Speaking of foreclosure trends and activity in San Francisco, according to bureau spokeswoman Julie Sohn, “last week the FBI conducted interviews and executed search warrants through the entire Bay Area as part of a long-term investigation of anti-competitive practices at trustee sales of foreclosed homes.”
The probe is shaking up the tight-knit world of investors who bid at these auctions. The issue, sources say, is that some participants allegedly pay others to refrain from bidding on certain properties to keep their prices low.
Bids are all cash; properties are sold as is, subject to existing liens and with no guarantees as to condition, so only deep-pocketed, experienced investors generally make bids, seeking properties that still have some equity that they can fix and flip, or hold onto for the long term.
Or as we noted last July with respect to whether or not auction sales are legitimate market comps: “It’s a comp for the all cash, no warranties, and no (official) inspections market. And that’s assuming no collusion or games on – or getting to – the courthouse steps.”