How To Buy Foreclosed Homes With No Money

How to buy foreclosed homes with no money

15 Jan 2020

In the UK, the lender approaches the courts to get ownership of the house in question that is sold at a foreclosure, when the homeowner defaults on the mortgage payments at some point, which means they failed to pay the mortgage back when it was due, resulting in ending up in mortgage arrears. In the UK, an order of possession (or repossession) is typically issued instead of an order of foreclosure. 

In a foreclosure, the lender is allowed to keep all of the proceeds; in contrast, in the event of possession or repossession, any amount beyond what is owed on the loan is returned to the consumer. 

In general, the system in the UK favours the homeowners who can avoid court action, and they can even prevent the loss of a home. For example, if the homeowner takes measures to sell their home or if the borrower's salary improves significantly with a new job and they become eligible to get a loan in the new job, they can avoid mortgage repossession. 

Nevertheless, investors are interested in acquiring distressed properties. If a bank can't offload a property through an estate agent, it will often go to auction for a quick sale: several auction houses and agents auction off such repossessed properties. 

Some of these let you filter web searches for repossessed homes, or you can call to see what they have on their books. Handily and Allsop let you explore the completed auctions, offering a good way to check the home's market rate.

Foreclosed Homes

There are different ways to buy foreclosed homes with no money down. Some estate agents sell off repossessed homes but don't advertise. If you are interested in buying any such home, call them and ask what they have in their books. Another way is to check your local paper for announcements.

Some auctions may put a small ad online or in local newspapers. Some house hunters are more likely to get a great deal if a known someone contacts them directly. If you find a property you like, you can ask to attend a viewing as normal.

In the UK, foreclosures are relatively rare as the process requires a court order, and the UK's courts rarely grant such requests, favouring repossessions. The UK's mortgage repossession and foreclosure system are similar in some ways to the United States, though there is no exact equivalent of a US-based short sale. In the UK, a process known as Assisted Voluntary Sale is carried out instead of a short sale, though it can lead to a negative credit report. However, if the homeowner takes early action and cooperates in the process, one can prevent the loss of credit reputation. There are some differences between the terms often used in the UK – mortgage repossession and foreclosure. 

In the US, you can apply for an FHA loan or take out a commercial loan to help with the down payment and closing costs. However, it's important to remember that you won't be able to make the down payment unless the house has already been foreclosed and sold. Another option is to search through local banks that can help you get what you need in the short term, but it can be a little more expensive. In addition, bank approvals require a lot of paperwork, which can sometimes lead to future foreclosure.

Some individuals think the mortgage market will be over in the next couple of years. The longer you wait, the longer you'll pay higher interest rates than you should. However, that's not the market today, so you can still get your house if you take a look at some options that are still out there.

Foreclosure Homes For Sale

In the UK, one can search for foreclosure homes online or on the auction house's catalogue. If you spot a potential property, attend the day's auction.  

There are sites that source repossessed properties for you. Again, these are not recommendations but are listed in case people want to find out more.

Property consultancy firms may send out emails with bargain properties to subscribers for free. 

In the US, you can also consider the FHA or the subsidised mortgage programs to know how they will help you buy foreclosure homes for sale. These schemes are available in most US states and help homeowners get the money they need to pay off their homes, but you'll still have to meet certain criteria to be eligible.

Don't worry if you have a bad credit score; you can still buy foreclosed homes for sale as certain loan programs are available to people with bad credit. While you may not get the lowest interest rate that you can get, you will be able to pay off your debt with a low monthly payment.

There are plenty of ways to buy foreclosed homes for sale. The first thing to consider is the amount of money you are willing to invest in the purchase. It should be enough to cover the closing costs.

What Is The Process For Buying A Foreclosed Home?

Most mortgage companies aren't that hands-on with repossessions. Of course, you may have to contact multiple lenders to get the best possible rate, but they're no experts in selling houses; rather, the brokers may hold the auctions. So the lenders pass the buck on to agents to do the work. Notably, UK lenders must follow different procedures before initiating court action to pursue mortgage possession/repossession or foreclosure. However, the requirements are similar to those in other areas, such as the US. The overall purpose of these measures – called the "pre-action protocols" – is to prevent undue damage to the economy while providing financially distressed consumers with an opportunity to fix the situation and not lose their home to a mortgage/repossession or foreclosure.

As per the current pre-action protocol, UK-based lenders are required to treat consumers in a fair, equitable manner by considering any reasonable remedies or suggestions that a borrower may have if they are seeking to get caught up on their mortgage loan arrears.

The buyer should know that the seller couldn't sell on the open market because the property had serious structural defects, a defective title or short lease or if it faced some long-term planning or building control issue. 

So you need to do all the legal checks and check the local search records to find out about the ground and surroundings of the property and get records related to planning consents, building regulation sign-offs, contaminated land, flood risks or ground stability. It may take three weeks to complete the process, so one must do it quickly. 

If you are interested in buying a foreclosed home, check for structural issues like dampness, rot or subsidence, and book a surveyor to inspect and report on the property.

Book your lender's mortgage valuation to see if the property is valued correctly, and it can take over four weeks to get an idea of the property's value.

You should also be prepared for circumstances where the vendors suddenly withdraw the acceptance and a subsequent offer. 

Buying A Foreclosure

Auction houses pick up all the properties that fall through and can't be sold for the quoted market price using either an estate agent or an LPA receiver. Such properties come to auctions, and when buyers know its repossession, it can generate more interest and increase the prices.

If you want to buy a house, be aware that buying a property at auction will differ from buying through an estate agent, as mortgage lenders typically want to sell these properties quickly to recoup their losses. As a result, an auction purchase can be completed in less than one month. However, properties sold through an auction are usually advertised one month in advance, giving potential buyers plenty of time to view and arrange finance.

Most lenders will also look to use the services of an estate agent when selling repossession. However, it's unlikely that an estate agent will openly market such properties; therefore, if you're looking at buying a repossessed house, you should contact your local agent in the first instance and ask if they have any available.

It's not unusual to see properties in a foreclosure sale be offered at a price between 20-30% less than their market value; however, there's no guarantee that this will be the case.

What Does Pre-Foreclosure Mean?

Before proceeding with a mortgage possession/repossession or foreclosure, the courts will see that the consumer has explored all possible options for paying off the arrears and that the borrower has attempted negotiations with the home loan lender. 

The UK's foreclosure system allows for a delay in on-court action in several different circumstances if the borrower's financial situation is expected to improve, if the borrower is taking action to sell the home at a reasonable price, or if the borrower applied for Universal Credit ( or SMI), or is getting the UK Mortgage Payment Protection Policy. In addition, other situations like if the homeowner filed a FOS complaint concerning the lender or if they are waiting to get help from a government scheme – can delay the process.

The court offers other ways to favour the homeowners in the UK, like the tenants may be permitted to stay in the property, even in the event of a mortgage possession or repossession.

In the US, the pre-foreclosure is when the homeowners agree on their current mortgage or negotiate a loan modification to avoid losing their home. Depending on the US state where the property is located, mortgage pre-foreclosures can range from a few weeks to a year or more. The legal process of foreclosure is often challenging to understand for the inexperienced. While it is true that the whole process is too complex to make sense to the layman, a few things are specific to the foreclosure. 

One of the key things that pre-foreclosure means is that the lending institutions have ignored a foreclosure notice. But unfortunately, the system has its share of failures, especially concerning the waiting period and wrongful evictions. 

Buying Foreclosed Homes For Dummies

If the homeowner stops making payments and owes more on the loan arrears than the house's value, the lender follows the pre-foreclosure steps toward a short sale. Buying a foreclosed home for dummies requires the steps where you determine why you want to buy and try to understand the differences between different types of sales. First, the lender puts the home up for sale. Then, the lender will get back some amount they offered to buy the home. Some lenders will be short on the amount of money they accept for sale. The buyer needs to find an agent, arrange finance, determine the fair price of the house and make a bid.

How To Find Foreclosures?

  • Whether you're a homeowner or an investor looking to buy foreclosed properties, you first need to know how to find foreclosures or repossessed homes. Newsagents and government agencies may have a listing of such homes.

  • Private vendors like real estate investors and brokers may also have them on their websites. 

  • You may contact a local real estate agent to get the latest listings. However, you may have to pay for a service, such as "BluePrint" in North America, to find them.

How To Buy A Foreclosed Home?

To buy a foreclosed home, you need to search for such properties. While the main route for selling repossessed properties is through auction houses, a bank or other lending institution may opt to use an estate agent. One reason is that they may get a higher sale price because there's an obligation to sell at the best possible price. Auction houses that deal in repossessions have always been the favourite hunting ground of property investors. Yet, in recent years, several specialist websites have come up. 

After selecting a home, you need to get a lender who can assume the loan without qualification or ask for permission from the homeowners, get finance with a loan and submit your documents to get a title.   

What Is A Foreclosed Home?

A repossessed property is a home seized by a lender because mortgage repayments aren't made on time. A foreclosure occurs when a home is held by the lender and put up for sale in the housing market. If you live in any such house and are the homeowner, you may be asked to empty the house if you cannot pay the mortgage arrears. If a bank approves a short sale, the lenders get the money off the owner to pay for the difference between the balance due and the amount one can pay.

If you own a foreclosed home, you should try to work with the bank to have it listed or find a nonprofit foreclosure group that can help with the foreclosure process. There are many foreclosure services available to help with the process.

How To Buy A Foreclosure With Cash?

There are several reasons you may want to buy a home. First, you may be planning to live in the home as your own. You may hope to flip the property or use it to rent. The only reason for not buying a foreclosed home is if you are trying to stay home and get a mortgage. If you flip the home or rent it, a cash-out home loan may be the best way.

There are many benefits to buying a foreclosure with cash as the buyer, and the bank holding the property on the market does not need additional funding. Furthermore, financing can be long and tedious, requiring multiple documentation and endless hassles that one can avoid if one buys with cash and an all-cash offer gives you more bargaining power, especially when dealing with funded buyers. 

Buying with cash means no mortgage payments; you get returns through rent, and you do not pay interest. 

However, there are some advantages of the mortgage procedure where your lender requires an appraisal and may inspect the property that approves the property's value, protects your investments and ensures that you make a wise decision. Also, with a mortgage, you can get some tax benefits.

Can You Get A Mortgage On A Foreclosed Home?

If you're buying a foreclosed home at an auction, you effectively exchange contracts once the gavel goes down. You can get a mortgage on such investments; however, you must have at least a 10% deposit on the day you get the bid, and you pay the remaining 90% within 28 days, so it's vital you already have your mortgage or finance in place before you participate in the auction. You can hire a broker or an experienced agent to know more. A broker can help you prepare any required documentation with all your evidence of earnings. 

Can You Buy A Foreclosed Home With Bad Credit?

Problem properties may often achieve higher sale prices through foreclosure auctions than they will through estate agents in the UK. Because foreclosure auctions work in fixed timeframes, they traditionally are not considered suitable for mortgage buyers. It means that such auctions mostly attract cash buyers. However, some specialised lenders allow you to get a loan even if you have bad credit though they may offer mortgages at a higher interest rate. 

Is Buying A Foreclosed Home A Good Idea?

People often want to get a home through foreclosure sale to make a good investment as the rate offered at auctions can be 20-30% less than their market value. However, there's no guarantee to it; instead, some such homes may require a lot of repair work as it's not unusual to find many fixtures and fittings removed or damaged before you get the keys. In addition, if a buy-to-let landlord owned the property, you should try to know if the sitting tenants vacated the house or not. 

One of the benefits of buying a repossessed house via the auctions rather than an estate agent is that both parties are committed to the sale once the hammer falls.

The lender is legally obliged to secure the highest sale price possible to cover the cost, so they may not have any misgivings for gazumping, even if you have paid legal and valuation fees. In addition, if a property has been repossessed, there can be situations where the utilities and other services have been disconnected and require reinstating. However, they may impose penalties for either party pulling out of a sale once the hammer falls. 

Categorised in:

Get In Touch

Hamilton International Property Contact our office

Contact Our Team


+44(0)1628 397840

Hamilton International Property Contact our office

Visit Our Office


Chiltern House Business Center
64 High Street, Burnham
Bucks - SL1 7JT
United Kingdom


Enquire Now