Last updated on May 13th, 2019 at 02:36 pm

    In an attempt to level the playing field between novice homebuyers and experienced buyers of foreclosed properties, three entrepreneurs launched a company earlier this year that compiles data on foreclosures in southeastern Wisconsin.

    "When you have more people involved in the investing process, you have more people who are going after one thing and the price goes up," said Joel Behrens, co-founder of

    This creates an uneven playing field between people and businesses that gobble up foreclosed homes to resell them at a profit and the average person seeking out a new home.

    Having an interest in real estate, Behrens, 26, began readings books and scouring the Internet to find information on foreclosures. After months of searching, and failing to find the detailed information he was looking for, he and partners Robert Jansen, 28, and Steve Schmidt, 30, spent last year gathering statewide numbers on foreclosures before they launched ForeclosuresWI.

    "We’ve streamlined the process to get the same information from different counties," Behrens said.

    The three co-founders utilize independent contractors to assist in data acquisition on pre-auction foreclosures in southeastern Wisconsin.

    Competitors like and do not provide comprehensive listings nor do they maintain the listings once posted, Behrens said.

    "50 percent of the information up there shouldn’t be up there," he said. "There’s a real disconnect between foreclosure filings and actual happenings."

    Behrens’ business model is to offer detailed foreclosure data on southeastern Wisconsin on a subscription basis.

    In addition to the foreclosure filing, the property’s address, assessed value, tax information, year built, square footage and number of bathrooms and bedrooms are provided.

    "Making information available to a huge group of people evens the playing field," Behrens said.

    "We’re trying to educate people by providing them with the tools they need to get the same benefits as someone who’s a seasoned investor," said Jansen.

    "Banks are not in the business of buying and selling real estate," Jansen said. "They don’t want these properties back. Once they have them back, they want to liquidate them."

    Information that was once only available to investors and the wealthy is now available to the masses at reasonable rates, said Behrens.

    Additional resources are provided at, including examples of documents in foreclosures proceedings, to educate people of the process.

    The company created its own proprietary tools, including software to aggregate and organize the data it collects.

    A custom-built application that utilizes SQL, a popular computer language used to create, modify, retrieve and manipulate data from relational database management systems, was designed by co-founder Schmidt to populate data online.

    "Our database works directly with our Web site so we have programs that we developed that allow us to maintain and update this info from laptops," Jansen said.

    Filings are aggregated from official government filings in each county and made available with real-time accuracy online. The Web site offers foreclosure data on a subscription basis per county from $19.95 up to $99.95 for all eight counties.

    Aside from serious investors, ForeclosuresWI caters to another market.

    "A lot of people, ‘dreamers,’ find our site through search engines," Behrens said.

    "Dreamers" may not know what to do with foreclosure data, but are interesting in perusing what could be their dream-home.

    "We need to cater to those as it is a very large contingent," Behrens said.

    Though its intent is to focus on southeastern Wisconsin counties, ForeclosuresWI has aggressive growth plans over the next two years to expand into several other counties.

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