Friday, February 20, 2009

Foreclosure Expert Ward Hanigan #110

Bruce Norris is joined this week by California trustee expert and trustee sale trainer, Ward Hanigan.

Ward talks about training people about trustee sales from different states. He does so to train investors how to specialize in their area. Different states handle foreclosures differently and he makes sure he caters his training to the area they are investing.

Is the foreclosure explosion good or bad? Ward says its good it’s mind boggling. Comparing it to past downturns, there’s nothing like it. Credit is frozen, the stock market is bad, and unemployment is way up, it’s a bad combination. This is definitely the worst downturn he’s seen. Bruce says the speed has been surprising too.

Bruce asks what niches Ward sends people to. Ward says there’s some niches that work and some that don’t. Bruce brings up a sample of a 10 year old house that went to trustee sale that had no equity. Prices have really got hit hard.

Bruce asks Ward why people are losing their homes. Ward apologizes for his abruptness but says he doesn’t really care. He tried to figure it out but the end result is still the same. You can’t change personal situations and it’s whether or not you are going to purchase the house.

Ward says anything negative, including unemployment, frightens the average person. There’s less competition right now. That’s good for investors. Bruce says that many people think the foreclosure business is simple. Ward sees too many people who don’t do their due diligence and are buying seconds. Google Earth photo and Zestimates aren’t real research. No one helps other investors at trustee sales and even if they did, the person probably wouldn’t believe it. It’s a pros game and not to be taken lightly.

Ward talks about trustee sale buyers and how it is typically the only thing they do. It takes a lot of research and you don’t have time to do other things. Bruce says he knows very few trustee sale buyers that do other investments strategies.

Bruce and Ward discuss their first time bidding at a trustee sale and overbidding by $100. Both talk about if you don’t know your information, you better not show up. Ward teaches his students to over analyze the deal so they’re filled with confidence and nothing can rattle them.

Bruce and Ward talk about lenders now lowering the specified bids at auction. Ward says they are doing it so often and frequently he’s worried about competition showing back up. Bruce asks how much warning you get. Ward says hardly any if at all. Lowering the bid at the last minute doesn’t have the desired effect. If they don’t let the investors know, the investor can’t do the research. Some lenders are posting one day in advance.

Bruce and Ward discuss some new terminology they are using at the trustee sales. Drop bid means the bid is going to be dropped. It could also mean the lender can raise it on you, it becomes almost like a reserve auction and the caller is bidding on behalf of the lender. The lender, in this case, is fishing. Specified bid means the purchase price is dropped and it’s in essence an absolute auction. Ward talks about what he does with that information at the beginning of the sale.

Bruce talks about title. In the trustee sale business, you MUST have access to that information. Ward says title companies need the work. Now is the time to work with them and ask for access in exchange for a partnership.

Bruce and Ward talk about how Ward got into the business of foreclosures and trustee sale investing.

Ward says he is getting back to trustee sales now. He says people laugh at him because he still does it but he loves it. He’s putting together funds now to invest more.

Ward joins us again next week for the second interview. You can find out more about Ward Hanigan and Foreclosure Forum at

Ward Hanigan is a full-time foreclosure specialist and trainer in San Diego County. He brings you over 37 years of real estate experience, with a degree in Economics and a Doctorate in Law. He has worked in California's foreclosure market exclusively since 1982, and as a consequence he has extensive experience finding cash, researching title, handling evictions, rehabbing, reselling, consulting, and is a "one-on-one" trainer and mentor to some of the most successful foreclosure practitioners in the Western United States.

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