The recession had a ripple effect on nearly every community in the country. The housing market suffered terribly and is just now starting to get back on a positive track. However, in Florida and elsewhere, the home foreclosure crisis left behind what have been deemed zombie houses.
Zombie houses are essentially homes that were foreclosed on, then left unattended. The affected properties have not been kept up with necessary repairs. Eventually, the homes become unlivable and eyesores that directly affect the value of other homes around it. Approximately 21 percent of the homes that are in some stage of the foreclosure process are reportedly in this condition.
The home foreclosure process takes a great deal of time, which is one reason the homes start to go into a state of disrepair. Currently, the average foreclosure process takes over 1,000 days. While the home foreclosure rates have consistently fallen, Florida reported that one out of every 372 homes in Florida became a victim of foreclosure filing in February. This is said to be the highest rate of filing for any state for that period.
Home owners are still struggling to avoid or successfully navigate the home foreclosure process. Now that the recession is waning a bit, homeowners who still struggle in Florida may be able to pursue options that could help them keep their homes. Loan modifications may also be an option that homeowners didn’t have in the past. Another possible approach could include filing for bankruptcy, particularly under a Chapter 13 debt reorganization. A repayment plan approved by a Bankruptcy Court may help homeowners get their financial ship stabilized.
Source: money.cnn.com, Vacant zombie foreclosures still weighing on some housing markets, Les Christie, March 13, 2014