Items you will need
- Personal computer
Chances are your own financial institution has its share of foreclosed properties under their stewardship. Since 2007, when the current housing crisis began, millions of homes have been threatened by foreclosure, with banks in the process of taking over many of these properties intending to sell them as soon as possible. As businesses not involved in property management, banks may not be reluctant to release a list of foreclosures.
If you want a list of foreclosed homes owned by your bank, just ask. That information may be readily available the next time you stop in your bank branch or if you make a call to customer service.
Your bank may also have this information posted on their website. Ask a customer service representative or bank branch manager for the web address of current real estate-owned (REO) properties.
Check with city hall. If your bank branch turns down your request or explains that they do not publish this information on their website or to give it out to customers, then city hall or your county's seat of government (courthouse) should be able to provide that information to you.
Foreclosures are a matter of public record, and the recording of REOs (foreclosures) is handled locally. This means that the tax assessor for any given town or county has that information on file, with some jurisdictions posting the information online. Check online or make a trip to your seat of government to write down your list of foreclosures from your bank and other financial institutions.
If you cannot find what you want through your bank and are running into roadblocks with city hall, then check online as most of the information you may want is available through select sites such as realtytrac.com and foreclosures.com. Many sites charge a fee for lists revealing active REO properties in your area.
If you cannot find help at the bank branch level or through customer service, consider contacting your bank's REO department directly to obtain a list. Be persistent, explain that you are a good customer and if also a shareholder, mention that point too.
According to The New York Times, larger banks such as Wells Fargo and Bank of America, as well as select regional banks, list home foreclosures on their respective websites. Consider looking beyond your own bank for listings.