Housing inspector says stop bailout: Indict bankers for fraud
The increasing burden of enforcing some sort of code standards for vacant, foreclosed properties is straining counties around the nation. Banks evict defaulting homeowners, then leave the house to rot and fall into disrepair.
Grass grows as high as an elephant's ear. Wind tears off gutters, porches rot, windows and doors fall prey to enterprising vagrants, turning foreclosure properties in to dangerous eyesores. Around the nation, millions of foreclosed properties are slowly rotting, decreasing in value, robbing local tax bases and creating massive revenue problems for cities far and wide, much to the dismay of local officials and owners of surrounding property.
I guess we're going to bend over for the corn cob, because our "leaders"- are too busy hurling insults, playing politics and pandering to their respective bases to take any interest in governance.
The decaying foreclosed property rots, and often becomes an attractive nuisance, attracting vagrants, drug dealers, prostitution, gangs and crime. Even the suburbs are falling victim to squatters and vagrants, as half finished real estate developments, skeletal houses and vacant hulks creep across the nation like cancer.
In the process of foreclosing and abandoning upkeep of their foreclosed properties, banks have generated massive amounts of enmity in cities and towns across the country. Local sheriffs claim real estate and bank organizations are derelict in their duties to oversee their foreclosed properties, and even follow prescribed foreclosure procedures, particular in the case of rental properties.
Many have ignored the notification process, evicting renters who are in a catch-22 situation. They've paid their deposit and rents to the landlord, but the landlord didn't pay his mortgage. Now, they have to find another place to live--and pay another deposit along with first and last month's rent.
Local officials have told reporters that the banks are just letting the properties rot in the sun. Naturally, anything that decreases property values and drives down tax revenue doesn't go over too well with local leaders and property owners.
These days, there are a lot of angry officials across the nation. Many, seeing the problem multiply out of control, believe that something should be done. In the words of a favorite author of mine, "Asses need to go to jail."-
Having little sympathy with bankers who contributed to this mess, one local zoning official, speaking of the bank bail out told a reporter:
"-'Instead of bailing them out, the Chief Executive Officers and other officers of these companies should be indicted for fraud, intentional misrepresentation and market manipulation,'' he said. Banks like Farmers, or Citi Financial, which hire firms to mow grass and secure houses, are few and far between, he said. (Tribtoday.com, Warren, OH)The fall out is just beginning, as real estate pros, even mortgage bankers and loan officers lose their jobs with the rest of the workforce. News reporters have interviewed several real estate agents and mortgage brokers whose own properties were foreclosed, leaving them homeless.
As the little guys lose their jobs, homes and life's savings, some want to know where's the justice. How can a train wreck of this magnitude happen without some shady doin's in the nation's financial and real estate sectors?
The one-two punch of foreclosure and investment devaluation is destroying what was to have been a retirement nest egg for millions of Americans. An article from the Baltimore Sun notes rising investor concern. There is so much concern out there that people are moving their money to safer, more conservative, lower interest investments these days.
[One] firm moved one-third of clients' [sic] money out of money market funds that don't invest in government-backed debt and into funds that hold only Treasury securities. Clients want a safe, liquid place for their cash, he said, and they are far less concerned these days with how much they earn on that money. (Baltimore Sun, 10-01-08)
Like the Ohio zoning official, people are angry. They see property values falling, as foreclosure skyrockets. Services, which were considered an American right have gone the way of the dodo, as cities retrench, retract and pull back from fire and policing, maintenance of streets, sidewalks and city parks.