I am currently looking at houses for rental. The landlord of one house we really like is offering to waive

Asked by Matthew, Los Angeles, CA Mon Feb 9, 2009

the credit check and just take a deposit on the house to secure it for us. How can I find out if this home is in foreclosure or in default?

Help the community by answering this question:

+ web reference
Web reference:


Dana Schuster, Agent, Slidell, LA
Mon Feb 9, 2009

You have been given some very solid advice here. Please act on it to protect your interests,
0 votes
Alexandra Pa…, Agent, Montebello, CA
Mon Feb 9, 2009
The information regarding the home is a public record, which a title company can provide for you. You can email me the address and I can find out within seconds. Here is my email alexandrasellshomes@yahoo.com
0 votes
Keith Sorem, Agent, Glendale, CA
Mon Feb 9, 2009
Most landlords are very concerned not only about credit history, but also criminal history, so when the landlords run a credit check, they also can obtain a background check.

It seems odd to me that the landlord is not asking for a formal application. Having a formal relationship (meaning a written lease) protects both parties. I would make sure that you get everything in writing, and if necessary have it reviewed by a competent authority.
0 votes
Jeffrey White, Agent, Beverly HIlls, CA
Mon Feb 9, 2009
Give the address and I will check for you. That smells fishy.
0 votes
Shel-lee Dav…, Agent, Rolling Hills Estates, CA
Mon Feb 9, 2009

If the home is in foreclosure, that is public record. A notice of default (NOD) has been filed and recorded in the county where the property is physically located. Any real estate professional, title company or even the county clerk can provide this information. Send me the address (contact me through my profile) and I would be happy to tell you if the home is in foreclosure. There are also other signs that the home may be heading into foreclosure and we can discuss that also once you send the address.

To determine if the home is in default is much harder. Default means the payments are not current, but does not mean that the bank has filed a foreclosure action to collect on their debt. Unfortunately, many homeowners are 60-180 days delinquent on their payments before an NOD is filed. Due to privacy laws, you cannot get this information directly and neither can your real estate professional. You need to ask the landlord straight out and hope they will tell you the truth.

One last thing. If the home does go into foreclosure, you will get plenty of notice about that. Even if the landlord has changed the mailing address with the county, you will get lots of mail, possibly have people drop by looking for the owner, and then 21 days before the Trustee's Auction, a notice of sale will be posted to your front door. So if you really like the house and the landlord says it is not in default, then you can probably take the chance and move in. Just keep your eyes and ears open for the signs of foreclosure. That way you can negotiate with the owner to make sure you do not forfeit your deposit, but rather apply it to the last few months you stay in the home.

Also, in the state of California, if the home is taken back by the bank at the Trustee Sale, they will have to give you 60 days notice to vacate and might even offer you "cash for keys" to help you move. So, as long as the home is not currently in foreclosure, you will have plenty of notice if you have to move.

In today's climate, more and more tenants are being impacted by foreclosure. As long as you ask the right questions and look for the right signs, you can reduce your chances of falling prey to a landlord in default, however, there are no guarantees. Hope this helps and Dare to Dream

Shel-lee Davis
RE/MAX Palos Verdes Realty
310-710-8572 or
0 votes
Search Advice
Ask our community a question

Email me when…

Learn more