What Do Banks Do With Unsold Foreclosures?

The foreclosure procedure comes to a conclusion once the bank or other lender puts the property up for sale in the auction. The maximum bidder wins the home, providing she bids over the bank’s minimum price and can pay for the transaction. If no one bids high enough, the property reverts to the lender and becomes REO — property owned by lender.

Time Frame

It may take as long as three to six months prior to the bank places an REO property on the current market, the Nolo legal site states. Most banks aren’t property professionals, so a banker will probably hire a real estate agent to sell the property for him. This takes time. If the lender has a lot of foreclosures on its books, it may take even longer than six months to get around to initiating the sale procedure.

Cash Flow

Banks don’t need to hang onto foreclosures, the Real Estate Search Direct site states, because those properties drain money away. Provided that a bank owns the house, it has to cover property taxes and insurance, and keep a cash book for any crises. This ties up capital the lender could be investing more money.


If homes and business properties aren’t preserved, they deteriorate, and so does their value. Banks aren’t experienced in maintenance and repair, but there’s a business of companies that will offer to choose the duties off a bank hands, for a price. In the event the property isn’t preserved, the lender may simply place it up available”as is” and allow the buyers choose a chance.


Buyers don’t need to take out the mortgage on an REO with the lender that owns it, Realty Times states, so lenders are offering incentives such as free appraisals, free home warranties or decreased origination fees. Banks will also be pushing real estate brokers to drum up business and refer REO buyers to them, according to the site, and rewarding brokers who collaborate with much more business.


In many countries, if an operator could put together enough cash to pay off the mortgage debt, in addition to the bank foreclosure expenses, his lender — or those purchased the home — must sell him back the house. This is known as the best of redemption. The laws for allowing this differ from state to state. In California, for instance, there’s no right of redemption after a non-judicial foreclosure — a procedure for selling the home without going to court — according to the Foreclosure site. The huge majority of foreclosures in California are non-judicial, mostly because they take less time.

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