If you want to track a home's market value, outstanding loans, and other foreclosure red flags, you can sign up for RealtyTrac, but beyond that, what else to suggest to this reader worried about his rental?
Dear Curbed: I'm currently renting a house in West LA. two-bed, one bath, with a great backyard, for $2350 a month. I live in a great area off the 405 & 10. Quiet, very low traffic, and incredibly safe. I find it a steal, considering a comp a few doors down is on the market for 900K and has almost 100 less sq. feet. (based on a 30 year fixed @ 6.3 annual interest rate with 10% down, this would cost about $5,000 a month). Now for the rub... and there's always one. I recently received a notice in the mail, from a lender to the "owner" stating that based on the recent HELOC [home equity line of credit] of $250,000 removed from the property, I was eligible, yet again, for refinancing and that now was the time to act. Naturally, this has piqued my nervousness. As a renter, is there any way to make sure that my "homeowner" is not at risk of default and that my rent payments aren't being wasted towards a property heading towards foreclosure? ie: the homeowner is collecting my money, while their underwater property [underwater: Owing more than the house is worth] is going through the foreclosure process that they've stopped payments on. A process that I've heard can take 4+ months and maybe more now with the new proposed bailouts. An inquiring mind wants to know."