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Todd, please come list my home. I would love to, but you don’t own it!

What do you mean I don't own my home?

I do lots of preparation when I list a home, but when someone calls me saying they are in trouble and behind on their payments, I always ask what is the date of the foreclosure. Usually I get the answer of they haven’t given us a date yet or not for another 4 or 5 months, we just got the first notice.

Well, yesterday I got a call that gave me the first answer, they haven’t given us a date yet and we haven’t received a foreclosure letter in a month or two. Great, this is one I can save… Or so I thought. Upon getting home I ordered the deed and other corresponding paperwork that I was going to need from the seller to get this short sale going.

But, upon getting the title back, I was in for a surprise. The owner I was talking to wasn’t actually the owner. From the transaction history on the title, he was once the owner but it seems the house had actually been foreclosed on back in March.

How could someone not know they had been foreclosed on? There were actually more questions that answers on this one and having to call the seller to cancel my listing appointment was a little disappointing as I always enjoy getting more listings.

But, in the end I had to call the seller and tell them “I would love to sell your home, but the problem is that you are not the owner, you were already foreclosed on. If you are in a situation where you are behind on your payments, please give me a call, I have numbers for loan modifications companies and if you should need to sell, I can certainly help you with that.

Respect Realty LLC (Expect More)


At Respect Realty, LLC our agents believe in 100% dedication to client satisfaction.  We specialize in property and land acquisition around the Portland Metro and Vancouver, WA area. We delight in working with first time home buyers and sellers to guide them from start to finish. Our doors are always open and we are always happy to assist you with your real estate questions.


Reach out today, we look forward to talking with you!


Todd Clark and Seraina Aguayo (Owners of Respect Realty)

Respect Realty LLC (Expect More)



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Comment balloon 16 commentsRespect Realty LLC • June 29 2010 04:40PM


WOW strange call Todd. Wonder how the owner would have completely miss out on the entire foreclosure procedure.

Posted by Ritu Desai, Virginia Realtor-Fairfax/Loudoun/PW-703-625-4949 (Samson Properties) over 9 years ago

Todd, thanks for a thought provoking post, further reinforcing our never assume anything mindset.

Posted by Wayne and Lynda Gomillion (Real Living Hagan Realtors | Pinehurst ~ Southern Pines, NC) over 9 years ago

Amazing!  I once had a tenant try to sell the home he was renting!  God thing I ran a property profile from the title company before i went on the appointment!

Posted by Lauren Stark, Luxury Real Estate Agent - Las Vegas-Henderson NV (THE STARK TEAM-Las Vegas Luxury Homes & Condos) over 9 years ago

This is just weird or else your prospective seller has Alzheimer's and forgot it was already foreclosed on!

Posted by Shirley Parks, Broker, 210-414-0966, San Antonio TX Real Estate (Sands Realty 210-414-0966) over 9 years ago

Todd, now that is something that I'd have a little trouble forgetting!  Yikes!

Posted by Patricia Kennedy, Home in the Capital (RLAH Real Estate) over 9 years ago

Todd, in this day and age in real estate it's getting that nothing surprises me anymore!!  But this is one for the books.  Wishing him all the best ~ I guess!!??

Posted by Lee & Pamela St. Peter, Making Connections to Success in Real Estate (Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices YSU Realty: (919) 645-2522) over 9 years ago

Hello Todd ~

Great post as usual! Wow I have to agree with Shirley on this one!

Thanks for sharing,


Posted by Adam Malachi, QSC,CDPE,CIPS,CNE,CRB,CRS,GRI,MRE,SFR (A 2 Z Realty LLC) over 9 years ago


Interesting that you run title first.  I check out tax records prior to a listing appointment.  One recently came back with a very different name.  The good news is that the name was her official maiden name and the first name she went by was different than her full name.  So, it was their home, but did get me wondering there for a little bit!

You never know!

All the best, Michelle

Posted by Michelle Francis, Realtor, Buckhead Atlanta Homes for Sale & Lease (Tim Francis Realty LLC) over 9 years ago

Hi Todd... I have actually seen this scenario, and the occupants had been living in the house for almost 6 months with no idea that they didn't own the property and had received no notice to vacate!

Posted by Steve Shatsky over 9 years ago

what an incredible 32 years, I've never heard a story like that....

Posted by Barbara Todaro, Marketing Agent for The Todaro Team (RE/MAX Executive Realty ) over 9 years ago

I've heard of this happening before, it is truly incredible that the home owner (or ex-owner) is not aware that they have been foreclosed on. 

Posted by Gabe Sanders, Stuart Florida Real Estate (Real Estate of Florida specializing in Martin County Residential Homes, Condos and Land Sales) over 9 years ago

Todd - I can't say I'm surprised, but this is the first I've heard of this happening.  I wonder how long it would take this "seller" to find out the home is no longer his if you didn't tell him.

Posted by Michelle Gibson, REALTOR (Hansen Real Estate Group Inc. ) over 9 years ago

Todd -

Then there's the one that we thought was going to auction - but it didn't because the servicer rescinded the NOD a few weeks error.  So now we're back on the market, expecting a second NOD any day.

Posted by Jim Hale, Eugene Oregon's Best Home Search Website (ACTIONAGENTS.NET) over 9 years ago

That the (now) tenants have received no notice to vacate just shows, once again, that the banks don't know what the heck they are doing.

Posted by Jim Hale, Eugene Oregon's Best Home Search Website (ACTIONAGENTS.NET) over 9 years ago

Wow! I guess the bank was so far behind and understaffed they just have not bothered to evict the owners yet.


Posted by Marcy Moyer, Probate, Trust, and Investment Specialist (eXp Realty of California Silicon Valley Probate, Trust, and Investment Sales) over 9 years ago

This was one of those heartbreaking ones when I had to make that call to them. But, at least they weren't paying their mortgage with the expectation of getting a loan modification, but rather they had stopped paying and weren't losing anything but their home and they were already expecting that.

Posted by Respect Realty LLC, Brokers - Oregon / SW Washington Real Estate (Respect Realty LLC) about 9 years ago

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