In order to purchase a bankruptcy property, you will need to approach the court appointed receiver / trustee to pursue your deal.
Contact the bankruptcy trustee to find out if the property is for sale as part of the bankruptcy. If so, request the terms for the sale of the property as well as any additional information regarding the condition of the property. This will help you understand the type of investment your are getting into.
Here is how you can proceed:
There are special issues to be considered when dealing with properties that are the subject of bankruptcy. Properties in bankruptcy frequently have flaws both physically due to lack of maintenance, and liens of creditors. There may be a great deal of motivation for the courts to dispose of the property for the benefit of the creditors, which can translate into a good deal for a property investor. When dealing with the courts in the sale of a property, buyers need to be patient as each decision related to the sale has to be approved by the court. However, a patient real estate investor can turn this situation into a sale at below market price.
Contact the court-appointed receiver / trustee listed below (scroll down) under “Bankruptcy Information” to determine whether or not the property is (or will soon be) for sale. REMEMBER: not all homes / addresses associated with a bankruptcy filing are for sale.Step 2
Request the terms of the sale for the property that is included in the bankruptcy filing, as well as any additional information regarding the condition of the home. This will help you better understand the type of investment (price, terms, conditions, etc.) that you are exploring.Step 3
Drive by the property and visually inspect it, as well as the surrounding neighborhood. Frequently, properties that are involved in bankruptcy filings are in need of maintenance (some may even be abandoned). Please keep in mind that the distressed homeowner(s) may still be living in the property and their privacy must always be respected.Step 4
Make an offer! At this stage, you have already determined that the property is for sale, appears to be in acceptable condition, and that you can live with the terms the court-appointed receiver / trustee has spelled out. Be certain that your offer contains contingencies such as appraised value, property inspections, clear title and the financing you will need to close the deal.Step 5
Once the court-appointed receiver / trustee has signed off on your offer, have professional inspectors give detailed reports on the condition of such things as construction defects, the roof, insect infestations, mold, electrical and plumbing systems, appliances, and heating and air conditioning units. Once you are satisfied with the inspections -- and all other contingencies are assured -- have your lender give you a commitment for financing.
Patience is the key to buying a home involved in a bankruptcy filing. For example, bankruptcies can present unique problems with respect to title since you will be receiving the deed from the court. Also, when bankruptcies occur, liens frequently follow. Therefore, be sure to work with a title agent who understands the fine points of bankruptcy and can insure your title is clean and unencumbered.
Patience will be rewarded more often than not … in a major way!
Indeed, there is often a great deal of motivation for the court-appointed receiver / trustee to sell a home included in a bankruptcy filing quickly and reasonably to satisfy creditors, which can translate into a great deal for a property investor (that’s you!). Just be patient -- each decision related to the sale has to be approved by the court. However, a patient real estate investor can often turn a bankruptcy situation into a sale at well below fair market price.