We had a story Wednesday night about a couple who found out the home they were living in was in foreclosure. It went into foreclosure in October of 2007, but the renters, Jennifer and Travis, didn't find out about it until January! What tipped them off? Not the owner of the home, I did.
You can see our story about Home Foreclosure by clicking here.
In the interest of helping other renters who may not know there is a problem with their rental home, I'm reprinting the "10 steps" to find out if the rental home you're living in is in foreclosure. I've seen ads that some companies are charging $200 to get this information. It's free here.
Originally posted January 2, 2007
We get many, many phone calls from people who need to rent a home, but wonder if the rental they're looking at is in foreclosure or soon will be. The county recorder's office says on a daily basis, renters are learning the home they're living in went into foreclosure. The scary part is that the renters only learn this when they find a notice on their front door telling them they have a few days to move out! Others will find a padlock on their rental home. Not only do these folks have to move out, if they paid first and last month's rent, plus a security fee, they likely won't get that money back.Unfortunately, there is no quick 1-800 number to call and get an answer. Instead you have to do a little detective work. The Watchdog is watching out for you.
We've made this as simple as possible and have put a step by step list on how to see if the home you're renting, or want to rent, is currently in foreclosure. It would make a lot of sense to check this on a monthly basis.
Here we go!
1. Get the address of the rental property. If it's not in the rental ad, call and get it. Or better yet, set up an appointment to look at the house. That way you'll be sure the address you're given is accurate.
2. Go to the Clark County Assessor website below:
3. In the top left corner, click on address search and then enter the address. Keep in mind you enter the house number, the street name, the type of street (court, circle, road, etc) on separate lines. If you don't know what city or town the rental is in, just leave that unspecified. Even though the rental home is in Las Vegas, it could show up under another town, such as Spring Valley, etc. Anyway, enter the address information and hit submit..
4. You should see a listing with the exact address. It's probably the first one on the list. Click on the parcel number.
5. Under general information you should see the homeowner's name and address, and also the parcel number again. Write that parcel number down .. you'll need it.
6. Go to the the Clark County Recorder website:
7. The second listing on the upper far left side of the site is "search records" .. click on that.
8. In the middle of the page you'll see several options to search on. Simple, Advanced, Instrument ID and Marriage.
9. Click on "Advanced Search".
10. The only thing you want to concern yourself with on this page is "legal descriptions". There are four lines under legal descriptions .. you want to use the first line which shows parcel number.
In the blank space NEXT to parcel number, you want to enter the parcel number you wrote down. Do not enter the dashes between the number .. just the numbers. Then click on the button below that says "Detail Data". This should take you to the "Web Services Detailed Data Results." You'll notice each entry has an instrument number and a document type. If default paperwork has been filed with the recorder's office, it should be listed here. The most recent actions are listed first. If it's not listed now .. you may want to check back on a weekly or monthly basis.
If you see something that might be a default, or you want more information, write down the instrument number and take it with you to the county recorder's office. They are there to help you and that instrument number will prevent you from going through all these steps again.
Some detailed documents are ONLY available at the county recorder's office. Employees there will help you find what you're looking for.
Where is the County Recorder's office? It's inside the big stone-looking building at 500 S Grand Central Parkway known as the Clark County Government Center. It's across from the Premium Outlet Mall and near the World Market Center. The recorder's office is on the second floor. The phone number is 455-4336.