I found this artical and had to comment! This is important information to all of the bargain hunters out there!
Online Foreclosure Sites Come With a Price
Buyers interested in foreclosures need a real estate professional''''s help navigating the online listings unless they are willing to pay a substantial monthly fee to use heavily advertised sites like ForeclosureStore and ForeclosureToGo.
Sites that are free, like Zillow.com and Trulia.com, just display filings culled from other sites, so users ultimately end up at the pay sites.
Users of the pay sites can often see a partial address and description, but if they want the whole enchilada, then they must cough up monthly fees that range from about $40 to $80.
RealtyTrac advertises free access, but often the addresses and other details are incomplete.
Source: The Associated Press, Alex Veiga (12/22/2008)
I also have found these sites are too flawed to be accurate. All most of them do is put out information from the county's notice of default lists. The homeowners on these lists often do not want to sell but are tying to save their home in which they often do! Imagine the surprise when a new investor as they get greeted with a shot gun after presenting an offer at the homeowners front door for what he owes on his first loan. This really happened in Lane county. These sites show the amount of the first lien and displays it as if it is a selling price! They do not show the second mortgage or any other liens that need cleared to obtain the property if indeed the home owner wants too sell. This get people excited enough to whip out their credit card to pay the $20 fee. to be a member of the site for a month. I have yet to see anyone in serious trouble with their mortgage and only have one loan on it with tons of equity! If that where the case they would just sell the house.
Fortunately for people in Lane county Or I will provide a true list of distressed property to anyone whop wants this information for free. I search for these homes and put out a list about once per week. I include Foreclosed, Homeowners trying to secure a short sale, and estate sales in one list. You can email me @ email@example.com , call my cell @ 541-543-7287 or, go to my web site www.teamthayer.com