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Preforeclosure status means the owner of the property has defaulted on his mortgage obligation and the lender is taking steps to foreclose on the loan and take possession of the property. This situation places the property owner and the lender in a disadvantaged position. But it may not be too late for the property owner to work things out with his lender. At the same time the lender may be interested in allowing a short sale (sale of the property for less than the amount owed) just to avoid the costly process of foreclosure on the loan, and then the expense of marketing the property. That leaves open the opportunity for a real estate investor to come in and solve the problem for both parties.
Steps as you search for your pre-foreclosure property:
Property owners and lenders are both in awkward positions when a loan goes into default. The property owner would like to avoid the foreclosure as it will have very negative consequences for his credit, and can severely limit his chances to obtain credit for a long time into the future. The lender knows it will probably be taking a loss because, if the property was worth the debt on it, the owner probably would have already sold it to avoid the foreclosure. Short sales are very common in pre-foreclosure situations and this leaves the door open for opportunities for you as the lucky real estate investor.