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No end in sight for foreclosures and dropping home prices

Thirteen percent of U.S. homes are now vacant according to a new report in the Huffington Post.  Prices are dropping but people who have the money to buy are reluctant to enter the housing market fearing prices will drop even more.  I think we’d hope that by now things would turn around but I’m not seeing much change in the areas around the country where I do seminars.  I’m very concerned about properties that still appear to be owned by individuals but that the lenders actually own.  Recently I was researching a property that the former owner told us he turned over to a lender last summer.  He was right.  We didn’t know though because the lender had never filed the necessary paperwork with the Recorder of Deeds.  Consequently, all notices of violation went to him and not the lender.  Whether this was an oversight or intentional, I have no idea but it sets us back even further in identifying the responsible party.  I’m also seeing a number of judgments for foreclosure where the sheriff”s sale has never taken place.  Sometimes this is due to a bankruptcy being filed but in other cases it remains a mystery.  This is why ordinances to make lenders responsible for the upkeep of the vacant property prior to a foreclosure judgment are so critical to preserving neighborhoods.

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