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    Hardly a day goes by without more bad news about mortgage woes
    across the country. Some consumers looking to buy a home are
    wondering: Could I find a good deal on a foreclosed house?

    Good deals may exist, although that depends on the locale, the
    quality of the foreclosed property, and the willingness of the owner
    or lender to negotiate.

    You can buy a foreclosed house in four ways:
    1. Through a foreclosure sale
    2. At a foreclosure auction
    3. From a lender who has taken back the property
    4. From the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development

    Generally speaking, the first two methods in this list are best left to
    highly experienced property buyers. You must be familiar With your
    state's foreclosure laws, your rights as a buyer, and how the
    foreclosure process works. Mortgage foreclosure laws and
    procedures vary by state.

    The last two processes above are the least risky for buyers. You
    can buy a foreclosed house from a lender who has taken back the
    property. That means the property didn't sell at the foreclosure
    auction, and the lender took it back to sell it through its "real estate
property, and handled any necessary evictions. As a buyer you get
to inspect the property. Thus, you avoid the nasty surprises that can
spring up With pre foreclosure sales or foreclosure auctions.

Your ability to negotiate a discounted price will depend on the
lender's situation. A lender who has begun to accumulate foreclosed
houses is more likely to want to lower the sales price.

With HUD foreclosures, HUD sells homes to the public after Federal
Housing Administration (FHA) and Department of Veterans Affairs
(VA) mortgage foreclosures. Check With your local HUD office to
find out about sales procedures,
or go to
Laws and the Equal Credit
Opportunity Act.