** I revised this post after receiving clarification from the good people over at The Warren Group. **

The report I have been putting together each week of foreclosures happening in the city of Boston has been woefully incomplete.

I’ve only been reporting data collected from the Suffolk Deeds website, only “foreclosure deeds” transactions, which are basically when the bank takes ownership of a home (at least that’s my understanding). The filing of the deed may happen weeks or months after the bank buys the property, so it’s been of limited use to us all.

Because of this, I’m not going to be producing it, any longer.

The Warren Group reports a lot more useful foreclosure information in aggregate, weekly.

I’ll see if I can find a way to get this on my blog. I don’t want names, I just want dollar amount, neighborhood, and loan origination date information. So we can all see what is going on.

Anyway, here’s what The Warren Group reported for last week, for all of Suffolk County (includes Boston, Revere, Winthrop and Chelsea-by-the-sea).

Petitions & Lis Pendens: 78
Auctions: 71
Bank Owned/REO: 14

The “Petitions & Lis Pendens” are the first steps in the foreclosure process – it happens after your lender has sent you a reminder notice (or notices …) in the mail that you are 30-days late in making your payment. The lender puts a notice in the newspaper that it intends to foreclose on your home, take possession, and kick you out.

An auction takes place after the petition to foreclose is published in the newspaper. At this event, anyone can bid on the property. The lender will attend the auction, and if it is not happy with the bids, it can buy the property, itself. Interested parties may or may not be able to see the interior of the property, and often you have to a bank check in hand in order to close the deal.

Bank Owned / REO is when the lender is the winning bidder on the property. It takes ownership by recording a deed at the Registry.

At least that’s my interpretation.

If you are interested in buying a property at foreclosure, there are several times when you can get involved. The best situation would be where you hear about an owner who is having trouble making his or her payments, prior to the lender putting a notice in the paper. You might be able to make a good deal with the owner.

Once the notice hits the paper, you’ll have competition. You may try to contact the lender, directly, to work out a deal.

On auction day, you can bid on the property. If you are the high bidder, you win! You have the pleasure of kicking people out of “their” homes. Hope you can sleep well.

If the lender ends up being the high bidder, you may still be able to own it – you may contact the lender the day after the auction and make a bid. Maybe higher, maybe lower … no bank wants to own real estate (Bank of New England did … and look what happened to them!).

More: The Warren Group

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Updated:  1st Q 2018

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