‘Zombie Foreclosures' Still Plague U.S. Neighborhoods

In the aftermath of the housing crisis, foreclosures are down in the United States, but many homes that remain in the foreclosure process sit vacant in the prolific trend labeled zombie foreclosures. As homeowners abandon properties and banks are reluctant to take them over, many of the homes end up in disrepair.

Realtytrac reported in March that nearly 152,000 or 21 percent of all homes in foreclosure, are vacant but still show titles in the homeowners’ names, weighing down home values in the surrounding areas.

Some of these foreclosures have been sitting for up to three years, and homeowners may not even know that the title was never transferred to the bank. To make it worse, homeowners can be difficult to track down.

Many zombie foreclosures are in such bad shape that they would cost more to rehab than they are worth. With the highest filing rates in the country, Florida has been hit hard by the zombie crisis. Other states with growing ranks of vacant foreclosures include Maryland, Nevada, New Jersey and Illinois.