Night of the Living Dead, The Plague of the Zombies, Dawn of the Dead and … foreclosure? It turns out that the recent cultural obsession with zombies has leached into the foreclosure arena, with zombie foreclosures.
There are a number of issues that have been haunting homeowners in foreclosure for quite some time– like foreclosure consultant scams and mortgage service industry abuses. But the newest kid on the block, a zombie foreclosure, can strike when you least expect it.
What Is a Zombie Foreclosure?
A zombie foreclosure occurs when a mortgage servicer starts the foreclosure process, the homeowner moves out (thinking he or she will soon lose the home), and then the foreclosure stalls, or is cancelled.
According to Nolo’s new article on zombie foreclosures, a zombie foreclosure can cause major problems for an unsuspecting homeowner, including:
- being on the hook for property taxes
- getting sued by your homeowners assocation for assessments that you continue to be liable for
- fines because your home falls into disrepair and violates housing codes and ordinances (and even face jail time in some instances if you don’t meet repair deadlines), or
- a bill from your local government for yard maintenance, repairs, trash removal, and/or graffiti scrubbing.
According to Nolo Network author Amy Loftsgordon, the best way to prevent a zombie foreclosure? Stay in your home through the entire foreclosure process and wait for an official notice to vacate before moving out.
Learn more about zombie foreclosures and other reasons to stay in your home during foreclosure in Nolo’s Foreclosure: Should You Stay or Go? topic area.