how to find out if a house is in foreclosure

How to Find Out If My House is in Foreclosure Find Out if a House is in Foreclosure

Since COVID-19 hit the United States last March, foreclosure has an all-too-real fear for many homeowners. However, if they know exactly what will put their homes in this category, their fears might be somewhat eased, which may give them some time to avoid this situation. As a New York State resident, if you are asking yourself this question, “Is my home in foreclosure?”, you must know:

  • How to check if a house is in foreclosure
  • How to tell if a house is in foreclosure
  • How to know if a house is in foreclosure
  • How to see if a house is in foreclosure

In this blog, you will see the adaptation of the foreclosure process in New York State and using these tools to verify if your home or someone else’s can be classified as being foreclosed.

Is My House in Foreclosure?

It is not difficult for a homeowner to know if his or her home is in foreclosure. Under federal law, the lender can officially begin a foreclosure if you as the homeowner/borrower has not made a payment on your mortgage for over 120 days. In at least ninety of those days, it must send you a pre foreclosure notice, which contains details on curing the default and a list of government-sanctioned housing counseling agencies close to your home that offer free or extremely inexpensive counseling. Afterwards, the lender notifies you of the foreclosure lawsuit it has filed in court by serving you a summons and complaint, as well as details concerning the foreclosure process in your state of residence.

How to Find Out if a House is in Foreclosure

If you have not received a summons and complaint from your lender that it has filed a foreclosure lawsuit in court, it is easy for you to verify such information. When wondering how to check if a house is in foreclosure, there are various resources you can use.

The County Recorder’s Office

If you know the homeowner’s name, you can visit the county recorder’s office. In your state of residence, these offices will have information on every home in your community. You can obtain the address of your local recorder’s office either in the telephone book or by looking on the Internet. Once you have located the records office in your area, you can use the homeowner’s name to look for information on the property. A few offices keep printed records while others have changed to digital archives. If you require help, it is alright to ask the office clerk. You should inquire about these records every week or month since they tend to be revised rather frequently. To legally obtain them, the county recorder might have you file paperwork. As such, you might have to pay a filing fee.

The County Assessor’s Website

If you do not know the homeowner’s name, you can always go to the website of the assessor in the county where the house is situated. Supposing that all counties in New York State have posted their property records onto local and state government websites, you will be able to look at property records by looking for the property’s address. The only information that your county assessor would have on file are the homeowner’s name and the property’s parcel number, which you can use while looking through the property records at the county recorder’s office.


Most auction companies publicize recent foreclosures and forthcoming auctions by running print advertisements to attract more would-be buyers. You should check the newspaper every day or once a week to search for updates on foreclosed properties and auctions. In the county of the property, newspapers are expected to make public a listing of houses scheduled for auction. Normally registered as a Notice of Sale, these listings run frequently over various time periods, depending on the auction’s location. 

is my house in foreclosure

The listings themselves are how to tell if a house is in foreclosure. In a few states, the listing will run for three weeks while in others it must run at least once a week for five weeks. According to Section 1124-2(b) of the New York Consolidated Laws, in New York and Bronx counties, only the daily law journal and another newspaper specified by the first judicial department’s appellate justices according to the stipulations of subdivisions one and two of Section 91 of the judiciary law are to publicize any public notice like a Notice of Sale in a foreclosure proceeding.

Foreclosure Listings

If you cannot find a list of foreclosures on your own, here are eight ways to do so:

1. Find a local foreclosure real estate agent who can direct you to the list of foreclosure properties on the Multiple Listing Service (MLS)-a database in which consumers cannot directly access.

2. Search find pre-foreclosures and bank-owned properties for free.

3. Look at the legal notices in your local newspaper to find any local real auction houses. After identifying numerous legitimate companies, search their websites for listings and impending auctions.

4. Search bank websites for an inventory list of foreclosed properties.

5. Look on government-agency websites for online foreclosure listings and buying procedures, such as Fannie Mae, the Federal Housing Administration, U.S. Treasury Department, and Small Business Administration.

6. Go to your County Recorder’s Office to search the foreclosure notices on public record for free.

7. Explore the neighborhoods in which you would like to purchase and look out for real estate signs that are marked “Foreclosure” or “Bank Repo”. On these signs are the agents’ names, contact them and inquire about other foreclosure listings that might be made available for sale.

8. Auction houses are probable places to buy a suitable foreclosure, but you must first research them before purchasing anything.

Public Auction Listings

You can obtain the inventory list of a public auction being held in your region, which may include some foreclosed properties, in your local newspaper or online. They also kept at your county’s courthouse or sheriff’s station. Lists like there are how to see if a house is in foreclosure.If your home is one of the foreclosed properties on the list, then this may indicate that it is in foreclosure.

Local Property Tax Authorities

Another resource to verify if a home is in foreclosure is the local property tax authorities. You can call them direct or search on their websites.

Local Real Estate Agencies

If you have exhausted every other resource, you may engage the services of your local real estate agencies. The agents who work there can guide and assist you. They have immediate access to tools, such as MLS, that buyers do not. With these tools, the real estate agents can share property information. A listing agent is most likely to have several foreclosures on their list of available properties.

Bank Listings

As a last resort, you can look on bank websites for any foreclosed homes. Banks frequently register their foreclosed properties for sale on the Internet. For example, Bank of America has posted almost 800 homes. These postings include prices, photos, descriptions of the homes, and the agents’ contact information.

How to Look Up the Foreclosure Status

If you do receive a summons and complaint from the lender that your house is in foreclosure, do not be completely stress. To find out exactly where in the process that the foreclosure is in, you can consult some available sources.

Review Your Mortgage Papers

If you live in a non-judicial state, your mortgage should have a power of sale clause written in which authorizes the lender to sell your home in event of default to pay back the mortgage debt, bypassing the courts. This clause is allowed in non-judicial states as part of a lender’s rights to pursue a foreclosure. Thus, a person who owns a home in a non-judicial state can review his or her mortgage paperwork to see if a power of sale clause has been included. If your mortgage does have such a clause that allows the lender to pursue a foreclosure, it must first properly notify you.

However, if you live in New York, which is regarded as a judicial state, you do not have this luxury. Here, mortgages do not have a power of sale clause. The lender can just get the court’s permission to foreclose on your home. With it, the lender can proceed and send you the required summons and complaint.

Foreclosure Notices

According to New York law, the lender must first send you a Ninety-Day Foreclosure Notice no less than ninety days before beginning a foreclosure. The notice must be sent to you by way of regular and certified mail. It is important because it gives you an opportunity to see if you can avert foreclosure by working with the lender. The notice must contain the following information:

·       How many days have you not made payments on your mortgage?

·       How much you must pay to catch up.

·       The lender’s phone number.

·       A list of no less than five local, non-profit foreclosure avoidance counselling groups who can assist you.

·       The free helpline number and website of the NYS Department of Financial Services.

·       That if the issue is not settled within ninety days, the lender will begin a foreclosure lawsuit

As previously mentioned, once the ninety days are up, if it needs to, the lender can begin foreclosure proceedings by filing a lawsuit in court. If the lender does this, New York law requires that it must properly notify you of such an action by sending a summons and complaint..

Last December, Governor Cuomo had signed into law the COVID-19 Emergency Eviction and Foreclosure Prevention Act (“Act”). According to this Act, homeowners who have lost their jobs or had elevated expenses during the COVID-19 pandemic can be shielded from foreclosure by staying the proceedings in the form of a “moratorium” until May 1, 2021. To gain this protection, they must first fill out a Hardship Declaration Form and submit it to their lenders.

Call Your Mortgage Company

If your home is in foreclosure, you can always call your lender to give you any information about its status. If your lender has put your foreclosure in a lawyer’s hands, then request his or her contact information. Since your lender would not know the foreclosure status of another home, you can use other avenues to find this out.

Call the Trustee Assigned to the Foreclosure

In a nonjudicial state, a lender typically selects a foreclosure trustee who is frequently associated with either it or the lawyer representing it as the impartial person who manages the foreclosure process. He or she may know which stage a home, whether yours or someone else’s, is at in the foreclosure process. Contacting such a person is how to know if a house is in foreclosure. New York does not require such an individual since it is a judicial state. New York does not require such an individual since it is a judicial state.

Visit the County Court’s Website

In New York, you would not be able to go to the website of the county court to verify the status of a foreclosed home. You need to attend a status conference, which is referred to as a Residential Foreclosure Status Conference Part. These conferences are usually held every Wednesday at 9:30 a.m. and presided over by Justice Martin Schulman. Here, you might find out at what stage of the foreclosure the house is in.

Getting Help From Foreclosure Attorney

You can avoid foreclosure with the assistance of a lawyer who focuses in the area. Moshes Law, P.C., have spent years aiding homeowners in protecting their assets and living happily without panicking about an imminent foreclosure. By hiring Moshes Law, P.C. to help with your foreclosure case, you can also become one of their many content and appeased clients.

FAQ Section

Are foreclosure documents public?

Yes, after the lender files a lis pendens with the county clerk, beginning a suit against the property that contests its ownership, it becomes a part of public record. Thus, anyone who is interested in it can go to the county clerk’s office and request the record to see that there is an unsettled suit disputing ownership.

How do I get a list of foreclosures in my area?

The following are the best methods to get a foreclosure list in your area:
1. Browse bank websites.
2. Consult listing owned by the government.
3. Go to your local county’s offices.
4. Join a foreclosure-listing service for a monthly fee.
5. Use a real estate agent.

How long can you not pay your mortgage before foreclosure?

Usually, you can go without paying your mortgage for 120 days. This gives you time to attempt to either refinance or alter your loan or pursue other loss mitigation alternatives. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, both the federal and New York State governments have offered relief to qualified homeowners. One of these is the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, which former President Donald Trump signed into law last March.

Do you lose everything in a foreclosure?

No, you as the homeowner can keep any money left over from the sale of your home if every fee and penalty has been paid. This leftover money is known as equity.

What happens if my house goes into foreclosure?

If your house goes into foreclosure, you should attempt to look at other alternatives to foreclosure with your lender. If you and your lender do not reach a compromise, then you must know what your rights as a homeowner are. In New York, there is the Residential Foreclosure Actions Consumer Bill of Rights, which helps homeowners dealing with foreclosure.

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