlanta
This depends on what is reported on the public records at your local courthouse. Some will give the original principal amount of the mortgage that was taken out on the property and the recording date. This will give you a general idea what might be owed.
Do you have an agent representing you on this transaction? if not, you might want to hire one to represent you and they might be able to pull the tax records to see. Good luck.
It sounds like you have your Realtor have trust issues. When your agent told you that the seller owed his asking pricing, I hope it was after checking with the title company who can easily access the information. Your realtor should be able to get this information and show you a copy of the report.
Regardless of what the seller owes, you should only make an offer that you are comfortable with making. If you can't get this home with an amount that you are comfortable paying, you & your Realtor need to look at more properties.
Best of luck,