Participating At The California Trustee's Sale
Some trustee's will require that they hold your checks (take a bright colored envelope) during the bidding process. Once in a great while a trustee will go to the extreme of requiring that you also endorse the checks over to them before the sale! In that instance, if you are not the successful bidder, your checks will be "goofed up" and you will have to go through the hassle of getting unendorsed replacements.
Have the checks made payable to yourself. If you are the successful bidder all you'll have to do is endorse them over to the trustee. If not, you can use them for any other upcoming sale! Extra flexibility is possible by using multiple payees. Just make sure that the magic word "or" separates the names, not "and".
For the greatest versatility and efficiency get a series of checks. Begin with $1,000 and continue upwards, doubling the amount with each successive check. Using a doubled-up progression will allow you to cover the greatest number of potential sales prices (in thousand dollar increments) with the least number of checks (see the Cashier's Check Combination chart).
Have a pre-determined maximum bid in mind beforehand. Then abide by it rather than getting emotionally involved and bidding too high just to show someone up. In foreclosures there really is "another day to make another dollar".
Record your Trustee's Deed yourself rather than letting the trustee do it (you'll do it faster) and get a certified copy of it at the same time. It's important to do so quickly, and perfect your title, so you can legally take action against any stubborn tenants or past owners in any unlawful detainer action you might be forced to pursue.
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