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Monday, February 09, 2009

Property Foreclosures

Do your patrons ask you for free lists of foreclosed properties?

At one time a U.S government agency would, on a regular schedule, send us a list of foreclosed properties. However, they stopped doing that years ago. Some patrons remember that we got a list and others simply call and ask for websites with lists of foreclosed properties. If only everything were that simple!

I have yet to find a website that did not charge a fee or was not subscription based. But there is a solution. The Worcester Public Library subscribes to a newspaper called Banker & Tradesman. This gem is published weekly and, if your patrons are interested in subscribing themselves, the cost is $278 a year or $7.50 for a single copy. We keep our copy behind the periodicals desk on the third floor.

While I have your attention I'll take a minute to point out some of the other great features of Banker & Tradesman. First, the subtitle is "The Financial Services and Real Estate Weekly for Massachusetts." The first 15 pages or so are filled with knowledgeable and timely articles about our economic health and future. Some of the articles in last weeks edition included the commercial markets along Route 495, the most recent data breach, commercial defaults, gambling in the Bay State, cyberthieves and more.

The classified section, another 15 or so pages, has listings of commercial opportunities, official records of real estate transactions arranged by county and city, and statistical charts. The statistical charts (broken down by city) show number of sales from one year to the next and the percentage of change, dollar amount of sales, median sales price by month, and number of sales by month.

The final section of the classifieds are the credit records that I spoke about at the beginning. The credit records include voluntary bankruptcies by county and city, chapter 13 bankruptcies, chapter 11 bankruptcies, federal tax liens, state tax liens, attachments, petitions to foreclose, and foreclosure sales.

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CMRLS Regional Reference Center, Worcester Public Library, 3 Salem Sq, Worcester MA 01608