Are buyers Liars? And sellers too?

I been working on some absentee owners that are in pre-Foreclosure, Notices of Default (NOD’s) from public records. I send out letters to the owners, they are usually underwater and always behind in payments.
It’s interesting how they fail to mention that fact that they are behind in payments and become defensive when I ask if their payments and taxes are current.

I already have this info from my Title Company.

Maybe instead of asking, I shud say, I see that your behind on your payments.
It seems a sticky and delicate subject and some sellers get downright angry at me.
Perhaps I need to develop more empathy and avoid the obvious.

Anybody have experience with this?


 Embarrassment and Denial are probable two of the biggest reasons people behind on payments won't admit it.

We know we have sources for data but the homeowner has no idea you already know, and probable would still not admit it even knowing you know; most would say "Oh it’s a problem with record keeping or our payment was behind but we just made all our payments but the records have not been updated.

I would try to stay away from the negatives involving the home owners position and stay with emphasizing the results you bring and the benefits a sale to you have for their future.

Good luck,


It’s a good thing that you can ask probing questions like that and have access to public records. If they are that reactive, then verify the status of their payment or default in public records. If they are both angry (i.e. not open to discussions) and have ugly records, then it’s time to move to the next prospective client.

Going through a foreclosure is a humiliating process. Then when buyers and investors come knocking, the tendency is to enter a state of denial or to become defensive. This is where a tactful soft touch is the key. You know how much they owe. You know how much they are behind. Good, keep it in your pocket.

Come to the table as the nice guy who is here to help them out. Provide them as much dignity as possible. You are giving them the opportunity to end the foreclosure, get out of the stress of dealing with a short sale and a chance to move on with their life. Present your offering price and leave it at that. No high pressure. Just dangle the carrot and a follow up phone number. Give them a few days and then casually call them again to check.

You may find this softer approach will yield much better results.

Nobody wants to be called a loser, even if it’s true. Basically, that’s what you are doing. Think about it. You are pointing out to them that they are losers in the game of life because they can’t make their payments and you know about it. They don’t know who you are. Why should they trust you? Why would you dare add fuel to the fire of their frustrations about not being able to put bread on the table? If someone called you out of the blue and said the same thing, how would you feel and react?

You want to convince them they’ll be a winner with you without you pointing out to them that they are losers. If they are behind on their payments and taxes, guess what, your lawyer adjusts it from your offer at closing. You don’t need to mention it–they already know they can’t pay their bills. If they volunteer the information, that’s fine too. You know the saying, you can catch more bees with honey… ? Make them feel like you’ve created a win-win situation instead of them feeling like you’re a vulture circling around their head. Use some tact. Be the velvet glove. Do you get what I’m saying?

A long time ago I was living in half of my first rental duplex. I had a new real estate license and the market was terrible. I got a couple of months behind with Wells Fargo on the home loan. It was down to groceries, utilities and gas OR the loan payment. I let the loan payment go until I could close a sale escrow and get paid.

My elderly Mom came to visit. She answered a knock at the kitchen door when I had just come home from work, after sweating my brains out all day.

The guy at the door had a piece of paper in his hand and he said, “Do you know that you are a couple of months late on your mortgage?”

This got Mom all stressed, and she called me down from upstairs. I couldn’t believe it! There was this middle-aged guy in jeans staring at this darn sheet of paper, and he was standing on my back doorstep. “WHO ARE YOU? WHY ARE YOU COMING TO MY HOUSE AND ASKING MY MOTHER ABOUT MY PERSONAL LOAN INFORMATION?!” I hollered.

My eyes shot out lightning bolts as they locked onto his. “ARE YOU FROM WELLS FARGO?! IS IT YOUR JOB TO GO TO PEOPLE’S HOUSES TO HARASS THEM?!” I was besides myself. I wanted to grab him by his plaid shirt front and shake the information out of him.

Instead he turned around and went tearing down the driveway and I never saw him again.

Later I figured out that he was probably pursuing one of those late notice services and was probably a wanna-be buyer. Yecch. I had hated Wells Fargo for years thinking it was them. My poor old Mom thought I was really on the ropes. It was not a nice evening event, and nothing I would ever have shared with her, me trying to be a grown-up and all.

Please don’t be that guy on the doorstep, Randoskie.


Wow, thats an amazing story. My situation is I send out yellow letters offering to buy their house. And they call me. I have recieved a few angry calls.
Some people volunteer info that they are behind and underwater. Some are interested in hearing my proposal. Some are waiting for a miracle and end up losing the house and their credit.
But I will definetely remember your story of the foreclosure chasing investor from hell.

I been thinking about furnishedowner’s response to the guy that showed up on his doorstep.
I wonder if he has mellowed out since he went ballistic on the guy at his doorstep?
I’m sure he could have handled this in a reasonable manner rather than going temporairly insane
and turning into a raging lunatic.

Your reply made me laugh. But I didn’t turn into a raving lunatic, just very INTENSE. Mom was right there, and I didn’t want her even more worried about the sheriff showing up and throwing my stuff out on the lawn.

All ended well. Sold a house or two, got paid commissions, got the loan caught up. Plus it wasn’t even my loan, it was one I had taken over from a defaulting seller…now I wonder if that was the reason that snake showed up? I remember he did make fast tracks down my driveway.