The term, ‘zombie home’ refers to a house where the owner has moved out and the lender has never finished the foreclosure paperwork, leaving the absent homeowner legally liable for the foreclosed property along with the property taxes, homeowner association fees, fines for building code violations, etc.
Public records are clear that the homeowner still owns the property, but in many cases since the owner has already moved out he or she is unaware of this. Lenders typically are not required to notify the homeowner when a foreclosure is not complete. So following your move out, you should research public records to monitor the home’s ownership status.
According to RealtyTrac, as many as 300,000 zombie houses exist in the United States, and every state likely has at least a few of them. Florida is “Zombie Central,” with potentially 90,556 zombie houses, about 30 percent of the U.S. total. So why are there so many zombie homes? One reason is metropolitan areas tend to have distressed properties in such poor condition that neither the homeowner nor the bank wants to own them.
States such as Nevada, Oregon and Washington have new laws that punish banks for improper foreclosures, causing delays in the process. Some cities have set up registries of foreclosed or abandoned properties or enacted local laws that require lenders to perform basic maintenance, but enforcement may be minimal or ineffective.
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 website, www.miamibankruptcy.com.