How do I contact the lender to buy a bank-owned property (REO)?

If the property is Bank Owned (REO), your first step is to contact the bank, called the lender on RealtyTrac's Property Details page. The lender now owns the property. You should ask for the lender's REO department or asset management department when you contact the lender.

REO means "Real Estate Owned" by the lender. It's another way to say the property has already gone through the foreclosure process and has now been repossessed by the foreclosing lender.

RealtyTrac usually has the name of the lender listed on the property, but if you have trouble finding a phone number or address for them through the Internet or other means, below are some suggestions for tracking down the lender.

1. If the lender has listed the property with a real estate agent, you can simply contact the listing agent. Subscribers can look for the "This hmoe is for Sale" link that will appear on the details page for properties listed with a real estate agent on the Multiple Listing Service. Just click on the link to view the listing details, including asking price and agent contact information. 

2. Subscribers can view owner, lender and trustee names within the Foreclosure History tile on any pre-foreclosure, auction or bank-owned Property Details page to view a list of data records RealtyTrac has for that property. Other data records may have more details about the property that were not on the original Property Details page. Subscribers can use this tool to check if previous foreclosure notices have been filed and if more than one lender is foreclosing on the property.

3. Contact the local property assessor (either through county or city government) and ask who is listed as the owner of the property. The assessor should also have the owner's mailing address. Go to to find the local property assessor in your area. 

4. Contact an Agent to find a local real estate agent in the RealtyTrac Agent Network who can help you buy a property.

Tracking down and finally contacting a lender can feel frustrating and take time. The main purpose of a lender is to lend money, not to sell property. Even though lenders may have an REO officer, or even an REO department that handles bank-owned property for sale, that department may still be hard to track down.

Foreclosure is a legal process that allows a lender to sell or take possession of a property due to non-payment of a loan that is secured by that property. RealtyTrac posts properties that have already been foreclosed (Bank Owned) and properties that are in the foreclosure process (Pre-Foreclosure, Auction). Buyers have three opportunities to purchase property during foreclosure.

1. Buying Pre-Foreclosure (NOD, LIS)

2. Buying at Auction (NTS, NFS)

3. Buying Bank Owned (REO)

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