Northwest Trustee Services, Inc.
3535 Factoria Blvd SE, Suite 220
Frequently Asked Questions:
Northwest Trustee Services, Inc.
This information is provided as a courtesy only, and does not create any firm-client
relationship between the reader and
Northwest Trustee Services, Inc., nor any of its affiliated firms, companies
or employees. In addition, USA-Foreclosure.com, LLC. does not claim responsibility
for any discrepancies between the data found on www.usa-foreclosure.com and the
Please understand that the answers are general in nature, and the specific facts
of a particular situation might change the answer. If you are seriously interested
in bidding at a foreclosure sale, we encourage you to seek the advice of your own
attorney. We cannot provide you with legal advice regarding any specific foreclosure
that we might be active in, as it would be a conflict of interest. Also, the answers
apply only to non-judicial foreclosure sales; the legal rules governing judicial
sales are different. Finally, the answers are in part based on our customary practice
rather than a fixed rule of law, and others performing foreclosure services might
answer the questions differently based on their customary practices.
Learning More About the Conditions of the Property
How do I look at the interior of the house before the sale?
We are unable to give authorization to inspect the property, inside or outside. If you are the successful bidder at the auction and thereafter receive a trustee's deed to the property, you are the owner and would probably have the right to access at some point after the foreclosure sale. Be aware, though, that each state allows property occupants to remain in sole possession of the property for a set number of days after a foreclosure sale. You should consult your own legal counsel to determine when or if you may enter and take possession of a foreclosed property. If the property reverts to the foreclosing lender at the foreclosures sale, then most likely it will soon be marketed by brokers for the foreclosing lender.
How may I contact the lender or property owner?
We are unable to provide you with the owner information. Lenders do not usually discuss pre-foreclosure options with third parties.
Learning More About the Condition of the Title
How can I tell the condition of title before the foreclosure sale? I don't want to purchase a property with a bunch of liens on it.
Purchasing a preliminary commitment for issuance of an owner's policy of title insurance (“Preliminary Commitment”) is a good idea. The Preliminary Commitment tells you about the condition of title prior to the sale and provides insurance against certain title defects after the sale if you convert the Preliminary Commitment to an owner's policy of title insurance (“Owner's Policy”) . Keep in mind that properties purchased at foreclosure sale are sold without any warranty or assurance that you are getting clear title. If a lien or encumbrance survives the trustee's sale, it is your responsibility to resolve it.
I am interested in a property scheduled for sale. How can I obtain more information than is contained on your website, such as original date of deed and loan amount?
Consider purchasing a Preliminary Commitment, which will provide record title details about the deed of trust and property being foreclosed. Additionally, you can go to the county recorder's office for copies of all recorded documents referencing the property. Tax assessment information can also be obtained from the county.
Do I need to buy Preliminary Commitment or an Owner's Policy?
Purchasing title insurance products before bidding for a property at a foreclosure sale is not required by law. But bidding at a trustee's sale without knowing the condition of a property's title would not be wise. Therefore, we strongly urge all potential bidders to purchase, at the very least, a Preliminary Commitment from a licensed title agency to properly evaluate the condition of title and to reduce the risk of title-related problems. In addition, we strongly urge the successful bidder at a foreclosure sale to convert his Preliminary Commitment into an Owner's Policy. Only an Owner's Policy will give the purchaser insurance or indemnity rights against the title company if the information stated in the Preliminary Commitment or Owner's Policy is wrong.
What type of information does a Preliminary Commitment contain?
The Preliminary Commitment is a title report. It typically contains information from the original deed of trust such as the legal description of the property, name of the trustee, original loan amount, date it was approved, date it was recorded, name of the grantor and liens and encumbrances against the property. Preliminary Commitments often will contain tax status information, too.
Can I purchase a Preliminary Commitment or Owner's Policy through Northwest Trustee Services, Inc.?
No. We do not sell title insurance products.
Northwest Trustee Services, Inc. does make available a property information package. The package includes a copy of the TSG we purchased from a title insurer. However, you should not rely upon that TSG (or any Preliminary Commitment, title policy or title report where you are not the named insured). The information contained in our TSG is generally current up to and including the recording of the recording of the Notice of Trustee's Sale. Periodically, during and after the foreclosure process, we order updates to the TSG for our internal use.
Can I see a sample of a TSG report and Preliminary Commitment?
Of course. Click here to see an example.
How can I tell if the property going for sale is a first or a second mortgage?
Purchase a Preliminary Commitment. We cannot represent, warrant or guarantee the priority position or seniority of any lien or encumbrance against title.
When did the borrower go into default, what were the terms, and how much is owed on the property?
We are unable to supply you with that information. Purchasing a Preliminary Commitment or researching the county records is a good way to collect some of this information.
What time does the auction start?
The date and time for sale is set forth in the foreclosure notices. The sale dates and times published on this website are subject to change. Sometimes a sale is postponed by public proclamation to a later time on the same date. That postponement or other change is not always reflected on this website. The only way to be certain of a postponed-to date or time is to attend the auction and listen to the publicly proclaimed postponement of the sale. Also, we strongly recommend that you check the status of any sale frequently on this website to monitor for any other changes.
Where does the auction take place?
Sales are conducted in a public place in the county where the property is located. In most counties, sales are conducted at the courthouse. That is not the case in every county, though, most notably King County in Washington. Read the sale documents carefully to verify the time, date, and place of sale. If the sale has been postponed, check our website frequently for updates concerning time, date and place of sale. Sometimes a sale is postponed by public proclamation to a later date or time at a different location. That change in location may not always reflected on this website. The only way to be certain of a postponed-to date, time or location is to attend the auction and listen to the publicly proclaimed postponement of the sale.
Bidding Requirements and Process
How much money should I bring to the sale?
The rules of auction, published on our website, require that you must possess funds in an amount that will more than cover the foreclosing lender's opening bid. Once the trustee sale officer conducting the auction is satisfied that you and all other bidders are qualified to bid, he or she will conduct the trustee's sale, inviting bids from eligible bidders. Bidders may not submit bids in amounts greater than they possess, in hand, at the auction.
Can I bring a down payment and have the rest financed?
You must possess the full amount you intend to bid in the form of cash, cashier's check, certified check or money order before the trustee's sale officer will qualify you to bid. This rule applies to speculative investors and junior lienholders alike. When the bidding is concluded and a winning bid is announced, the entire amount bid must be tendered immediately to the trustee sale officer conducting the sale. No down payments are accepted.
Should my cashier's check or certified check be made payable to Northwest Trustee Services, Inc.?
Yes. Bidders may also qualify with certified checks or cashier's checks payable to "Northwest Trustee Services, Inc. or [bidder name]". Finally, bidders may qualify with cashier's or certified checks drawn on local financial institutions and payable only to themselves if the bidders have the legal authority to endorse the checks to the trustee immediately upon conclusion of the trustee's sale. Bidders paying with money orders should have the money orders issued payable to Northwest Trustee Services, Inc.
Can I purchase the property and have the trustee's deed recorded in my company name?
Yes. Let us know who the trustee's deed should list as the grantee on the trustee's deed.
Can I wire funds to you after the sale?
No. The trustee is equipped to receive only cash, cashier's check, certified check or money order at the trustee's sale.
How can I determine the minimum bid amount?
The Notice of Sale can give you an approximate figure. These numbers are not exact and you should continue checking our website for the contemplated opening bid.
When does the minimum bid post?
Minimum bids are posted at our website as soon as we receive them from the lenders. If the minimum bid amount is not listed, then likely we have not yet received it. Also, posted minimum bids sometimes change. Please check our website frequently for updated posting of minimum bids.
Some properties show a minimum and a maximum bid amount. Does the lender always bid up to the highest amount?
There is no predictable answer to this question. Where maximum and minimum bids are shown, we recommend that you have one check for the opening (minimum) bid amount, and incremental checks up to the amount that you are willing to pay for the property.
Purchasing Property Prior to an Auction
If my property is to be sold and I have a buyer who wants to buy my property, can I stop the auction?
Maybe. You should immediately contact our foreclosure analyst assigned to your file and ask the analyst to contact the lender to request a postponement of the foreclosure sale. In these situations, the lender is more apt to consider granting a postponement if you provide the analyst a copy of the earnest money agreement, showing no outstanding contingencies, a purchase price that will pay the foreclosing lender in full and a closing date that is rapidly approaching. Even if you take these steps, however, please understand that granting a postponement may not be automatic and the foreclosing lender may still decline to grant a postponement. If a postponement is not granted under these circumstances, you should consult legal counsel immediately to determine your available legal remedies and options.
How do I buy the property before it goes for sale?
Prior to the foreclosure auction only the property owner call sell the property. You must make purchase arrangements directly with the owner.
I have arranged to purchase the property from the owner. Can you postpone the auction to give us time to finalize the purchase?
Maybe. These types of decisions are referred to the foreclosing lender. They may or may not agree to grant a postponement.
How do I buy property that has reverted to the foreclosing lender?
You can call the foreclosing lender and ask for the REO Department. Typically, the mortgage companies have a network of realtors that list the property. It may be necessary to wait until the property is listed to submit your offer.
If I purchase the property at auction, will the deed to the house be a good deed?
The winning bidder at auction receives title through a trustee's deed. Any purchaser at a non-judicial foreclosure auction should seek independent legal advice concerning the legal effect of the trustee's deed and the survival of liens and encumbrances after the trustee's sale.
I was the successful bidder at an auction. How many days do I need to give the foreclosed party to exit the premises?
It depends upon the state. You should seek independent legal advice concerning your rights to possession of the property after the trustee's sale. Regardless of the state, we do not recommend that you attempt to take possession of the property before the law allows.
What happens if I'm the successful bidder, but the occupant refuses to leave the property?
You should consult a lawyer. You might need to pursue an eviction.