Buyers Beware When Purchasing Distressed Property

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A record 1.58 million bankruptcy cases were filed in the United States in 2002, up 5.7 percent from a year earlier. According to the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts, the bankruptcy boom is continuing in 2003. In the first two quarters of 2003, bankruptcy filings totaled 853,225. In addition to the increased bankruptcy filings, banks and financial institutions appear to be foreclosing on properties at an alarming rate. While specific data is not available on the actual number of foreclosures at this time, a cursory glance at the real estate section of The New York Times will reveal notices of foreclosure sale each day. Due to the surging rate of bankruptcies and foreclosures, fueled by a weak job market and lagging growth rate, a growing number of properties, both real and personal, have become available for sale in both bankruptcy and foreclosure situations.

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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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