Zombie Foreclosures Fill US Neighborhoods

Zombie foreclosures and vampire real estate are clogging America’s neighborhoods. Look around and you can see such homes just about everywhere.

According to RealtyTrac, there were 152,033 zombie foreclosures lurking in cities and suburbs as of the first quarter of 2014. Zombie foreclosures are properties which are in the foreclosure process but not yet foreclosed. These abandoned homes represent 21 percent of all the homes currently being foreclosed. Amazingly, according to RealtyTrac, the typical legal process associated with a zombie foreclosure takes 1,031 days to complete — nearly three years.

Where can you find lots of zombie homes? According to RealtyTrac the general markets where such properties are most common include Tampa, Las Vegas and Melbourne, Fl.

Zombie Foreclosures Versus Vampire Real Estate

Zombie homes, of course, are different from vampire real estate. With zombie foreclosures we have a property which has not been foreclosed but the owners have moved out. This, as we have pointed out previously, is a bad situation for the lender because the home is unoccupied, no mortgage payments are being made and the lender does not have title. At some point the lender will foreclose or the property will be sold with a short sale.

With vampire real estate includes homes which have been foreclosed, sold at auction and are now owned by lenders. Although owned by a lender the real estate is actually still occupied by the original owners and may look like any other nearby home. Vampire real estate is better for lenders and neighbors because such homes are occupied and may appear entirely normal with mowed lawns and bright lights at night.

The terms “zombie foreclosures” and “vampire real estate” were developed originally by RealtyTrac Vice President Daren Blomquist to describe homes which were not quite foreclosed and not quite occupied in the usual sense.

Zombie foreclosures fill America's neighborhoods

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