“Chase’s debt collector, Professional Recovery Services declined to comment.”
“A Social Security Administration spokesperson declined to comment on the case.”
Despite this article being written over 6 years ago, its still an unresolved issue. Banks, Mortgage Servicers and the Government are turning a blind eye to this horrific fact that homeowners “do not have a right” to learn if they bank stopped the sale and left you with a home in ruin, including all the debt and taxes to boot….
The Kellers are caught up in a little-known horror of the U.S. housing bust: the zombie title. Six years in, thousands of homeowners are finding themselves legally liable for houses they didn’t know they still owned after banks decided it wasn’t worth their while to complete foreclosures on them. With impunity, banks have been walking away from foreclosures much the way some homeowners walked away from their mortgages when the housing market first crashed.
“The banks are just deciding not to foreclose, even though the homeowners never caught up with their payments,” says Daren Blomquist, vice president at RealtyTrac, a real-estate information company in Irvine, California.
Since 2006, 10 million homes have fallen into foreclosure, according to RealtyTrac, a number that in earlier, more stable times would have taken nearly two decades to reach. Of those foreclosures, more than 2 million have never come out. Some may be occupied by owners who have been living gratis. Others have been caught up in what is now known as the robo-signing scandal, when banks spun out reams of fraudulent documents to foreclose quickly on as many homeowners as they could.
And then there are cases like the Kellers, in which homeowners moved out after receiving notice of a foreclosure sale, thinking they were leaving the house in bank hands. No national databases track zombie titles. But dozens of housing court judges, code enforcement officials, lawyers and other professionals involved in foreclosures across the country tell Reuters that these titles number in the many thousands, and that the problem is worsening.
“These people have become like indentured serfs, with all of the responsibilities for the properties but none of the rights,” says retired Cleveland-Marshall College of Law Professor Kermit Lind.
THREAT OF JAIL
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. At their front doors they’ve encountered bailiffs brandishing summonses to appear in court.
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.
“IndyMac declined to comment.”
“The Mortgage Bankers Association did not respond to repeated requests for comment.”
“HSBC declined to comment.”
Residential home sold for $3,000 over late $250 HOA fee Supreme Court calls that unconscionable.’
— LawsInTexas (@lawsintexasusa) December 21, 2019
#TEXAS : Maintaining the 11 year run as we close out 2019, the Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit has gifted #OCWEN Loan Servicing, the $3 billion dollars fined nonbank, another judgment in it’s favor. #Veteran #CivilRights #payitforward #AuditTexashttps://t.co/I1mPDUUWOq pic.twitter.com/iZNTM0kGMZ
— LawsInTexas (@lawsintexasusa) December 20, 2019
New York’s Battle Against Zombie Homes
Published Date; 19 Dec., 2019
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed legislation granting local cities more power in fighting against zombie properties, according to a news affiliate out of Albany, New York.
The law will authorize local governments to compel mortgage lenders to “fast track” foreclosure properties or release the abandoned property to allow for resolution on a local level.
“Zombie properties are plaguing communities all across our state, driving down property values and burdening our taxpayers,” Cuomo said. “By making it easier for local municipalities to deal with these abandoned and unmaintained properties, we are helping to preserve homes and protect the quality of life in our neighborhoods.”
The New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development (NYC HPD) identified over 3,000 zombie homes in the city. Most of the homes are in areas that are still recovering from the impacts of the Great Recession.
Leila Bozorg, Deputy Commissioner of HPD, said a large part of this team’s work involves collecting data on such homes and the extent of the challenge of rehabilitating these properties. She told Fox News that new laws allow them to hold financial lenders more accountable once a home falls into foreclosure.
NYC has also partnered with organizations like the Center for NYC Neighborhoods to help homeowners who have fallen behind on their mortgage payments to find funds and help prevent the creation of more zombie homes.
“We send people out to survey homes to try to document where are zombie homes in New York City and what’s the extent of the challenge,” Bozorg told Fox News.
New York neighborhoods such as Central Brooklyn, Southeast Queens, northern Staten Island, and parts of the Bronx, particularly, have a higher number of distressed and abandoned properties compared to the rest of the city, according to HPD data.
According to a report by Curbed, the city saw around 18,000 foreclosure filings in 2007, when the foreclosure crisis first hit New York. Today, there are at least 2,000 abandoned and deteriorated homes many of which are in the process of foreclosure.