What are Foreclosures?

Sounds like an easy question right?  However, when searching out “foreclosures” we must define what we are looking for because this term refers to several different types of situations. This website covers three types: Judicial foreclosure auctions, Bank-owned real estate, and County of Hawaii tax sales.  


        When a mortgage holder files for court foreclosure and is granted a judgment, the court auctions the house.  The mortgage holder does not automatically become the owner of the property, but because they want to recoup what they are owed, they will also bid at auction and quite often end up being the winning bidder.   In Hawaii, these are held “at the flagpole” so you’ll sometimes hear them called a “Flagpole sale.” 


When most people refer to foreclosures, they are describing a property that has already gone through the foreclosure process and is currently owned by the prior mortgage holder.  This could be any lender, not necessarily a bank, but that is the easiest way to refer to these properties.  They are officially called REO (Real Estate Owned) properties.  They can be sold on the MLS or on an auction platform such as auction.com, xome.com, hubzu.com, etc.  These have already gone through the judicial foreclosure process and the mortgage holder won the property at auction.


          Hawaii County holds a tax auction twice a year for properties that have delinquent taxes. 

Click each link to learn more about each type of auction.  Or check these comparison charts:

Judicial Foreclosure Auction vs Tax Auction

Judicial Foreclosure Auction vs Bank-Owned Real Estate vs Traditional purchase

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