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What is Real Estate Owner (REO) Foreclosure

Real Estate Owed (REO)

What Does a Real Estate-Owned (REO) Foreclosure Mean?

When you see a property identified as a "real estate owned foreclosure," it means first of all that the lender has taken the house back from a borrower who failed to make the payments. That's the foreclosure. The "real estate owned" part means the lender hasn't been able to find a buyer for the house.

What is 'Real Estate Owned - REO'

Real estate owned, or REO, is the name given to foreclosed-upon real estate, such as detached houses, condominiums, townhomes and land, in a bank's portfolio. Such properties end up in bank portfolios after unsuccessful sales at foreclosure auctions. A bank takes ownership of a foreclosed property when no bidder offers the amount it seeks to cover the loan.

The phrase "real estate owned," or REO, comes from the notation used to identify such properties on lenders' balance sheets. (REO homes are also known colloquially as "bank owned.") An REO home becomes the responsibility of the bank's asset manager, who continues to try to find a buyer, usually working with a real estate agent. Bank-owned homes are often in rough shape -- neglected or vandalized -- and it's not uncommon for such houses to sit on the market for months or even years.


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