Renting a Sacramento home? How to find out if the owner is in default or facing foreclosure…

I received a call today from a very nice lady who is planning to move to the Sacramento area, and wants to rent in the Land Park area prior to purchasing a home there. She was full of questions about the neighborhood, schools, parks, shopping, etc…and then she among other things, she asked “Oh – and how do I know for sure if my potential landlord is facing foreclosure?”

In the State of California, tenants are entitled to certain rights in the event they are renting a foreclosed property (thanks to 2008’s SB 1137), but who really wants to go through that? The last thing most renters want is to be evicted from a house if the seller goes into default and is foreclosed, or to be forced to show the property to prospective buyers if the seller opts for a short sale.

Well…aside from asking the property owner directly? There is a resource that I use often myself to see if a Notice of Default or Notice of Trustee Sale has been filed in Sacramento County. Luckily, the Sacramento County Clerk-Recorder’s office has an online database called e-ROSI (Electronic Recorder Online System Index). e-ROSI provides on-line public access to Sacramento County‘s Index of Recorded Documents from 1965 to current. Unfortunately, you will not be able to see the actual recorded document online, but you will be able to identify the existence of certain documents, and can always obtain more information by visiting the Sacramento County Clerk-Recorder’s office downtown at 600 8th Street.

You will need the name of the property owner, and the year of the filing (for example, John Smith, and 2009 or 2010). The e-ROSI website is located at Of course this resource is not completely fool-proof…it is possible that a property owner can be delinquent (past due) with the mortgage payments without a recorded NOD or NOTS, though one may be filed in the near future.