A closer look at 'zombie foreclosures'
What you need to know to stay on your feet
- Duration 4:19
- Date Jan 13, 2013
What you need to know to stay on your feet
Also in this playlist...
This transcript is automatically generated
Start while many Americans have been going through foreclosures.
Has been going on for a -- sometimes you don't even realize you think you walk away from your home.
But you still -- it.
Because you can still be on the hook for some big expenses these are called zombies foreclosures.
And in today's take charge consumer protection segment we're gonna tell you what you need.
Stay on your feet.
Joining me now -- -- listen real estate and business attorney director of the Carnegie group and it's great to see you again thank you so much.
Thanks Jamie a zombie foreclosure is the last thing you want if you've really hit the bottom and you have to walk away from your home.
First -- can you tell people what it is.
You know that foreclosure is a process which varies a little bit from state to state but the process generally begins when the owner receives a notice of default.
Then the actual foreclosure lawsuit is filed there's a series of pleadings and hearings and motions that ultimately and in the foreclosure sale where the property sold -- the money goes to pay out the loan.
It's during that whole process though that the issue happens because during that process the homeowner actually still owns the home.
Now that's a process that used to take a matter of weeks or months when the crisis hit the timeline went up to six or 700 days in some places.
The zombie situation occurs when for a variety of reasons.
That process -- stalled so the actual title to the home is sort of living like a zombie between this world and the next and it and the foreclosures just never finished sometimes the bank just walks away from it as well right so what what could happen to that a homeowner.
Well at there's sometimes a bank walks away there's a variety of reasons because we now have all kinds of players in this foreclosure process we have.
Borrowers defense lawyers and banks and court systems with backlogs and and regulators even the government but the problem is that.
That the homeowner situation depends on how they handle it so we know some homeowners have actually benefited from this Jamie.
We hear stories of homeowners living for years for free because of the zombie situation.
But for those folks who assumed that the process would move forward quickly like -- -- -- because he used to be that the banks.
Pushed it -- very quickly to get the title and get the loan paid off and that was that.
If you assumed that was gonna happen and at the beginning of the process when you got your notice of the foreclosure.
You just left the property behind a lot of folks years later are finding out.
The process was never completed they still in the home and there are still liable so how do you find out -- ordinary means -- I'm sorry -- I only have a few minutes how do you find out if he's still on the home.
Well the best way to do that in most counties now you have public records on the Internet -- go to look at the county recording records and see if -- -- -- still on the title or you can go look at the tax records.
You have to be careful though because some tough times those records aren't completely current so it may show that you're still on the title when -- not.
But you basically want -- look and see if you're still in the title to the home if you are you need to get in touch with your bank and see what their intentions are they gonna finish the foreclosure or not.
And try to mitigate your losses basically by making sure the property -- secure making sure it's maintained.
Making sure the expenses that real estate taxes and those things are are paid on the property so that you don't incur further liabilities that you have to assure you wanna have liability insurance to make sure some of files on your -- and -- -- -- still -- could be a problem.
I want I'm -- encourage everybody who went to a foreclosure to check to make sure their title is correct and they're not on it anymore.
But I want to ask you just generally if you had a foreclose.
And had a property foreclosed how to get back on your feet.
Well you know it's challenging the first issue is repairing your credit because nothing's gonna happen for you financially until your credit's been repaired.
-- -- actually my new book that's coming on February is about this it's a five step process that involves.
-- evaluating your -- weighing in your banking fixing your credit and debt.
-- personally deciding at home ownership is right for you because homeownership and and equal good wages are still keen to a strong financial prosperity.
And education is gonna play a big -- for a lot of people because we know that employment.
Unemployment was a big factor for folks and just not being able to make it up wages to make ends meet.
NASA do which you can to turn the situation around but it can happen but it takes time.
Patients patients are cherry -- -- forward to the book come back when it comes out we want to help -- they have you thank you take from.