Auction.Com Trustee Sales


#1

Auction.Com is starting trustee sales in Northern California where I buy. The 1st sale is scheduled for this week. As this is a new location and time, all of the sales are Original, 1st time sales. Some have already been postponed, but most have not and all that remain on FR.COM have what appear to be low opening bids. I think Auction.Com has been doing trustee sales in other parts of California. Anyone have information on how they conduct the sales? Are the low opening bids teasers that are bid up by the beneficiary? Do they allow online bidding for the trustee sales? Any notable differences in how they conduct the sales compared to the criers for Fidelity of Priority?


#2

There have been some previous posts regarding the Auction.com sales. They are conducted completely opposite of public sales by Fidelity and Priority. The room is full of tuxedo hucksters. The auctioneer calls out the amount they will ‘accept’ as the next bid, and they go up by thousands, not hundreds. You hold up your auction paddle to ‘agree’ to the amount being called.

Nothing ever goes for the teaser opening bid, but it does not appear as if they have any fake bidders in the audience, it is usually the regulars bidding. I think they were hoping that they would get first time investors or buyers (even though it is still all cash), but I don’t see that happening. About 20% of the time, the bidding goes on for quite some time and then the gavel goes down with ‘Sold Back to the Beneficiary’. It is rather confusing, but it appears that some of the lenders have ‘reserve’ amounts and the winner is not really the winner.


#3

Here is a follow-up to my original posting. Auction.Com held the 1st trustee sale in our county today. WOW ! What a show ! Here are my observations and questions. All of the opening bids were teaser bids. The auctioneer was bidding on behalf of the beneficiary, but other than the opening bid, never said so. It was not clear when the bidding met the minimum acceptable bid to the beneficiary. Seemed that the biggest difference is that the auctioneer is competing with the actual buyers blurring the credit bids for the beneficiary with the auctioneer’s technique to push for higher bids. Instead of bidder’s controling the incremental increases in the bid prices, the auctioneer does it, seems like $5K was the standard increment today.


#4

Within a year, we have purchased two homes from Auction.com (Trustee Sale) in San Bernardino and the rest have been from a “regular” TS.

I am still trying to figure out why they show an Opening Bid where as Foreclosure Radar (FR) does not show anything yet. Also, I noticed a property on FR has a much higher Opening Bid than what shows on Auction.com. Does Auction.com have a closer relationship w/ these banks than what we know about? Please could someone answer my questions?

…And yes, I think it’s very frustrating when they have these “hidden” reserves and these banks take back the properties when you think you have them a FAIR bid. I think they need to stop doing this because it’s a waste of time for all of us. Thank you…


#5

I talked to the auctioneer after the sale about this. They are traditional auctioneers, before trustee sales, this guy was selling hogs and farm equipment. It is his job to create excitement and read the body language of the bidders to get the highest price possible. I asked him how I could know when he had met the bank’s minimum and he told me he would not say, would never say. So, they are counting on bidder’s not knowing the real minimum bid and blurring the line between when they are making a credit bid for the beneficiary and when they are simply bluffing. I think the trick is to simply stop and watch and possibly cry out a differnt bid than they are asking for. It certainly is fun to watch. The young woman who was the bidder’s assistant was barking like a little dog everytime someone bid.


#6

Thanks Richard for sharing that with me and the readers. I guess we just need to treat it like a game.


#7

The goal of the auctioneer is to control the room and the pace. Anything you can do to break up his routine will help. For example, when he says $160 - $165, what e is saying is the bid is $160K and he wants someone to bid $165, so you might try yelling out $161, if he takes it, then he is probably past the minimum, if he does not, he will state the $165 and then he has just bid for the beneficiary. If he backs off, then he was bluffing. Find ways to change the pace.


#8

Hi Chris, On behalf of the research team at ForeclosureRadar we can tell you that it has been challenging working with a new auctioneer that is introducing a “newer” trustee sale format. On occasion we have been able to get the opening bid from the trustee but in many cases we must rely on what auction.com is reporting as the opening bid even though this is undoubtedly a low/high bid. Obviously Auction.com has developed relationships with these lenders and has invested a considerable amount of money to enter this segment of the market. We can only guess that this is a trial to see if they can attract more investors and get a higher price than a “traditional” trustee auctioneer???


#9

Michelle,
I complained to the auction.com staff about wasting everybody’s time with the bidding and then it goes ‘back to beneficiary’. I asked why they couldn’t just bid the high immediately for the beneficiary. He stated ‘this is the way we are going to do it and it is not going to change’. Then he proceeded to brag to me (like he even needs to waste his time trying to impress little nobody me…) that they are selling more properties than anybody else and bringing much higher prices. I can tell that they must be investing quite a lot of money to pull the trustee sales their way because there are way too many people working these sales. I just don’t think they could make enough money to support the overhead with renting ballrooms, high number of staff, etc.

I will say that the first sales had a huge crowd. The crowds have now thinned out to the regulars and just a couple of lookie loos at this point. Still, at first glance, without exhaustive analysis on my part, it appears they are drawing slightly higher winning bids than the other locations. We will see if the average % to market high bid goes down in the future. They certainly have low opening bids that are published earlier than anyone else.

I think they were betting that their stronger marketing, providing more information and more user-friendly approach was going to bring in Ma and Pa to buy houses. They even have an entire approach to welcome real estate agents to bring their clients to the sale. I don’t see that happening.


#10

One more thing… it is very annoying that they refuse to publish the winning bids on their websites or through any other means. They will not even tell you if you call directly on the telephone. I am not sure how Foreclosure Radar is going to gather the information to keep their sales data accurate.


#11

For the properties that went back to the bank, it was not clear what the “last and highest bid” was. I think the intent and spirit of CA code is that the whole process is to be transparent. Especially the outcome. Who buys the property and for how much. Next time they are here, I am going to ask out loud what the “last and highest bid” is to the beneficiary. I think they are running fast and loose with the requirements of the code. I actually think it would better if more people could participate. It would be better for the market. It is clear that the conversion of houses from owner occupied to rentals will require a strong participation by MA & PA investors. Our county is small, so the Auction.com event did not include the extras like title searches, comps, etc. What we did get was a flashy foursome dressed for either a wedding or a funeral with the highlight being the woman that barked like a little dog whenever someone bid. They are sure that they are going to change how these auctions work and it would be best if we all just quit struggling and go along with them. It is clearly a mistake if they think that Michelle is a “little nobody”. They pretend to know, Michelle does know.


#12

Could you get the bid results from their client’s web sites? At some point a Trustee’s Deed will record giving the info - but that’s far from timely and not a practical source of info.


#13

I think you can find the winning bids if the trustee is Recontrust, but the other trustees that are moving to Auction.com don’t have a separate website with post sale info- the only info is on Auction.com, which will not provide winning bid information. In fact I think the properties just fall off the face of the earth after the sale date.


#14

I’ve been trying to get the results for the 10/13 Auction.com trustee sales in Sonoma County.

On 10/13, ForeclosureRadar received winning bid results from the trustee Recontrust. Between 10/14 - 10/17, ForeclosureRadar there were four Auction.com properties that were still “Active”. On 10/18, ForeclosureRadar received two more winning bid results from the Quality Loan Service Corp and The Wolf Firm A Law Corp. On 10/19, there are only two properties still “Active”. The trustees for the two actives are NDEX West LLC and Quality Loan Service Corp.

It seems odd that ForeclosureRadar is getting results 5 days after the auction. That is very tardy for the trustees. They wouldn’t have received the data from the trustee’s deeds since those haven’t been recorded yet.

I’m surprised Quality Loan Service Corp doesn’t post results to the Priority Posting site. If anyone knows a trick to getting Auction.com results, please share. I don’t why you would give up your precious auction secrets but Auction.com is the greater enemy here. :wink:


#15

Same frustration I am having. Maybe someone from Foreclosure Radar can explain why they cannot get auction results.


#16

As of 10/19, ForeclosureRadar received results for all properties at the 10/13 Auction.com trustee sale in my county. So, it looks like they receive data before the trustee’s deeds are recorded but there is major latency.


#17

We continue to work closely with auction.com to try to provide same day auction results. As the new auctioneer on the block (doing things a wee bit differently then everyone else) their “system” has caused everyone considerable grief. I can only tell you that our research department is doing everything that they can to improve these turn times.


#18

I’ve seen something else very interesting about Auction.com. Every now and then a property in their auction gets postponed to a date that is not one of their official auction dates. For example, 2 properties got legally postponed (called at auction) to 10/10 which was actually a holiday. Another one got postponed to 10/24 which was not an Auction.com ballroom sale date. It was clearly shown on the Recontrust website as 10/24, but the property did not even exist on Auction.com. Then on about 10/19 it got updated to 12/28 on Recontrust website. This property does not even exist on Auction.com website because they do not let you search by address or Trustee Sale Number. You can only see properties that have an official Item Number and is on the list for one of their upcoming auctions. And since they do not have their December schedule out yet, this property just fell off the face of the earth.

So, on 10/24 I went down to the auction site to see if someone showed up to call the postponements. This is because I wanted to know the ‘reason’ for postponement because Recontrust and Auction.com do not provide any reasons for postponement (which is driving me crazy because I track the bankruptcies closely) . They only announce the reasons for postponement live at the auctions. The Recontrust phone line clearly states that “You must attend all auctions to get the latest information”.

Well, needless to say there wasn’t anyone standing there in a tuxedo calling the single postponment. So, I just don’t understand how they are going to meet their legal requirements. I called Auction.com while standing at the auction site and the poor customer service guy just blustered around and kept telling me it was scheduled for 12/28. He didn’t understand the legal ramifications of what they were doing.

Anyone have thoughts on this? Is it absolutely a legal requirement to call the postponement at the location and time? I always thought it was.


#19

GJ, Good Work ! These guys are running fast and loose with the code. The code is very clear about how, when and where postponements are announced. 2924g. (a) All sales of property under the power of sale contained in any deed of trust or mortgage shall be held in the county where the property or some part thereof is situated, and shall be made at auction, to the highest bidder, between the hours of 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. on any business day, Monday through Friday. The sale shall commence at the time and location specified in the notice of sale. Any postponement shall be announced at the time and location specified in the notice of sale for commencement of the sale or pursuant to paragraph (1) of subdivision ©.


#20

Auction.com’s FAQs section for their trustee sales seems to suggest they won’t let you into the auction room unless you show you have sufficient funds to make a bid. Is this true? At normal trustee sales, you don’t have to show your “sufficient funds” unless you step up to to bid. Can you get inside the auction room without showing the Auction.com staff your checks?