In the wake of the great recession, millions of Americans are finding that their neighborhoods are having to deal with the remnants of the foreclosure crisis. Tens of thousands of homes, which went into foreclosure often times years ago, are now sitting unoccupied and unattended in neighborhoods all across the country. These so called zombie foreclosures create a dangerous situation wherever they appear, and also sap home values in the area. Now, an increasing number of homeowners are taking matters into their own hands in order to rectify the situation.
All across the country homeowners are looking for increasingly creative ways of handling the zombie foreclosures in their areas. They are employing tactics such as researching the homes in the county courthouses to find out their legal statuses, checking with utility companies to see if utilities are being used –which will give them an indication if the homes are inhabited are not, and even caring for the exterior of the property by mowing the lawns and performing basic maintenance.
Residents are even going to the extent of advertising zombie foreclosures to local real estate investors and developers with the hopes that the properties may prove attractive enough to merit a buyer. Additionally, residents are looking to hold banks accountable for the foreclosed homes which they own. Many homeowners have complained that banks, after repossessing the homes through the foreclosure process, have essentially neglected the properties and left them unattended.
Despite these efforts, current foreclosure laws can make dealing with a zombie foreclosure particularly difficult. Short of finding a buyer, the options homeowners in any given neighborhood have for permanently solving the problem of a zombie foreclosure are limited.
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