In this edition of the PropertyShark Foreclosure Spotlight, the focus is on a Midtown East co-op up for auction on Wednesday, March 26. But should you hightail it to the courthouse steps? A look at the detailed property report from real estate data powerhouse may help you decide. 

The basics:

Address: 45 Tudor City Place between E. 42nd and E. 43rd Sts., Apt. 1703

PropertyShark property report: For basic information, click here. To unlock a free comprehensive report, register first, then click here.

Size: Studio/1 bathroom

Building: 25-story mixed residential and commercial co-op building with 403 residential units and 3 commercial units

Most recent sale price: $233,000 in 2006. A slightly larger studio four floors up sold for $375,000 in February, and a studio two floors up sold for $315,000 this past August. Several others in the building are currently on the market at prices ranging from $290,000 to $350,000. Other similar properties have sold in the building for over $300,000.

Foreclosure type: Unpaid mortgage

Lien amount: $209,847

Minimum bid: Will be announced at the auction

Date of auction: Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Location of auction: Rotunda, New York County Courthouse, 60 Centre St.

Above, this excerpt from the property report gives you the basics—when and where the foreclosure auction will take place, type of lien and amount, and the names of the defendant and plaintiff.  

The facts:

The current owner bought this apartment back in 2006, as the real estate market was getting ever more frenzied. At some point, the owner put it on the market as a rental for $1,800 a month.

However, by March 6 of this year, the mortgage lender had won a foreclosure judgment against the owner, as you can see in Section A9: Sale & Property History on the PropertyShark property report.

What else you need to know

1. Check out comps

To get a handle on comparable prices, take a look at Section A3: Units & Related Parcels in the property reportThis is the quickest way to see the sale prices for other co-ops in the building, as well as when they sold.

2. Dog lovers may want to think twice

For nitty-gritty details on the building, pull up its property report—just type in the building address on PropertyShark’s main page without any unit numbers attached.

A look at Section A5: Building Summary reveals many of the amenities in the building, as well as their pet policy. In this case, the building doesn’t appear to allow dogs, though there is a roofdeck and a concierge.

Above, this section gives you details on the building that are relevant for buyers, including amenities and tax information

3. Details on the minimum bid

The minimum bid, or "upset price," for the property will be announced at the auction, but the lien amount is a strong indicator of the amount of money the bank needs to get back for this particular apartment. 

In this case, as you can see in Section A7: Foreclosure, the lien amount is $209,847, and the debt includes interest from Sept. 1, 2010, plus costs, subject to open common charges.

To get a better picture of the actual costs before the auction, you can call the auctioneer and the plaintiff's attorney, both of whom are listed in the foreclosure notes, if the information is available. The day before the auction, the auctioneer can shed light on the upset price, but note that he or she cannot help out with other information, such as maintenance charges in arrears. 

4. This auction might not happen in March after all

Even if the foreclosure is scheduled for March 26, it may not happen on that date—or at all.

Remember, you can always call the auction referee or the plaintiff’s lawyer--whose contact information is listed in Section A8: Foreclosure--to make sure the auction is still a go before heading on over to the courthouse. At times, the owner of the property might file for bankruptcy or work something out with the bank, so making a short call can save you a trip.

To keep tabs on this property, be sure to click “Add to Watch List” on the top right of the report. Once you do that, you’ll get an e-mail when any new record is filed for this property, including deeds, foreclosure filings and building permits. 

Also, keep in mind that homebuyers should seek professional advice when buying distressed properties. When you’ve settled on a specific property, consult a real estate agent and, if necessary, an attorney.

5. The co-op board can still reject you

Unfortunately, a winning bid might not always guarantee you'll take ownership of the apartment (or that you'll be able to move right in).

If the terms of the sale state that the auction is subject to the rules of the co-op, get ready to face all the rules, regulations and policies you normally would when buying a co-op unit.

Since a 2010 court ruling, even when a co-op has been successfully auctioned off, co-op approval requirements may put a hold on the transfer of co-op shares allocated to the foreclosed unit. It's a good idea to look up the co-op board’s requirements before attending the sale.

Also note that if the co-op board rejects a successful bidder, the bank will likely refund the down payment. That doesn’t happen if the bidder is rejected at the closing due to lack of creditworthiness. is a real estate website that provides in-depth data for more than 75 million properties in New York City, Philadelphia, Los Angeles, San Francisco Bay Area, and other major U.S. markets. The company covers most of the U.S. with a primary focus on the New York real estate marketplace. Click here to see what services and data are offered in your area.

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