Posts Tagged: ‘zombie homes’

NY Unveils Bill of Rights for Borrowers Facing Foreclosure

December 8, 2016 Posted by kingcade

The State of New York is taking the next step in its fight against abandoned foreclosures by introducing a consumer bill of rights for borrowers facing foreclosure. The state announced new laws earlier this year designed to reform the foreclosure process and address its issues with abandoned foreclosures, also referred to as zombie homes.

These new laws will help expedite rehabilitation, repair and improvement of these abandoned properties and further assists homeowners facing foreclosure.  Currently, New York has one of the longest foreclosure timelines in the nation, averaging 1,070 days to foreclose.

In addition, the new laws impose a pre-foreclosure duty on banks and servicers to maintain zombie homes, create an electronic registry of abandoned properties, and expedite foreclosure for vacant and abandoned properties to get those houses back on the market.

The consumer bill of rights, reminds consumers of the various rights they have before, during, and after the foreclosure process.

  • The bill of rights tells consumers that they can and should seek the assistance of a lawyer or a housing counselor if they are facing foreclosure.
  • The bill of rights tells borrowers that they have the right to stay in their home during the foreclosure process, unless or until a court orders them to vacate.
  • “If you abandon your home, the plaintiff (bank or mortgage servicer) may be able to foreclose on your property through an expedited process in court,” the bill of rights continues.
  • To prevent this outcome, stay in your home and carefully review and respond to documents you receive from the plaintiff or the court in your foreclosure case.
  • A failure to respond or appear in court when required to do so could make it easier for the servicer to show that your property is vacant and abandoned, which could put you at risk of an expedited foreclosure.

The bill of rights also walks borrowers through the various steps of the foreclosure process and their rights throughout, including their legal options and their right to seek “loss mitigation” options.

These new reforms help ensure borrowers facing foreclosure know their rights, that banks and service providers are held to their obligations and that neighborhoods are protected from zombie foreclosures as these are known to threaten property values and neighborhood safety.

Click here to read more on this story.

Choosing the right attorney can make the difference between whether or not you can keep your home. A well-qualified Miami foreclosure defense attorney will not only help you keep your home, but they will be able to negotiate a loan that has payments you can afford. Miami foreclosure defense attorney Timothy Kingcade has helped many facing foreclosure alleviate their stress by letting them stay in their homes for at least another year, allowing them to re-organize their lives. If you have any questions on the topic of foreclosure please feel free to contact me at (305) 285-9100. You can also find useful consumer information on the Kingcade & Garcia website at www.miamibankruptcy.com

Bill would Force Banks to Maintain ‘Zombie’ Homes if Passed

March 13, 2015 Posted by kingcade

For years, homeowners who are being foreclosed upon have vacated the property before the foreclosure has been processed, often leaving the home in shambles. This has caused neighboring houses in those communities to lose significant value.

Currently, banks do not have a responsibility to maintain the properties until after the foreclosure is complete. This can leave homes vacant for months or even years. In an attempt to try and force banks and other mortgage lenders to maintain vacant properties during the foreclosure process, State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman plans to introduce a bill that would require not only maintenance from banks during the process of foreclosure, but allow homeowners to stay in their homes until ordered out by a judge.

The bill, entitled the Abandoned Property Neighborhood Relief Act would also create a registry of vacant properties to assist municipalities in enforcing local laws regarding property maintenance. Any fines collected would go into a fund to help hire more code-enforcement officers. Florida, New York and New Jersey hold the three highest rates of zombie properties, according to RealtyTrac.

Click here to read more on the Abandoned Property Neighborhood Relief Act.

Choosing the right attorney can make the difference between whether or not you can keep your home. A well-qualified Miami foreclosure defense attorney will not only help you keep your home, but they will be able to negotiate a loan that has payments you can afford. Miami foreclosure defense attorney Timothy Kingcade has helped many facing foreclosure alleviate their stress by letting them stay in their homes for at least another year, allowing them to re-organize their lives. If you have any questions on the topic of foreclosure please feel free to contact me at (305) 285-9100. You can also find useful consumer information on the Kingcade & Garcia website at www.miamibankruptcy.com.

‘Zombie’ Homes Decreasing Neighborhood Property Values

March 12, 2015 Posted by kingcade

Zombie homes are the name given to homes that are in the process of being foreclosed upon and have been abandoned by the property owner. In Florida, banks are not legally obligated to take care of properties until the foreclosure process is complete.

Unfortunately for nearby homeowners, the families who are foreclosed on are not the only ones who suffer. For example, in Florida a house worth $250,000 before the housing market crash is now worth only $68,000, due in part to zombie homes in the neighborhood. Zombie homes significantly impact the value of other homes in the neighborhood.

The State of Florida has more than 35,000 zombie homes, which is more than three times the national average, according to RealtyTrac. Many of the abandoned homes have overgrown lawns, plagued by snakes, spiders or other insects. Another common problem among these types of homes is “squatters,” who move into the vacant properties and then file for adverse possession, claiming that they now own the property because they have been living there for a certain amount of time.

Some states are in talks to pass a “Zombie Prevention Bill,” which would hold banks accountable for properties while in the process of foreclosure.

Click here to read more about the toll zombie homes are taking on Florida neighborhoods.

Choosing the right attorney can make the difference between whether or not you can keep your home. A well-qualified Miami foreclosure defense attorney will not only help you keep your home, but they will be able to negotiate a loan that has payments you can afford. Miami foreclosure defense attorney Timothy Kingcade has helped many facing foreclosure alleviate their stress by letting them stay in their homes for at least another year, allowing them to re-organize their lives. If you have any questions on the topic of foreclosure please feel free to contact me at (305) 285-9100. You can also find useful consumer information on the Kingcade & Garcia website at www.miamibankruptcy.com.

‘Zombie’ homes a growing problem in Florida neighborhoods

October 10, 2014 Posted by kingcade

A bank forecloses on a home, the residents pack up and leave and the city is left to clean up the mess. These abandoned homes in foreclosure limbo, referred to as zombie homes are haunting a number of Florida neighborhoods. These properties are often uninhabitable because they have fallen into such disrepair, and the owners are unwilling to fix them up because with the outstanding mortgage payments, the bank can still come back and foreclose on the property.

By hand-picking which foreclosures they complete and which they ignore, banks are strapping individual borrowers with a permanent, inescapable debt while creating slums in already struggling communities. These vacant homes often attract drug dealers and squatters and bring down the value of surrounding properties.

The financial crisis resulted in many homeowners walking away from their properties when they got their initial foreclosure notice, seeking to avoid being evicted, not realizing that the process could take years.

Zombie foreclosures have become more widespread in recent years throughout the country, but are especially prevalent in Florida, where as of June 2, 48,630 homes in some stage of foreclosure sat vacant, according to RealtyTrac. That accounts for a third of the 141,406 vacant foreclosed properties nationwide!

According to real estate experts, zombie foreclosures come in two forms:

1.) The unintentional “byproduct” of Florida’s judicial foreclosure process, which can take months and result in “properties sitting in limbo;”

2.) Intentional delay by lenders, who file a foreclosure case so they do not lose the option to do so when the statute of limitations runs out. However, these lenders do not move forward because completing the foreclosure would not be financially viable.

Zombie homes can haunt homeowners- and neighborhoods for years, having a negative impact on cities. When homeowners and banks walk away from a property, the city is left with the responsibility of the home.

The Justice Department has taken some responsibility. Bank of America and JPMorgan Chase & Co. each agreed to forgive loans when they decide not to pursue foreclosure and have helped cities pay to demolish the abandoned homes. The agreements, however, contain no specific monetary obligation and instead fall under broad consumer relief payments.

Florida cities like Jacksonville and St. Petersburg have borne the burden. Jacksonville demolished 113 homes that were vacant and unsafe in 2013. In 2014, the city bulldozed another 60 properties. It is estimated that St. Petersburg will demolish 100 houses this year.  Officials have said the city simply does not have the resources to deal with all of the vacant homes.

Click here to read more on this story…
http://www.publicintegrity.org/2014/09/15/15519/zombie-homes-haunt-florida-neighborhoods

Choosing the right attorney can make the difference between whether or not you can keep your home. A well-qualified Miami foreclosure defense attorney will not only help you keep your home, but they will be able to negotiate a loan that has payments you can afford. Miami foreclosure defense attorney Timothy Kingcade has helped many facing foreclosure alleviate their stress by letting them stay in their homes for at least another year, allowing them to re-organize their lives. If you have any questions on the topic of foreclosure please feel free to contact me at (305) 285-9100. You can also find useful consumer information on the Kingcade & Garcia website at www.miamibankruptcy.com.

Related Resources:
http://www.publicintegrity.org/2014/09/15/15519/zombie-homes-haunt-florida-neighborhoods