Can a real estate investor do a lease option agreement with a?
Theoretically - sure but practically, this is a really, really awful idea for the investor. Rents are usually higher than mortgages, so the chances of the homeowner unable to cover the mortgage being able to cover rent are pretty low. If the house hasn't been foreclosed on just yet the investor will have to put up quite a bit of money to make sure the loan and any outstanding payments are made, with a very poor guarantee of getting it all back. If the foreclosure has happened already, then purchasing the home from the bank and leasing it to the previous owners then the investor is at risk of having the transaction look like a straw purchase. On top of that, they now have to be a landlord and collect rent, perform maintenance, and otherwise be responsible for the house! And if the tenant stops paying, then they have to go through the eviction process, which can take months, before they can get them out and recoup some of their losses. I could maybe see a close family friend, or family member, who is an investor doing something like this, if they feel a really strong obligation to the homeowners and are willing to basically gift them the house if/when things go wrong but I can't imagine an independent real estate investor would deal with all of these risks for practically no payoff.