English: U.S. Household Property Foreclosure Chart 2007 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Foreclosed ‘Zombie’ Homes Exceed 300,000 Properties: Study
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.
The zombie apocalypse has arrived but it’s not people risen from the dead, it’s houses. Our broken, ill administered foreclosure system has produced this mess. But don’t worry, Congress will quickly and simply fix the problem. Whoops! I forgot who I was talking about, the greatest band of malingerers since George III sent appointees to run the colonies.
Vital housing that could be used to shelter the nation’s homeless and unfortunate is decaying into wreckage while the homeowners – a colloquial phrase for those driven from their homes by a mortgage industry as calculating, cold and inhuman as the Martians in H.G. Wells, War of the Worlds.
See if I am mistaken: (From the opening paragraph of the book.)
“No one would have believed in the last years of the nineteenth century that this world was being watched keenly and closely by intelligences greater than man’s and yet as mortal as his own; that as men busied themselves about their various concerns they were scrutinised and studied, perhaps almost as narrowly as a man with a microscope might scrutinise the transient creatures that swarm and multiply in a drop of water. With infinite complacency men went to and fro over this globe about their little affairs, serene in their assurance of their empire over matter. It is possible that the infusoria under the microscope do the same.”
The law has not kept up in this relationship between predator and prey, and we all suffer for it. Foreclosure should pass the duty of care to the banks and not compound the misery of losing one’s home with an avalanche of fees to shatter any remnant of security and pride.
From around the web:
From the web site, Foreclosure Defense Group:
GG has been successfully fighting the banksters since 2008 and continues that battle today. She is still in her happy home, but the capitalist onslaught is relentless. On February 14th (although a judge had promised her personally that it wouldn’t happen), the court sent an eviction order to the Alameda County Sheriff to evict her, her roommate and all furniture and personal belongings.
The eviction is set for February 26 (next Tuesday) at 6 am.
GG is no stranger to the fight against capitalist imperialists. Her parents demonstrated for Tom Mooney at the 1932 Worlds Fair. Her mother got 6 months and her father got a year in prison. Her father was in the historic heroic general strike in San Francisco in 1934. Her father later organized the ILWU (International Longshore and Warehouse Union) local in Sacramento. He was a union leader and was paid the same as the workers. The Workers always said “he’d give you the shirt off his back”
From the web site, The Foreclosure Detonator:
Values declined not because of the market, they declined because those very same banks who oppose these write downs created this mess by providing mortgages to almost anyone creating a housing boom that was destined to crash. Yes, they know what they were doing but greed took control of corporate governance and patriotic spirit. The attitude of let’s rake in as much cash as we can then when it all fails we can take back all those homes and rake in even more cash for homes we have no investment in.
The housing crash was created by the banks unlike what New York City’s Mayor Bloomberg says. He says blame it on Congress (and Fannie Mae who he says makes loans – wrong!). Yes, while I believe it was a direct mandate from the White House beginning with Bill Clinton, the banks could have and should have used their better judgment and declined the push from above. But GREED is a very dangerous intoxicant. Given the green light by those high up in our political circles – the ones in charge – they quickly did what they believed was their patriotic duty to comply and fill their own pockets.
And from the web site, Foreclosure Testimony /:
What is a Wrongful Foreclosure Action?
A wrongful foreclosure action is an action filed in superior court by the borrower against the servicer, the holder of the note, and usually the
foreclosing trustee. The complaint usually alleges that there was an “illegal, fraudulent or willfully oppressive sale of property under a power of sale contained in a mortgage or deed of trust.” Munger v. Moore (1970) 11 CA.App.3d. 1. The wrongful foreclosure action is often brought prior to the non-judicial foreclosure sale in order to delay the sale, but the action may also be brought after the non-judicial foreclosure sale. In most cases, a wrongful foreclosure action alleges that the amount stated as due and owing in the notice of default is incorrect for one or more of the following reasons: an incorrect interest rate adjustment, incorrect tax impound accounts, misapplied payments, a forbearance
agreement which was not adhered to by the servicer, unnecessary forced place insurance, improper accounting for a confirmed chapter 11 or chapter 13 bankruptcy plan. Wrongful foreclosure actions are also brought when the servicers accept partial payments after initiation of
the wrongful foreclosure process, then continue with the foreclosure. Companion allegations for emotional distress and punitive damages usually accompany any wrongful foreclosure action.