Abandoned foreclosures put on 'Wall of Shame'
Mayor of Seattle suburb photographs unkempt properties and posts the photos, along with the names of the lenders, on the city's website.
Officials of cities whose landscapes are marred by abandoned, ill-kept foreclosed homes have tried a variety of tactics to try to force lenders to keep up the properties they repossess.
In Auburn, Wash., a suburb of Seattle, Mayor Pete Lewis is photographing those homes and posting the photos on a "Wall of Shame," with the names of the lender responsible for each house included.
"They can complain if they want to," Lewis, a former banker, says of the lenders.
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The city's website includes 19 photos today. Lenders listed include Chase, Bank of America, Wells Fargo, GMAC Mortgage, HSBC and Deutsche Bank, as well as Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae. Some posts include lenders' email addresses.
The website adds:
"Citizens who have concerns about abandoned properties and want to help the City get action on them can access information below about the mortgage holders. Citizens are encouraged to write, phone or email the mortgage holders or property preservation contacts and request action be taken on one or more abandoned properties. These efforts may help convince the mortgage holders and property preservation companies to act more quickly and consistently."
The city of about 70,000 also is using more conventional tactics: code-enforcement citations that can lead to liens against the property, which keep the home from being sold until the fine is paid and the lien is lifted.
Cities around the country have tried a variety of tactics to get lenders and loan servicers to maintain foreclosed properties. The city of Los Angeles has sued two lenders in civil court. In South Bend, Ind., neighbors have resorted to buying nearby foreclosed properties themselves.
We're skeptical that bad publicity will do much to persuade lenders to clean up their acts and their properties. But at least it gives residents information on where to direct their complaints. And the liens might get the banks' attention.
Are vacant foreclosed properties a problem in your community? What are your local officials doing?
Give these homes to people wh will take care of them, or do some kind of loan modification with the owners. Abandoned houses aren't a good thing for anybody at all and there are plenty of people out there that would love to have a home at a reasonable price.
In my area the towns aren't doing anyhing deal with this problem at all. What a waste of good real estate.
You have spent all of the city's money on stupid stuff
like putting in street light's twice and street roundabouts that look like crap.
You and the city council did not listen to the people and have sold the court to king county.
Thanks for nothing you piece of ****.
I hope that some crime is done against you and you get no satisfaction from king county
Yea yea yea blame the president..... or maybe you should call Bush...!!!!!!!!!!!!! President Bush Addresses Nation on Economic Crisis(2008)<<<< google it... or youtube it!!!!! Can't be fixed over night sorry!!!... You guys gave him 8yrs to f#** us over!!!...
My idea is this:
1) The federal government sould seize all foreclosed homes from the banks (after all, we, the taxpayer, have already PAID for the homs in the form of the payout the banks received in the fom of TARP and other refinancing schemes the govt has instituted)
2) Do a lottery of all these homes for any Iraq/Afghanistan war veteran who has been determined to be 50%+ disabled & give them the title to these homes. Additionally, a law should b passed exempting them from paying property taxes for a period of 5 years.
IT IS A WIN-WIN SITUTATION. This would do several things:
1) It would prevent the "shadow inventory" from depressing housing prices and would actually increase values of homeson themarket as the "supply v. demand" equation would be put back into balance.
2) It would provide pemanent housing for those who have lost not only limbs or mental facilities but also years of their lives. They sacrificed while the rest of us moved ahead of them in the business and financial world. Also, it would free them from the financial stresses of trying to keep a roof over their heads as they try to rebuild their lives (veterans are twice as likely to be unemployed as the general public). They would receive these houses free and clear but, as anyone, would be responsible for paying the capital gains taxes on the house on if/when they should decide to sell the property. Even if they did, it would provide them with a strong financial base from which to rebuild their lives.
A May 10, 2011article in the New York Times(?) stated there are 1M homes that are bank owned with 4M more to hit the market in the next several years. Imagine how much good this would do in strengthening every aspect of the market: housing starts, veterans' security and recovery, neighborhood price stabilization and reduction of blight. This would benefit EVERY homeowner.
Each veteran would be given the option of being put into the lottery based upon locality, county, state or nationwide.
It is the least we could do for those who have already sacrificed so much and is an idea I would imagine that both Democrats and Republicans could agree upon.
An economic mess, that beyond fixing. Monetary numbers beyond comprehension.
There are not enough resourse on the planet to cover the Trillions of dollars dept we create for ourselve. Just numbers on harddrives and paper, it is all just an illusion.
While I do have a certain sympathy for SOME who have gone into forclosure,,, it is limited. The reason so many have gotten into this mess is that our government needed "new house starts" to shore up it's contentions of a rising economy.
The banks are there to make money,, not protect you from yourself. If you choose to pay too much for a property,, they are not the ones to blame. If you can't aford insurance on the property,, or yourself,,, then you really should be renting. A dream is just that. You have to suck it up if you want to make it a reality.
It isn't generally someone else's fault.
My opine, after working and surviving few recessions and storms of repos, only 2 entitles to blame:
1) Cities for not having strong code enforcement rules for Repos.
2) Buyers you prostitute themselves to banks filth.
If the cities would cite and fine the repos, banks would march to the cities and county officials and liens on the property. States need to stop erasing liens on properties, at the COE.
If buyers avoid dirty repos, the banks and government would have to repair and make sellable at the cost to the banks.
About Teresa Mears
Teresa Mears is a veteran journalist who has been interested in houses since her father took her to tax auctions to carry the cash at age 10. A former editor of The Miami Herald's Home & Design section, she lives in South Florida where, in addition to writing about real estate, she publishes Miami on the Cheap to help her neighbors adjust to the loss of 60% of their property value.