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Field Guide to Foreclosures

(updated July 2015)

The state of foreclosures in the U.S has improved significantly and for those seeking bargains, the hunt is decidedly more challenging. This Field Guide provides resources and links for avoiding foreclosure, tips for investing in foreclosures and resources to learn more about this area of real estate. (M. Glick, Senior Information Specialist)


Q - ProQuest articles available for NAR members only. Password can be found on the ProQuest/Find Articles page.

Foreclosure in the News

Delinquency and foreclosure rates decline to lowest level in six years, (Mortgage Bankers Association, May. 6, 2015).

10 states where foreclosures are on the rise, (USA Today, Feb. 14, 2015).

1-in-4 foreclosures are zombies, (National Association of REALTORS®, Feb. 9, 2015).

Tough Choices for Servicers After Tenant Foreclosure Law Expires, (National Mortgage News, Feb. 05, 2015).

Foreclosures may raise neighbors’ blood pressure, study finds, (Washington Post, May 12, 2014).

‘Boomerang buyers’ purchase new homes after foreclosures, (Buffalo News, May 4, 2014).

U.S. foreclosures fall to lowest quarterly level since mid-2007, (CNBC, Apr. 10, 2014).

Trashed North Olmsted condo has neighbors dealing with odor and rodents, (newsnet5, Apr. 7, 2014).

Counselor representing immigrants targeted with foreclosures is plenty busy, (Chicago Sun Times, Apr. 5, 2014).

CFPB targets "zombie" foreclosures after Reuters report, (Reuters, Mar. 13, 2014).

Delinquency and foreclosure rates decline to lowest level in six years, (Mortgage Bankers Association, Feb. 20, 2014).

Foreclosure Help

Programs to Help Homeowners Avoid Foreclosure, (USA.gov, Apr. 2, 2014).

HAFA Program Overview, (Making Home Affordable.gov, 2014).

NAR HAFA FAQs, (National Association of REALTORS®).

HAFA – Understanding program guidelines, (Making Home Affordable, Mar. 7, 2014).

HAMP – Home affordable modification program, (Making Home Affordable, May 28, 2013).

Resources for Consumers, (Federal Reserve, Feb. 27, 2013).

Beware of Scams, (Fannie Mae, 2013).

NAR's Brochure: Learn How to Avoid Foreclosure

NAR's Brochure: Traditional Mortgages: Understanding Your Options

Avoiding foreclosure, (Freddie Mac).

Should You Buy a Foreclosed Property?

8 smart moves for buying a foreclosure, (Philly.com, Apr. 30, 2014).

Financing for foreclosed homes, (New York Times, Mar. 6, 2014).

Strategies for Buying a Foreclosure in a Seller's Market, (U.S. News, Feb. 21, 2014).

4 warning signs to watch for when buying a foreclosure, (The Motley Fool, Feb. 1, 2014).

10 hidden hazards when buying foreclosures, (Keeping Current Matters, Oct. 23, 2013).

Foreclosure rates by state, (Realty Trac).

Is it time to invest in foreclosures?, (Christian Science Monitor, Mar. 11, 2013).

Websites & Statistics

Foreclosure trends and statistics, (RealtyTrac, Apr. 2014).

How to buy foreclosures, (RealtyTrac).

Quiz: Test your foreclosure IQ, (REALTOR® Magazine).

Foreclosed Properties: What REALTORS® Need to Know About Tenant Rights, (Govt. Affairs, National Association of REALTORS®, Mar. 7, 2014).

The Role of Investors in Acquiring Foreclosed Properties in Low- and Moderate-Income Neighborhoods, (Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies, Oct. 2013).

Foreclosure rates by state, (Realty Trac, Jan. 2011).

Foreclosure assistance programs by state, (National Association of REALTORS®).

Foreclosure laws & procedures by state, (RealtyTrac.com).

Foreclosure FAQs, (HUD).

Foreclosures.com—Brief summary of foreclosure laws by state

Renters in foreclosure toolkit, (National Low Income Housing Coalition)

HomePath.com—Fannie Mae foreclosed property listings

HomeSteps.com—Freddie Mac foreclosed property listings


Internal Revenue Service—IRS seized property auctions

Foreclosure.com, Nationwide search

eBooks & Other Resources


The following eBooks and digital audiobooks are available to NAR members:

Cashing in on Pre-foreclosures and Short Sales, (Adobe ePub, Adobe PDF, Kindle)

The 250 Questions Everyone Should Ask about Buying Foreclosures, (Adobe ePub, Adobe PDF, Kindle)

The Complete Guide to Locating, Negotiating, and Buying Real Estate Foreclosures, (Adobe ePub, Kindle)

Foreclosures How-To Boot Camp, (Adobe ePub, Adobe PDF)

Fire Sale, (Adobe ePub, Adobe PDF, Kindle)

The All-New Real Estate Foreclosure, Short-Selling, Underwater, Property Auction, Positive Cash Flow Book, (Adobe ePub, Adobe PDF, Kindle)

42 Rules for Saving Your House From Foreclosure (Adobe eReader)

The ForeclosureS.com Guide to Advanced Investing Techniques You Won't Learn Anywhere Else (Adobe eReader)

The Everything Guide to Buying Foreclosures (Adobe eReader)

American Foreclosure (Adobe eReader)

Make money on foreclosures answer book (Adobe eReader)

Short-sale pre-foreclosure investing (Adobe eReader)

Buying Real Estate Foreclosures (Adobe eReader)

The foreclosures.com guide to making huge profits investing in pre-foreclosures without selling your soul (Adobe eReader)

Goldmining in Foreclosure Properties (Adobe eReader)

How to Make Money on Foreclosures (Adobe eReader)

Make Money in Short Sale Foreclosures (Adobe eReader)

Quick Cash in Foreclosures (Adobe eReader)

Field Guides & More

These field guides and other resources in the Virtual Library may also be of interest:

Field Guide to Short Sales

Field Guide to Remodeling

Field Guide to Investing in Real Estate

Information Services Blog

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The inclusion of links on this field guide does not imply endorsement by the National Association of REALTORS®. NAR makes no representations about whether the content of any external sites which may be linked in this field guide complies with state or federal laws or regulations or with applicable NAR policies. These links are provided for your convenience only and you rely on them at your own risk.