What is a zombie title – or walking dead – home? And why do you need to know about them?
Zombie title homes are sneaking around behind thousands of homeowners who think they lost their homes in foreclosure. In reality, here’s what happens…
The bank files for foreclosure. The homeowners move out because they think they have to. The bank then DROPS the foreclosure. This leaves the unaware homeowners still legally liable for the very homes they did not even know they still owned.
What a mess!But WHY does this happen?
Banks have so many foreclosures that they are becoming backlogged. To deal with this backlog, many banks do not complete the foreclosures on homes that they feel are not worth their while. Banks are walking away from some of these foreclosures just like many of the homeowners had to walk away from their upside-down mortgages after the housing market crash.
"The banks are just deciding not to foreclose, even though the homeowners never caught up with their payments," explains Daren Blomquist who is the vice president at RealtyTrac, a real-estate information company in Irvine, California.
HOW can banks do this?
When a bank or financial institution chooses to walk away and not foreclose, they reap the tax, insurance, and accounting benefits from documentation of the loss. According to a 2010 Federal Reserve paper, the bank or financial institution will reap these benefits without being responsible for the costs of ownership.
“A walk-away also enables them to sell the unpaid debt to debt collectors, sometimes noting to the court that the loan has been charged off," according to a Case Western Reserve University study released in 2011.
Since the banks have always had a history of foreclosing on properties that the mortgage is not being paid on, there are no laws or regulations requiring the banks to notify homeowners when the bank changes its mind on foreclosing on a home.
"The banks do not answer inquiries, they do not answer phone calls, they do not answer letters," says Judge Patrick Carney of the Buffalo, New York, Housing Court. Judge Patrick Carney’s zombie title caseload has grown to well into the hundreds in the past few years. "The whole situation is surreal," the judge says. A complete mess.
So who is left to take care of these thousands of vacant homes? Who’s left holding the bag?
In short, city governments.
Banks are not taking responsibility for these properties. The homeowners have moved thinking the bank has foreclosed. So there is no one left but the municipalities to take responsibility for all these abandoned homes.
For example, there are approximately 900 cases in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, that involve zombie titles on properties that the owners thought were foreclosed on. The number of cases involving zombie titles in South Bend, Indiana, is 1,275, up from 600 in 2006. The Memphis, Tennessee, zombie title cases have doubled to 1,500 cases in just the past 2 years. And those are merely three cities out of the thousands across America that are left responsible for the upkeep of these properties.
There are some municipalities that are using public funds to maintain these homes, but they are receiving no tax revenue in return. Thus putting a huge burden on local governments across the U.S.
This is where YOU enter…
Local governments across our country are hiring and paying property preservation contractors to care for these zombie title properties. In many cases, these homes have been vacant for several years. The preservation contractors continue to maintain them on a weekly basis – and continue getting PAID for their maintenance services, year-in and year-out.
As the market is now flooded with thousands of these zombie title homes, more property preservation contractors are needed.
If you are interested in a viable business opportunitywhere you are the boss, with more business than you know what to do with, simply go to our website to find out how to start a foreclosure cleaning/maintenance business. www.ForeclosureCash.net
We will TEACH YOU HOW TO BE a property preservation professional. From A-to-Z.www.ForeclosureCash.net
No matter where you’re located in the U.S., there is demand for property preservation services. Will you help? And make a great living while you’re at it!
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