Bank-Owned Foreclosures Cause Problems for Cities

As bank-owned homes become a source of blight and crime, cities struggle to effectively hold banks accountable for their maintenance. Large banks tend to be the worst offenders, often failing to remove trash and weeds or paying fines.

Richmond, California has about 1,500 homes in foreclosure, and 9 code enforcement officers on the case, so it is difficult to keep up with code violations - particularly when the property is owned by a giant bank. A Richmond city supervisor says that "Some banks simply ignore the city's notices.":

"Assigning responsibility for empty homes can be tricky. Sometimes, owners walk away or banks avoid retaking the title quickly. Mortgages often change hands several times, and lender information in government databases can lag by as much as six months."

Thanks to Jason Burke

Full Story: Richmond struggles to hold banks accountable for blight

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