Here -- in various bits and pieces -- are the data sources you can tap
to look for foreclosure properties in San Francisco. Several of the
sources below do not CURRENTLY list any properties in SF, but there is
no reason to suppose they will not include such properties in the
future. I have included them for the sake of completeness.
Your question specifically asked not to include commercial services,
but I do reference one at the end of my answer, just in case you want
to reconsider it as an option. It's not a Realtor service...it's
basically an electronic version of the information you would find in a
newsletter listing service. Given the amount of leg work needed to
pull information together, the fees for the commercial service don't
seem unreasonable to me.
You are welcome to rate this answer and provide feedback, but before
doing so, please let me know if anything here is unclear, or if you
need additional information. Just post a Request ofr Clarification,
and I'll be happy to assist you further.
The most comprehensive listing of sites that I came across looks to be
the Fidelity National postings at:
"The Fidelity Team provides comprehensive Posting and Publishing
Services to the real estate foreclosure industry. An innovative leader
in the Trustee Sales Service support industry, Fidelity National
Agency Sales and Posting processes more than $2 billion in Real Estate
Trustee Sales annually. The company specializes in the posting,
publication, and auctioneering of foreclosure notices..."
Registration is required at the site, but there is no fee for this service.
After logging in, you will be able to search for the state (and if you
want, a city within a state) of your choice.
Searches are *supposed* to cover a maximum 14-day period. However, I
found that advancing the "Start Date" one weekday at a time produces
results that were not included in the supposed 14-day listing. In
other words, you're only getting one day of listings per search, as
far as I can tell. It takes patience, but this service will
ultimately provide you a good list if you go through it by advancing
the Start Date one day at a time.
The Fidelity listings are in the format of the examples I provided earlier.
Ocwen Financial Corp. is another private sector banking service that
also has a pretty good distressed properties database that can be
searched nationally, or by state/city:
Ocwen also handles properties for the Veteran's Administration, a US
government agency that sometimes takes possession of properties.
Speaking of the US government, there are actually a fair number of
government agencies and quasi-government bodies that -- for one reason
or another -- wind up taking possession of foreclosed and other
private property, and putting the properties up for sale. Here are
the main ones to be aware of:
The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC--the folks that insure
savings banks) sometimes take ownership of properties as part of their
dealings with the financial industry. These properties -- often
foreclosures -- can be searched at the FDIC Real Estate Retrieval
There tend to be only a few properties in the system, so just select
the defaults ("All types", "anywhere in US") and click on "Find" to
see if there are any properties of interest to you. The list is
updated every Monday.
Fannie Mae, the government-sponsored mortgage-backing institution,
also has a search function for properties it has taken possession of
due to loan defaults. Their database can be searched here:
A typical record looks like this:
1201 RED FOX RD
BLAIRSDEN, CA 96103
GOLD LINK REAL ESTATE
The US Department of Housing and Urban Development, likewise,
sometimes takes possession of distressed properties, and their
database can be searched here:
although the actual link for searching Northern California sites is here:
with records that look like this:
39139 Argonaut Wy #205
FREMONT, CA 94538
Bid Date: 09/01/04
Listing Date: 08/27/04
Deadline: 08/31/04 @11:59pm
Appraised value: $245,000
Appraisal Date: 08/11/04
There are also some codes indicating, e.g, the type of property,
number of rooms, etc.
Some other government links to be aware of are:
US Dept of Treasury Seized Real Property Auctions:
Small Business Administration Property for Sale:
And of course, there's always the IRS -- who winds up with your house
if you don't pay your taxes! -- and related properties owned by the
Department of Treasury:
Lastly, there are some commercial services out there which appear to
get you -- quickly -- to much (if not most) of the foreclosed
properties in a neat, organized fashion. I've selected RealtyTrac to
showcase here because:
--they seem fairly comprehensive
--and best of all, you can get a free seven-day trial to the service,
so why not give it a spin...?
They DO require you to enter your credit card information at
registration, and it's one of those annoying schemes where you HAVE TO
CANCEL before the trial period expires, or they automatically start
billing you for the following month. However, it seems a good,
credible service just the same.
You can start searching here:
and you'll probably see something that looks like this:
Search Results for: San Francisco County, CA
Displaying 1 - 50 of 269 listings
That's a lot of listings, compared to the other databases. But it
also seems like they include a lot of older information that may not
be of much use, except for comparison purposes. Their search options
allow you to include/exclude a variety of dates, property types, etc.
A few of the listings I got were:
8/27/2004 4447571 NOD RSFR 239 Farallones St San Francisco, CA
94112 $2,098 0 1 Map
8/27/2004 4447574 NTS RSFR 1803 Castro St San Francisco, CA
94131 $256,846 0 1 Map
8/27/2004 4447572 NOD RMSC 154 15th Ave San Francisco, CA
94118 $2,994 0 2 Map
8/26/2004 4444493 NOD RSFR 754 Athens St San Francisco, CA
94112 $13,504 0 1 Map
8/26/2004 4442113 NOD RMFD 430 432 Vallejo St San Francisco,
CA 94133 $32,989 0 2 Map
Expanded details are available for each listing:
This property is a Notice of Foreclosure Sale. A notice was filed at
the recorder's office by the lender's attorney signifying a public
auction. This 825 square foot property has 0 bedrooms and baths. The
minimum bid amount is $256846. This property will be auctioned at
public sale on 9/7/2004.
County: San Francisco
Address: 1803 Castro St,
San Francisco, CA 94131
Parcel Number: 6581 -030
Trustee/Reference #: 04-10034
Default Amt: $0.00
Status: NTS Last Payment: Sale Date: 9/7/2004 (2:00PM)
Recorded: 9/7/2004 Balance: $0.00 Beds: 0
Entered On: 8/27/2004 Opening Bid: $256,846.00 Baths: 1
Auction (Sale) Location:400 Van Ness Ave,
Trustee: C&H Trust Deed Service. Lender: Broker:
Address: 5305 E 2nd St Ste 203 Address: Address:
Long Beach CA 90803
From all appearances, they seem to list about 3 or 4 new properties a
day. I would suggest exploring this service a bit to see if it meets
I hope this is the information you were after. As I said above, feel
free to rate this answer, but -- please -- not before letting me know
if there's anything else I can do for you.
All the best.
search strategy: relied on bookmarked sites for foreclosures and mortgages