What Is a Zombie Foreclosure?

When homeowners receive foreclosure notifications from their bank, they often don’t know how to react or what they’re supposed to do. Oftentimes, they mistakenly presume that they need to immediately pack up their belongings and let the foreclosing bank repossess the property. However, sometimes banks don’t complete the foreclosure process and the homes are left abandoned. In some cases, lenders even cancel the foreclosures or just fail to sell the vacant property. This hurts the homeowners because the title is still in their name. This is called a “zombie foreclosure.”

Lenders may not follow through on foreclosures for the following reasons:

  • They don’t want to assume responsibility for property that requires intense upkeep
  • The property is in a low-income area with a poor housing market
  • The property has fallen into disrepair due to being abandoned
  • Squatters or taggers have significantly damaged the property
  • The cost of foreclosing the property does not justify its completion
  • Administrative errors have led to the foreclosure paperwork being lost

How a Zombie Foreclosure Can Hurt You

The lender is not usually required to notify a homeowner that the foreclosure process has been stalled or cancelled. Because the property title stays in your name, you are still legally obligated to pay for any property taxes, maintenance fees, and HOA dues. This also means that you are responsible for paying for any repairs that occurred during your vacancy. In some cases, homeowners have no idea that the foreclosed property is still in their name and that they are now responsible for years of unpaid taxes and fees.

A homeowner may face the following legal consequences:

  • An HOA may file a lawsuit against the homeowner
  • Tax collectors may demand overdue property taxes
  • The homeowners credit score could be damaged

What You Can Do

To avoid the consequences of a zombie foreclosure, it’s best to stay in your home until you receive an official notice to vacate. It’s also important to confirm that the title has been transferred to a new owner. You can find the new deed information at your local county recorder’s office.

If you have any concerns about the foreclosure process, contact the Brevard County foreclosure lawyers at The Buchalter Law Group. Our firm has been protecting homes and families for over 35 years. We understand what a difficult time this may be for you, and we want to help you achieve a positive outcome. When you schedule a free consultation with our firm, we can evaluate your case, examine your possible legal options, and determine if a strong defense strategy can help you keep your home.

Call our Brevard County foreclosure attorneys at (321) 320-6088 to learn how our firm can help you.

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