About 8 years ago, my wife and I bought a private mortgage. Actually we traded an RV for a $45,000 note. Several years went by and the people who owed the money decided to stop paying and moved out of the State without a forwarding address.
The worst had happened; we could not find them and the town wanted us to clean up the property (that's another story) or they would demolish the house and assorted buildings and put a lien on the property. They were, in effect, charging us to devalue our property.
We, persuasively, argued for time to foreclose and fix the property. In the State where the property is located, as in any other protected by laws, we could not usurp their ownership and enter and fix the property without the owners' permission. We launched our own foreclosure Pro Se, because attorneys charged by the hour.
With the help of a Title Search Firm, we were able to complete the foreclosure in just over 2 years.
The rest of the story: We placed and ad in local papers and on Craigs List; got many responses. We identified two gentlemen who are using their "sweat" as equity for a down payment. We will finance the rest of the sale with a private mortgage...closing within 2 months lemonade from a bunch of lemons.....creative financing is only limited by your imagination. Need advice on a "turkey" of a property contact us at