Obama's New America…

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Foreclosed ‘Zombie’ Homes Exceed 300,000 Properties: Study

HuffPo: ORLANDO, Fla., March 28 (Reuters) – A national survey found  301,874 “zombie” properties dotting the U.S. landscape in which homeowners in foreclosure have moved out, leaving vacant  property susceptible to vandalism and degradation.
Florida tops the list of zombie properties with 90,556 vacant homes in foreclosure, according to a foreclosure  inventory released on Thursday by RealtyTrac, a real estate information company in Irvine, California. Illinois and California ranked a distant second and third with 31,668 and 28,821 zombie properties respectively on the  list.
The number of homes overall in foreclosure or bank-owned  rose by 9 percent to 1.5 million properties nationally in the first quarter of 2013 compared to a year ago, according to RealtyTrac.
Another 10.9 million homeowners nationwide remain at risk because they owe more than their property is worth, according to  company vice president Daren Blomquist.
RealtyTrac for the first time analyzed data on zombie properties after a Reuters’ special report in January examined  the special problem of zombie titles, Blomquist said.
Reuters revealed the plight of people who walked away from  their homes not realizing that their names remained on the deed and that they were financially liable for taxes and other bills related to the abandoned property. In some cases, homeowners vacated after receiving a notice from the bank of a planned foreclosure sale, only to find out later the bank never followed through.
Zombie properties can be easy to spot as they deteriorate  into neighborhood eyesores and havens for criminal activity.
While Florida leads in volume of zombie properties, Kentucky, with less than 1,000 zombie properties, leads in percentage, with zombies representing 54 percent of its total foreclosure inventory, Blomquist said. Zombies in Washington, Indiana, Nevada and Oregon also constitute 50 percent or more of the properties in foreclosure, according to the report.
Blomquist said the number of zombie properties could be higher than represented in the RealtyTrac report, which used a conservative methodology.
In Florida, for example, the company does not count any property that has been in foreclosure longer than the state  average of 853 days and for which there has been no significant recent activity. The report also does not take into account  cases in which a bank chose not to follow through on a foreclosure judgment, leaving the property in limbo.
Blomquist said the long average time to complete a foreclosure case in Florida likely contributes to the high  number of zombie properties, as people give up hope over time and walk away.
Blomquist said the findings overall show a housing recovery  is under way but not yet deeply rooted. “I think the empty foreclosures is less of a long-term  threat but it certainly is affecting individual communities and neighborhoods,” Blomquist said.
According to the Reuters special report, municipalities are left to deal with the mess when people move out after receiving a notice of a planned foreclosure sale that the bank then  cancels. Some spend public funds on securing, cleaning and  stabilizing houses that generate no tax revenue. Others let the houses rot.
Unsuspecting homeowners have had their wages garnished, their credit destroyed and their tax refunds seized. They’ve opened their mail to find bills for back taxes,  graffiti-scrubbing services, demolition crews, trash removal,  gutter repair, exterior cleaning and lawn clipping.
In some cities, people with zombie titles can be sentenced to probation, with the threat of jail if they don’t bring their  houses into compliance.
Welcome to the new normal, courtesy of Obama.

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0 responses to “Obama's New America…

  1. “The number of homes overall in foreclosure or bank-owned rose by 9 percent to 1.5 million properties nationally in the first quarter of 2013 compared to a year ago, according to RealtyTrac.”
    Bbbbbbut, we are told that the housing market is on the upswing and the economy is “recovering”! [snark]

    • And if you believe that ( snark )!You also believe that Barry’s a U.S. citizen . McCain is sane , and Graham-nesty has a good idea on what should be done with seekers of amnesty .

  2. Look, I detest Obama as much as any other reasonable American, but you can’t lay this at his feet. Jimmy Carter started this by demanding that banks give loans to people the banks knew couldn’t pay off, and every president since, even the Republicans, were happily complicit.

  3. Change… into what, they didn’t say in ’08.


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