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Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Foreclosures! Foreclosures! Foreclosures!

Ok, so what is the great deal you ask? Maybe nothing, or maybe it's a money pit. A decade ago foreclosures were the rage. Even when I was selling foreclosures for the Bank of Nova Scotia, Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce and Royal Bank, I could feel the balance shift from a consumer opportunity to a consumer land mine.

In Alberta the foreclosure process, Judicature as it is called in the courts, has several steps. All of which begins with a promise not being fulfilled. That promise is usually someone not making their mortgage payments. There are other circumstances though where through a court ordered judgment someone may enforce their claim for monies owing through a court ordered sale.

I don’t want to get caught up in the legal mumbo jumbo in this article. We’ll leave that where it belongs in the land of the legal beagles. I do want to set up for you the fact that a foreclosure is usually a distress sale of a sort. What has happened though, is the term “foreclosure” has been creatively marketed by some to give you the perception there is a real deal here. The idea is a hook to get the consumer to contact them and then hopefully switch the customer into looking at something else.

The real deal about foreclosures is, that you the buyer assume all the risk, and generally at market value. In most cases the bank and parties involved are required by the court to seek or at least attempt to obtain, market value.

In certain situations you have to submit your offer with no conditions and wait for the court's acceptance which can take some time. In the meantime another party interested in the property waits until the eleventh hour to submit their offer knowing there is another offer in place.

Finally, the seller will make no warranties or representations and attach a “schedule A” (which basically states that you are buying the property as is, where is).

The gist here is making sure you go in with your eyes wide open. There are other distress sales in the marketplace that are far more advantageous to buyers. Divorces and Estate sales can be among those. If you’d like more information on Foreclosures, estate sales and other potentially distressed properties feel free to contact us at

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