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Foreclosure Crisis Has Led to Zombie Homes

Joseph Keller doesn't expect he'll live to see the end of 2013. He blames the house at 190 Avondale Avenue.

Five years ago, Keller, 10 months behind on his mortgage payments, received notice of a foreclosure judgment from JP Morgan Chase. In a few weeks, the bank said, his three-story house with gray vinyl siding in Columbus, Ohio, would be put up for auction at a sheriff's sale.

The 58-year-old former social worker and his wife, Jennifer, packed up their home of 13 years and moved in with their daughter. Joseph thought he would never have anything to do with the house again. And for about a year, he didn't.

Then it started to stalk him.

Source: Reuters. Read full article. (link)

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  • Sevo||

    From the comments:
    "Banks are notorious for their uber self interest above those they claim to serve."
    No KIDDING? (looks around for surprised mask).

    Anyhow, it's sorta interesting; the buyers walked on a property. The bank took a look at the property and walked also, leaving the buyers as legal owners.
    Seems they found their surprised masks easily, especially when the bills started coming in.
    Bailing on a property sounds like 'sticking it to THE MAN'. Beware what THE MAN might do.

  • Sevo||

    "The 58-year-old former social worker and his wife, Jennifer, packed up their home of 13 years and moved in with their daughter. [...] Chase's debt collector began pressing Keller to pay his mortgage, which had swollen, with penalties and fees, from $62,100.27 to $84,194.69."

    Maybe innocent misdirection going on here, but far more likely just plain propaganda.
    You lived in a house in Columbus, OH for 13 years and you're upside-down?! How many times did J&J go to the well?
    Sorry, these folks seem to deserve every bit of grief they're getting.
    Had a lot of fun with those trips, did you?

  • Bill||

    A three story home? Sounds extravagant. But then why do they only owe a paltry 60-80K. That's not much money to owe on a home. I guess it is Columbus.

  • Bob Straub||

    In our community, owners walked away from their home after an apparently bitter divorce. The wife came back for a while and left again. We are in a planned community with an association. Assessments and penalties began to accumulate. The property started to decay. Eventually, the mortgage holder agreed to a "rent receivership," wherein the association agreed to restore the property to a livable condition and rent it out. The association can now recover some or all of its lost assessments, as well as costs to renovate the building. I don't know what happens about taxes or the owners.

    Wouldn't it pay mortgage holders to rent their vacant homes? There must be lots of people who, while employed, couldn't keep up their payments and either sold or went into foreclosure. These people have some money and need places to live. Mortgage owners have some, leaking money. Seems like there could be a solution if people try to be a little creative.

  • Sevo||

    "Wouldn't it pay mortgage holders to rent their vacant homes?"

    If you mean the lending institution, it's doubtful.
    Being a landlord is not just collecting checks and the institution prolly has no expertise in that field and really has no interest in doing so.

  • Otis B. Driftwood||

    I'd really like to see brick and mortar debtors' prisons brought back. We'll see how many shiftless layabouts continue to live beyond their means.

  • Macoozie||

    Friends, the deal with a mortgage is "pay the money or lose the house".
    Non-recourse loans are exactly that, house backs the loan.
    So . . . if the borrower decides to give the house back beacsue they are under water OR they can no longer afford it, how are they at fault?
    The problem is with the LENDERS giving mortgages to people without enough financial backing because the government backed the mortages!
    Get the governmnet our of free market contract negotiations and the problem dissapears. And don't begin to tell me about the "social good of home ownership". That's just another nanny state tag line.
    2-3 times local median incomes are what houses should cost.

  • robc||

    Who says it was non-recourse?

    I dont know Ohio law, but the vast majority of states are recourse states (34 I think).

  • Sevo||

    "The problem is with the LENDERS giving mortgages to people without enough financial backing because the government backed the mortages!"

    Why, just last week, I was walking by a bank and a guy came out with a pistol and said "Sign here!"

  • JBinMO||

    The whole system of loaning other peoples money has some problems. We should cut the cord between Fannie, Freddie, the wholes secondary market and the government.

  • Audrey||

    Quite often banks wrongly foreclosure customer’s property. They send foreclosure notices to people who have rights to stay in their houses and proceed making payments. Why everything is so unfair? It’s because of big banks which just want to get their money back and don’t want to provide homeowners any assistance. But consumers can protect their rights and order special reports to see if there were any mistakes made and a foreclosure was really fair. I think that these days it’s not worth to apply to big banks because there so many occasions when people do not get any support from them. It’s better to choose alternative lenders like no fax payday loan lenders or community banks. And of course it’s necessary to avoid late and missed payments because for the lender your irresponsible attitude can become a reason to take away the property.