im looking to buy a home in the bridgeton zip that had a list pendance(?) filed on it back in 2008, yet still has not been foreclosed upon. It is in

Asked by Rich, Bridgeton, NJ Tue Mar 13, 2012

bad shape and deteriorating rapidly. I really want to aggressively pursue this property but am hitting dead ends everywhere, as the previous owners appear to be hiding from debt collectors. Any ideas?

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Ibrahim Hugh…, Other Pro, UNION, NJ
Thu Mar 15, 2012
Hi Rich. Good job. Did you find out if the BK is still active or has it been dismissed/discharged? If it was a chap 7 I would think it was discharged by now and the owners are free to sell the property (pending short sale approval by the bank). There's also the chance that the chap 7 was converted to a 13 if the trustee felt that the debtors/owners had enough income to handle the payments.

My guess is that it stayed a 7 and was likely discharged. The owners probably want nothing to do with the house and think they no longer own it due to filing bk. It will be hard to convince them otherwise.

If you're content with waiting for the foreclosure proceedings to complete then your next step should be checking with the county sheriff to see if they have it scheduled for auction. If for no other reason but to keep an eye on it. Once it has sold at auction (especially if it's purchased by the bank which will likely be the case) it will probably take 6-12 months for the bank to list it with an agent. You may want to get a realtor to represent you on the purchase and check the mls regularly for it to be listed. Good luck.
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I am not 100% sure about the bk proceedings as I have not been able to get away from work to dig into the county records. I do have a contact with a local title agency who also happens to be an attorney, so I am going to retain him to run the background down for me. Thanks for the best wishes, I truly do appreciate you being so forthcoming with your advice. Selfless acts are hard to come by these days. Trust that I will always keep you in mind should the case arise.
Flag Sun Mar 18, 2012
Rich, Home Buyer, Bridgeton, NJ
Thu Mar 15, 2012
Thanks for the advice! The previous owner did file a chapter7 bankruptcy in '08, which I am sure is figuring in to the slow pace of the foreclosure proceedings. I am only guessing here, but the sale price of the property was 498,000 in 2005, which was right in the thick of the mortgage free-for-all that led to the current glut of properties like this one. Its pretty clear from my research that the previous owners bit off way more than they could chew. The taxes are current, but def, being paid for by the bank, not the previous occupants. I guess I'm going to have to keep a close eye on it and bide my time, as I cant legally force the proceedings myself. Thank you both for your input, it is much appreciated, and I will keep you in mind.
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Ibrahim Hugh…, Other Pro, UNION, NJ
Tue Mar 13, 2012
The legal document is called a 'lis pendens' which is considered official notice to the public that a civil suit (likely due to a delinquent mortgage - but not sure) is pending. If it was issued in 2008 then the house is likely in foreclosure and the owners may have filed bankruptcy (BK).

Talk with your attorney or title co. as he/she would be able to tell if the owners filed bankruptcy and where they are with it (assuming it was filed). The BK could have been discharged or dismissed, in which case the owners would be able to sell. The bank would have to agree to the deal IF the house is 'under water' as you did not mention the amount of the mortgage. Nor did you mention if the lis pendens was for a delinquent mortgage or back taxes.

Fell free to contact me. As an investor, and sometimes as a Realtor, I specialize in abandoned and vacant properties. I may be able to give you some added direction. A lot will depend on the legal status of the property as it's recorded in the county recorder's office as well as the reason why it's in foreclosure to begin with. Was it a delinquent mortgage? Death of the owner(s)? Back taxes? Lots of questions here.

Ibrahim S. Hughes
Rock Realtors
Realtor Associate
4 Bloomfield Avenue
Bloomfield, NJ 07003
Tel: (908) 578-1981
Fax:(908) 320-7997
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Gina Chirico, Agent, Fairfield, NJ
Tue Mar 13, 2012

If it has not yet been foreclosed upon then the "previous" owner is still the current and legal owner of the property. Unfortunately even if they are in the pre-foreclosure and/or foreclosure stage and/or the property is either in bad shape or even abandoned, they do not have to sell it to you. They can just wait until the bank proceeds with the foreclosure and takes back ownership. If and when that happens, the bank will list it with a broker and it will be for sale. In the meantime, even if you were to get in touch with the owner, they would have to see if their lender or lenders will allow the home to be short sold (short sale). Without the help of a local real estate agent and/or attorney experienced in short sales, the owner may probably not even be able to make any agreement with the bank to short sell the property.

With all that being said and I do understand your position but I also understand the position of the current owners who probably do not want to deal with you, investors, companies promising to bail them out of foreclosure, their own lender, etc. The worse thing to do when facing foreclosure is stick your head in the sand but unfortunately many people do so.

Good luck.
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