Banks Abandoning Foreclosed Homes

In cities across the country, banks are ditching out on foreclosed homes, giving more worries -- and bills -- to homeowners.
April 6, 2009, 8am PDT | Nate Berg
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"City officials and housing advocates here and in cities as varied as Buffalo, Kansas City, Mo., and Jacksonville, Fla., say they are seeing an unsettling development: Banks are quietly declining to take possession of properties at the end of the foreclosure process, most often because the cost of the ordeal - from legal fees to maintenance - exceeds the diminishing value of the real estate."

"The so-called bank walkaways rarely mean relief for the property owners, caught unaware months after the fact, and often mean additional financial burdens and bureaucratic headaches. Technically, they still owe on the mortgage, but as a practicality, rarely would a mortgage holder receive any more payments on the loan. The way mortgages are bundled and resold, it can be enormously time-consuming just trying to determine what company holds the loan on a property thought to be in foreclosure."

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Published on Friday, April 3, 2009 in The New York Times
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