Supposed Incorrect Info on Foreclosure Property Profile Reports


#1

I have recently experienced several very irate homeowners disputing the NOD info found on Radar profiles that I had printed out & distributed while door knocking, & searching for Short Sale listing opportunities.
Is it common for the property address & NOD details to be incorrect, or are these agitated homeowners more likely blowing off steam, blaming the messenger for the sad message?
Is it possible that erroneous info has been filed by the lender or trustee, or does the error lie with Foreclosure Radar?
If the profile is incorrect, am I still doing the homeowner a service by bringing it to their attention? I know a few who didn’t think so!
Exactly how reliable should we consider the profiles when engaging a homeowner @ their front door?


#2

I’m not sure what the logic of giving a homeowner a Foreclosure Profile Report is. We generally don’t recommend approaching homeowners by telling them they are in foreclosure as it immediately puts them on the defensive as most don’t realize the information is public record so they think you are snooping into their private affairs. Instead use the data to FIND the best doors to knock on, and to make sure you are prepared for questions they may have, then approach them indirectly. Perhaps… “a lot of folks in the area are unfortunately underwater and losing their homes to foreclosure, so I’m just working to get the word out that there are alternatives to foreclosure that are better for them and the community, if you have any questions or know someone who does, I’d be happy to help”. You may find that after answering some questions about their “friend” in foreclosure they become comfortable with you and admit they are in foreclosure and are interested in help.

Another thing to watch for is recent sales. We don’t remove properties from our list when they resell. The primary reason for this is that sometimes a closed escrow doesn’t stop a foreclosure (banks make a mistake, or reject payoff after close). Our data will show the “current” owner, which in these cases would no longer be the owner in foreclosure. So be sure to check the transaction history on the report and make sure the current owner is still the owner in foreclosure.

Finally, mistakes in public records do happen. With tens of thousands of records addd each month you WILL find errors by the trustees, the county, and even us. Finding these errors definitely can be a help to the homeowner. While a mistake made by us would never affect the homeowners credit, a mistake by a trustee or the county absolutely could.


#3

The logic behind presenting the homeowner with the profile on their house is that it is the supposed truth & reality of their current situation, & it is my ticket to being able to engage the homeowner in a serious discussion right now. I am, however, counting on the Radar profile being accurate.
I find that most times the homeowners are actually unaware of the gravity of their position, & the majority who take the time to listen are grateful for someone speaking honesty & intelligently with them.
Without the profile, I find most deny that anything is amiss, & that they say they don’t need professional help from a realtor, & I might as well have just stuck a door hanger on the knob & walked away without engaging anyone. To me, that’s a waste of time. I’m not there to make small talk.
With the profile in hand, I can gently ask if they could take a moment while I share some important information with them. Now we’re into a comprehensive discussion, & I really have a chance to pitch my services, which is exactly what I am in business to do.
I’m not there to solely leave a card on the door, or make casual acquaintances for a year or two into the future, hoping for a referral some day. They probably won’t even be there in 3 months time. I’m there to get a listing now, before it’s too late.
Many say God Bless You for bringing these details to their attention, & claim that they hadn’t seen the auction date, default amount, totals owed, or the AVM, certainly on one page, & that my explanation of the profile details brings everything into focus.
I can handle the objections, or the rejections, & have considerable success obtaining listings in this manner. If I don’t connect, they’re soon to be gone, anyway.
What I’m commenting about is that I have definitely seen some of the profiles show incorrect names & addresses on houses that are NOT in default, & those are the people who get downright angry.
I am merely asking if this error is an understandable clerical error on the part of Foreclosure Radar, or is this erroneous information truly on file with the Recorder’s office?
As far as I’m concerned, I’m still doing the homeowner a service by bringing it to their attention, & I’m doing FR a service by bringing it tou your attention as well.
I use & appreciate Radar & make NOD cold call door knocks almost every day of the week, & am solely bringing this issue to your attention in an effort to improve all of our services.


#4

As I said above, it could be because the person recently purchased the house, or because of an actual error. In the case of an error I can’t tell you where the error occurred without reviewing the particulars of that property, but you should assume that errors can and do happen at all levels – lenders, trustees, county, and yes with us too. Not that hard to determine if there is an error yourself, but if you have one you think is in error feel free to email support@foreclosureradar.com and they’d be happy to research it for you. You can even offer to follow up with the homeowner and let them know what you find out.


#5

Fair enough…I do utilize the approach that it is possible that there is a clerical error, & that either way, it’s important for the homeowner to confirm that the incorrect info is cleared up.

As someone who is working out in the field almost every day, I just wanted you to be aware that, @ least here in Bakersfield, a majority of these NOD people are seemingly paralyzed, like a deer on the RR tracks, staring @ the headlight of the oncoming train, unable to make a rational decision, & unable to get out of the way.

Most cannot separate the homeowner emotion from the financial logic of their position, & until they are presented with the cold facts of how upside down they are, & how far they are into default, & how soon the auction date will arrive, it’s almost impossible to get them to face or discuss reality.

That’s where the Profile comes in, & of course, I’m counting on it to be accurate.

I hear stories of Quit Claims to unlicensed people whom the homeowner’s believe will arrange a modification, & supposed “secret” short sales with no MLS listing or Realtor involved, & bankruptcies that will supposedly allow the homeowner to remain in their home with no payments for years to come (after they pay a large fee), etc. As they say, hope springs eternal.

The Profile Reports give me the ammunition I need to encourage the hopelessly upside down owner to negotiate with the bank, & exit cleanly, & stop the financial bleeding, & climb out of the hole, & begin the recovery process with a fresh start.

It is truly a sad thing that so many people cannot comprehend that the Poker Game has spiralled out of their league & control, & that it is well past time to get up from the table, & move to a new location, with more favorable terms.


#6

I wanted to take share a story that happened last week. A realtor knocked on the door of a million dollar+ home that was in foreclosure. The owner (who said he was an attorney) verbally attacked the realtor telling her that he had never missed a payment and indicated he was going to sue everyone over this “error”. She was able to point out that it was a homeowner association default. This homeowner did have a dispute with the association and had no idea that they could foreclose on his home. Can you imagine how he would have felt to come home to a Notice of Trustee Sale taped to his front door and have his name posted in the legal section of the newspaper? She may have taken some abuse but she did him a huge favor.
Sean is correct, mistakes are made on all levels. We hope that all agents have the ability to read the transaction history and are prepared to answer questions. We have a great free webinar called Foreclosure 101 for those agents that read this post and feel that they need additional help understanding and explaining the foreclosure process.
My own family went through a foreclosure in the late 80’s and I can tell you that we were very suspect and defensive when anyone approached us. I think the best approach is to help them understand their rights and how the process works. Anyone who ever knocked on our door only tried to tell us what “we should do” and no one ever took the time to tell us how the process worked and what our options were. Sometimes fear manifests as denial and anger. If you take a confrontational approach you may break through the denial and the anger but you may not have won their trust. At the end of the day you want to get them talking so that you can help them. Sometimes listening is much more important than talking.


#7

Michelle gave some very interesting insights, & raises very good points about the need to show true empathy to people in obvious distress.

That’s one of the reasons that I took the time & spent the money to earn the CDPE, SFR, & HAFA certifications before I ever went out door knocking armed with Foreclosure Radar Profiles & chasing down Short Sale Listings.

I also watched & learned from every one of the FR webinars & tutorials in an effort to thoroughly educate myself before putting myself into a position where you would have to really be on your toes, improvise, & think fast, in a very limited timefrane.

However, if we’re given (as opposed to “giving”) incorrect information, it makes the job that much harder…& that was the gist of my original post that started this thread.

I don’t think my handing out profiles to distressed property owners while door knocking, in an effort to engage them, & with an honest desire to help them, is any more unorthodox than the blogs Sean writes about the futility of elusive loan modifications.

If it’s the truth, & you’re polite & sincere in the presentation…that’s the most important to me. If someone doesn’t like it, there’s plenty more out there who will appreciate the message.


#8

Fair enough Harry, but keep in mind that our site, and the Foreclosure Profile Report, were designed for professionals like you - not homeowners. Professionals understand that mistakes happen, and the best pros learn to spot those mistakes ahead of time. Homeowners, on the other hand have trouble understanding what it all means, and take honest errors as personal attacks. I’ve never met a doctor who will simply forward a test result for a serious illness - they instead sit down walk you through it, and provide counsel about next steps (including getting a second opinion or verifying the test result). Bottom line - I designed the report, and I wouldn’t hand it to a homeowner, but if it works for you, I’m glad.