Long Eviction Process Leaves Half of Nations Foreclosed Homes Still Occupied

When you see a foreclosed home along the road there is a high probability that the home is still occupied by its owners, renters or a combination of both, even though the home is now owned by the lending bank. RealtyTrac estimates that 47% of the nation’s foreclosed homes are currently occupied with the percentage going over 60% in popular housing markets like Los Angeles and Miami.
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Foreclosed homes are still occupied because the legal process of eviction can take months. If there is a rental agreement in place it could even take a year or longer while occupants live mortgage or rent free.

RealityTrac arrived at its estimated percentages by comparing its database of foreclosed homes with postal records showing whether mail was still being collected and whether change-of-address forms had been filed.

Banks have been trying to speed up the foreclosure process by offering cash to encourage occupants to leave quicker. The time the eviction process takes varies widely on local laws and the backlog of cases.

Even though banks have been trying to speed up the process to recoup their money, other financial institutions have slowed the process down because unoccupied homes often attract squatters who vandalized the empty property.

What are you seeing in your area? We’d like to hear from you!

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  • sguy707

    In the Pacific Northwest where my mother lives, she has mentioned that occupants of foreclosed homes in her neighborhood were still living there as if they owned the home even though it had been under foreclosure for 6+ months. Interesting to see how long the process ultimately takes banks in here area.

  • dragonboy

    Not only bank owned properties, short sales, closed properties are having the same problem too!. Squatters who live inside are not even owners or tenants. They are just relatives who live there for free. They decided to drag it on to fight the legal new owner. They have bad advises from Church group and friends who advise them to stay as long as they wish for free, no mortgage or paying rent! They already lived there 6 months for free and we offered them cash for keys ($2,000) and they don’t even want to move.
    We filed with Lawyer for eviction but the Count takes up to 2 months to get the writ. These squatters knows how to take full advantages of this situation. We understand the renter situation but they decided to drag it on as long as they wish. It’s really unfair for investor who paid cash for the property but can’t even take procession of the property!

    • markh

      A “church group” advised them to stay as long as they wish for free”? That is bull shit. The squatters may have had “friends” who gave the advice, but you ought to keep your other cheap accusations to yourself.

    • Joe

      This is why you should’ve done your homework. Don’t buy a house that is currently occupied.