Rise of the foreclosure zombies….

Posted on July 15, 2014

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Apparently, the  Consumer Financial Protection Board (CFPB) is having a difficult time locating homeowners who have deserted foreclosed on properties—known in parlance as “Zombie foreclosures.”

Despite a mortgagor being in trouble and possibly losing their property, if they aren’t keeping up with the repairs, landscaping, etc, they can be charged with “abandonment”—even if the house is about to be seized by the bank.

Possibly, the CFPB will re-define abandonment in the hopes that this will speed up a foreclosure, although it is not clear whether a quicker foreclosure will mean a more devastating credit rating or possible fines for the “zombie” homeowners who have fled.

One reason it takes such a long time for the lender to foreclose is the number of loans that they’d have to be responsible for, if they foreclosed on all the notes at once.

Also, if the buyers have deserted the homes, and they are vandalized or damaged by looters, it is quite difficult to re-sell such a property

The lender can continue to get various fees from the borrower, late charges and such if they are slow in foreclosing the property, but this often results in the borrower just stopping payment altogether and living in the property as a de facto squatter.

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