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.
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.
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