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Ohio foreclosure filings down, but double those in ’90s

Foreclosure graphic 6-2015DAVE MOSIER/independent editor

While mortgage foreclosures are decreasing around Ohio with Van Wert County leading the way foreclosures are still nearly double what they were in the 1990s, according to information recently released by Policy Matters Ohio.

According to the Ohio Supreme Court, foreclosures in Ohio decreased by nearly 18 percent, from 53,163 in 2013 to 43,727 last year. That number represents the lowest number of foreclosures since 2001, the year foreclosures began increasing substantially.

The number of filings fell in 80 of Ohio’s 88 counties, with Van Wert and Holmes counties showing the largest decreases. Van Wert County had the biggest percentage of decrease at 47.3 percent (from 110 two years ago to 58 in 2014), while Holmes County’s foreclosures decreased 41.5 percent, from 53 in 2013 to 31 last year.

That’s substantially lower than in 2009, the peak year for mortgage foreclosures. In 2009, Van Wert County saw 207 mortgage foreclosures.

A number of factors have contributed to the declines in foreclosure filing, according to Policy Matters Ohio. The wave of predatory lending that sent foreclosure rates climbing starting in the late 1990s crested and fell with the financial crisis.

Ohio’s economy, though still not robust, has improved since the recession, causing fewer homeowners to fall behind on their mortgage payments. Efforts to prevent foreclosures have kept many thousands from losing their homes.

In some instances, banks may not foreclose on properties because they don’t see enough value in them to do so. And, of course, the thousands of vacant and abandoned properties from earlier foreclosures leave fewer candidates for mortgage foreclosure now. There are fewer homeowners now in many of the neighborhoods that have been hardest hit with foreclosures, and many of those who previously experienced foreclosures have credit score and employment issues that will make it tough for them to buy again in the near future.

The result of these factors and others taken together has been a substantial reduction in the number of foreclosure filings from peak levels.

However, compared to the 1990s, Ohio foreclosures were at least double the total of every year between 1990 and 1996. Despite the recent decrease, since 1995, the number of foreclosure filings has at least tripled in 52 counties, and is up 174 percent statewide. There was one foreclosure for every 117 housing units in the state in 2014.

Moreover, since 2014 foreclosure filings don’t include more than 3,000 tax foreclosure filings of vacant properties being handled through county boards of revision, that means foreclosure filings have not declined quite as much as court filings would suggest.

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DFS Rep Deployed to Orange, Sullivan Counties Offering Foreclosure …

Kathy Welsh

reverse mortgageGovernor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced that he is deploying Department of Financial Services representatives to Chester in Orange County and Monticello in Sullivan County to offer foreclosure prevention assistance to financially struggling homeowners.

Department of Finance representatives will be available to meet homeowners in the agency’s Mobile Command Center at the following locations:

  • Wednesday, July 1 at the Village Municipal Lot, 47 Main St., Chester.
  • Thursday, July 2 at the Ted Stroebele Community Center, 10 Jefferson St., Monticello.

The sites will be staffed by DFS representatives both days from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. More than 10,000 consumers have visited the DFS Mobile Command Center for assistance since its inception, said Cuomo.

“By providing financially struggling homeowners with advice and steps to avoid foreclosure, we are delivering on-the-ground assistance to help hardworking New Yorkers keep their homes,” Governor Cuomo said. “This is an important resource for homeowners in distress and I encourage all New Yorkers in the area who may need help with their mortgage to visit the Mobile Command Center this week.”

Anthony Albanese, Acting Superintendent of Financial Services, said: “People will be able to meet one-on-one with experienced DFS staffers who will review homeowners’ specific financial situations and explore potential options that may be available.”

State Resources Available to Homeowners

Governor Cuomo launched the DFS foreclosure prevention program in 2012 to extend help to homeowners facing foreclosure. The outreach program has visited locations throughout the State with high rates of foreclosure to provide assistance at no cost to the homeowners. Depending on individuals’ specific situations, DFS representatives may offer homeowners assistance in such areas as:

  • Applying for mortgage modifications or providing help to homeowners who hav already sought mortgage modifications.
  • Interceding on behalf of homeowners with their mortgage lenders or servicers.
  • Assisting homeowners in communicating with mortgage lenders or servicers.
  • Accepting complaints from homeowners who believe they were victimized by mortgage lending abuses, so complaints can be investigated by the Department.

U.S. Housing and Urban Development approved housing counselors will also be available to offer assistance to homeowners.

Homeowners unable to meet personally with DFS representatives are urged to the call the Department’s toll-free foreclosure hotline, 1-800-342-3736, from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday. Homeowners may also file complaints using the Department website,

Department of Financial Services also urges homeowners to be cautious of mortgage rescue scams, which may be marketed by private businesses. For example, homeowners should:

  • Be wary of anyone asking for an upfront fee in exchange for getting a loan modification, saving a home from default or stopping a foreclosure or tax sale. New York law prohibits the collection of such fees in most cases. Also, many not-for-profit housing counselors will help homeowners negotiate with lenders for free.
  • Be wary of anyone who says they can save a home if a homeowner signs or transfers the deed to his or her house over to them so the homeowner can catch up on mortgage payments or refinance a loan. A homeowner should never submit mortgage payments to anyone other than the homeowner’s mortgage company without its approval.

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Mass. foreclosure starts and completions rise in May

Foreclosure starts rose in Massachusetts for the 15 straight month in May, according to a real estate tracking company.

The number of filings to initiate foreclosures rose to 878 from 573 in May 2014, an increase of 53 percent, the Warren Group said. Completed foreclosures also rose compared to last year, with lenders foreclosing on 344 properties, an 82 percent jump over the 189 foreclosures completed in May 2014.

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Not all foreclosure starts result in homeowners losing their properties. Sometimes, a home is sold before the foreclosure process can be completed. Other times, the homeowner and lender will reach agreement on new payment plans that halt the process.

“It is frustrating to see the continued rise in foreclosure activity across the Bay State,” said Cassidy Murphy, editorial director of The Warren Group, in a news release. “Lenders continue to wade through a large volume of delinquent mortgages that have been in the process for quite some time.”

Foreclosure starts are up significantly in the first five months of 2015, compared to the same period last year, according to Warren Group. From January to May, lenders initiated 4,430 foreclosures in Massachusetts homes, a 60 percent increase from 2,776 recorded in the first five months of last year. The number of completed foreclosures rose 18 percent, from 1,374 to 1,623.

Both initiated and completed foreclosures are well below the peak that followed the last recession. Foreclosure starts from January to May 2010 surpassed 11,000 and the number of completed foreclosures was more than 6,000.

Jack Newsham can be reached at Follow him on Twitter @TheNewsHam.

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Denver homeowner fighting city’s attempt to acquire historic home through …

DENVER – What was once a gorgeous home sits in disrepair, the roof open to the elements.

The 104-year-old Bosler House at 3209 W. Fairview Place has been that way since 2009.

That’s when the city of Denver told the current owner, Keith Painter, to stop work.

Painter had been granted permits to do some roof and siding work on the historic structure.  The city says the work he was doing exceeded the scope of work authorized by the permits.

“He popped the top,” said Denver Community Planning and Development spokeswoman Andrea Burns. That was a no-no on a house that had been designated a landmark in 1984 — three years before Painter purchased it.

Since then, Painter has been involved in a tiff with the city while the house deteriorates.

The city says it has asked Painter to restore the original roof profile.  He says he can’t do the work the city wants without doing more damage.

“In order to put a new roof on, under the pretense that they want right now, I have to violate Denver code and I’d have to make that unsafe,” he said. “That’s not acceptable.”

When asked why he left the roof open, Painter replied, “I would have loved to close it up, but almost every day, if not once a week, when I was over here trying to fix what I could to get it ready, a person from the city, including police officers, parked out in front of the building or parked right here, and would watch, making sure I didn’t put a tarp on it, making sure I didn’t do any kind of construction whatsoever.”

Painter told 7NEWS that at $90,000, the temporary roof the city wants done would cost more than an arm and a leg.

“Not only an arm and a leg but probably the first born of each of my daughters and probably something else, and that’s not acceptable,” he said.

Concerned neighbors believe Painter is intentionally letting the house deteriorate so it can be demolished and redeveloped.

They started a Facebook page (Save the Bosler House Now) to spur the city into action.

Now the city is attempting to acquire the property through foreclosure.

“Foreclosure is a last resort for us,” said Andrea Burns of the Denver Community Planning and Development office. “We’ve simply run out of options.  We’re going to try to protect the house, if we can, through foreclosure.”

Burns said that if something is not done soon, the house is at risk of becoming a total loss.

She said the city will assess the house to determine what condition it’s in, what needs to be repaired and how much it might cost.

She said a draft assessment is expected in August and a final assessment in October.

When asked if tax money will be used to repair the property, Burns said, “The city is paying for basic maintenance that’s being done now — grading and fencing.  We hope to recoup these costs through foreclosure or sale.”

In terms of major repairs, Burns said, “We hope that those will be done by a future owner.”

Painter told 7NEWS that his property rights are being ignored.

“I should be compensated,” he said.

He said the city should have assessed the property in 1984 (when it was designated a landmark) and determined the scope of work that was needed to repair and maintain the property.

Burns said the city has 331 “Landmark” properties and this is the only one with this issue.

Painter and his family look forward to his day in court.

“It’s very taxing emotionally,” said his daughter, Maura.  “It would have been very, very nice to have continued living there.”

She said their current house is much smaller and that her dad sleeps in the living room.

“He sacrificed for us,” Maura said.

Painter questions why the Landmark Commission, Historic Denver or other preservation groups don’t offer to help.

“When there’s a flood or famine, we immediately send money. We immediately send people. We have great religious organizations doing this.  Why isn’t Historic Denver helping property owners like me?”

Burns said the city has tried working with Painter for six years but has gotten nowhere.

“If you’re going to buy a historic structure, you should be aware that there is a higher bar for preservation and maintenance of that property,” she said.

Timeline of Events

  • The Bosler House was constructed in 1875 and was designated as a local historic landmark for preservation by the Denver Landmark Preservation Commission in 1984.
  • In 1984, the Bosler House was placed on the Naitonal Register of Historic Places.
  • On September 11, 2008, Defendant applied for and was granted a construction permit and roofing and siding permit from the city.  Four months later, the city issued a stop work order because work exceeded scope authorized by permits.
  • On February 2, 2009, Defendant submitted a Design Review Application as a result of the stop work order.
  • On February 17, 2009, the Landmark Preservation Commission held a hearing on the Design Review Application and voted unanimously to retain the original structure of the roof to its pre-alteration form.
  • In April 2010, Painter filed an application to fully demolish the house.  That application was rejected.
  • The city then filed a complaint in Denver District Court seeking to inspect and perform various repairs and maintenance to the Bosler House.  The request was granted by the court.
  • On December 6, 2010, Painter submitted an Application to demonstrate Economic Hardship to allow for demolition of the historic house.  The city’s Landmark Preservation Commission unanimously voted to deny the application.
  • In January 2011, Painter filed a complaint seeking judicial review of the Commission’s design review hearing.
  • In November of that year, his claims were either dismissed, due to the statute of limitations, or denied because the court found competent evidence to support the Commission’s decision.
  • Court granted the City’s injunction and authorized the City to utilize a contractor to dry in the roof of the Bosler House.  Defendant also ordered to comply with the 2009 order that the original roof profile of the Bosler House be retained to protect the historic character of the structure.
  • City lacked sufficient resources to perform the dry-in work, and the Defendant never complied with the court order to retain the original roof profile.  The structure has remained open to the elements.
  • On May 9, 2013, the City issued a notice of violation to Mr. Painter, citing the Bosler House as a vacant and boarded structure, and as a historic structure not maintained in accordance with the Denver Revised Municipal Code – Chapter 30.
  • The NOV ordered Mr. Painter to submit a remedial plan.  His plan proposed demolishing the structure.
  • The city rejected the remedial plan and set a “show cause” hearing for Dec. 5, 2013.  Mr. Painter failed to appear.
  • On Dec. 10, 2013, the administrative hearing officer issued an order upholding the NOV and assessment of $16,650 in fees and imposing civil penalties of $999/day retroactive to the May 9, 2013 Notice of Violation.
  • Pursuant to the order, the civil penalties continue to accrue until the property is brought into compliance or the penalties reach 110 percent of the property value.  Principal value of the civil penalties, fees and administrative citations that are liens against the Bosler House is $560,106.

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New Data Illustrate the Failure of the Trickle-Down Experiment

A woman reads paperwork

SOURCE: AP/Paul Sancya

Frazzia Preston reads paperwork while waiting for her case to be heard to avoid foreclosure from tax debts in Detroit on January 29, 2015.


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New statistics confirm what middle-class Americans have known for years: The economic recovery barely applies to them.

University of California, Berkeley, economist Emmanuel Saez has updated his frequently cited income data. And despite relatively good news about 2014, the picture they paint of the recovery is as predictable as it is discouraging. As of 2014, the top 1 percent of Americans have seen 58 percent of the gains in the economic recovery, while the average real income of the bottom 90 percent has grown just 1.6 percent since the recovery began in 2009.* These findings coincide with new data from the IRS showing that the top 0.01 percent received 5.6 percent of adjusted gross income in 2012.

It has not always been this way. From the end of World War II to around 1980, a growing economy went hand in hand with growing middle-class market incomes. Figure 1 displays the real annual growth rate of overall income, as well as income for the bottom 90 percent, from business cycle peak to business cycle peak from 1948 to 2014. 2014 was not itself a peak, but rather the most recent year for which data are available; the last peak was in 2007. Overall and middle-class incomes grew at practically identical rates after World War II. The exception was between 1948 and 1953, when middle-class incomes actually grew at a much faster rate.


Around 1980, something changed.

Between 1981 and 1990, overall income grew 1 percent per year—not quickly but nonetheless a welcome change from the negative real income growth of the late 1970s. But the incomes of the bottom 90 percent grew less than 0.06 percent per year. While the economy grew in the 1980s, the vast majority of gains went to those at the very top. In the 1990s, the situation improved: Overall incomes still grew faster than middle-class incomes, but middle-class incomes still grew almost 1 percent per year.

The most discouraging periods are the two most recent—between 2001 and 2007 and between 2007 and 2014. From 2001 to 2007, overall incomes continued to grow at the same rate as they did in the 1990s, but middle-class incomes grew at less than one-sixteenth of the overall rate. During the Great Recession and the ensuing recovery, incomes of the bottom 90 percent began to move with overall income again. Unfortunately, this movement has been downward. The bottom 90 percent did not experience the boom of the 2000s but rather participated fully in the market income declines of the difficult recession and recovery.

Inequality and economic growth

These developments have been a natural experiment in trickle-down economics—the theory that tax cuts, deregulation, and the destruction of basic labor protections would unleash a wave of economic growth. A smaller share of the pie would go to most Americans, but they would be better off because these policies would grow the overall pie.

The experiment has failed.

Income certainly has shifted upward, but its benefits have failed to materialize for everyone else; middle-class incomes after 1980 only displayed strong positive growth in the late 1990s. Indeed, economic growth does not appear to grow middle-class incomes as it once did. At the same time, increased inequality does not appear to have delivered higher overall income growth: The pie has grown fastest and most sustainably during periods when the middle class got a sizable share. The only period that boasted overall income growth above 1 percent without strong middle-class income growth was the 2000s, and this growth was the result of an unsustainable housing bubble that greatly reduced overall income when it could no longer continue.

It appears that economic inequality has brought about its own malaise. International organizations such as the International Monetary Fund and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, or OECD, have concluded that high levels of income inequality reduce economic growth. Wall Street giants such as Morgan Stanley and Standard Poor’s have reached similar conclusions.

Inequality reduces growth in the short term when aggregate demand and interest rates are low because the poor and middle class have higher spending rates than the wealthy. When the middle class has no money, businesses have no customers: As shown in a 2014 Center for American Progress report, more than two-thirds of retailers cited stagnant or shrinking disposable incomes as a risk factor for their stock prices. The wealthy tend to save their money, which helps finance investment, but 0 percent interest rates prove that financial markets have more savings than they can invest. Businesses do not invest simply because money is cheap—they invest because they think customers will buy their products. When real middle-class incomes grow just 0.3 percent per year, businesses have no reason to invest.

Inequality also has longer-term effects on growth, including reduced human capital and entrepreneurship. States and countries with stronger middle classes do better on the standardized tests used to measure student learning. A recent OECD report used several different approaches to study the relationship between human capital and inequality and found that “higher inequality lowers opportunities for education (and social mobility) for disadvantaged individuals in the society, an effect that dominates the potentially positive impacts through incentives.” Furthermore, a recent CAP report showed that America is missing 1 million entrepreneurs, partially because of the financial squeeze on the middle class.

The data released today offer two lessons for public policy. First, middle-class market incomes are not repairing themselves. Simply hoping that a better economy will cause them to increase ignores the lesson of the precrisis 2000s, a period when the economy roared and incomes for the bottom 90 percent barely budged. The middle class instead needs active policy solutions that produce inclusive prosperity. Second, trickle-down economics have failed to deliver higher overall income growth, which has been lackluster over the past 30 years. Healthy economic growth requires a healthy middle class, and a pro-growth policy agenda needs to focus squarely on everyday Americans.

Brendan V. Duke is a Policy Analyst for the Middle-Out Economics project at the Center for American Progress.

* Saez’s data use tax returns to measure “cash market income”—income received from wages, business, and capital. They do not include government transfers or the direct effect of taxes. This definition of income is useful for evaluating how the market distributes rewards, though it does not reflect the total amount of resources available to tax units. It is also useful because increased market income inequality explains the bulk of the increase in inequality after taxes and transfers.

Saez’s unit of analysis is the tax unit rather than the household. Another excellent dataset for studying income trends comes from the Congressional Budget Office, or CBO; it uses households as its unit of analysis. There are advantages and disadvantages to using tax units rather than households, and a potential concern with Saez’s data is that aging may be responsible for some portion of the declining growth rates of average incomes for the bottom 90 percent of tax units. However, there are clear advantages to using Saez’s data to study and compare the current business cycle to past business cycles: They are more recent and go much further back, allowing comparison of post-1980 business cycles with other business cycles after World War II. The CBO data, on the other hand, start in 1979 and end in 2011.

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Aventura medical building sold to escape foreclosure

A foreclosure lawsuit over a medical building in Aventura was resolved after the property was sold for enough to pay its loan.

U.S. Bank, representing a commercial mortgage backed securities (CMBS) trust, filed a foreclosure lawsuit in 2013 against GSOMR LLC, along with the Biscayne Institutes of Health and Living and Marie Dicowden, who is an officer of both companies. The behavioral health center operated on the property.

The foreclosure concerned a $2.9 million first mortgage. Boca Raton-based Paradise Bank had a $1.07 million second mortgage on the property.

GSOMR recently sold the 21,837-square-foot office at 2785 N.E. 183rd Street for $6.3 million to a group of four Aventura-based companies: Tanglewood WIB, Tanglewood JAK, KIMALI Properties, and Kerrin Properties. Joshua Dubin is the managing member of all four companies.

U.S. Bank withdrew the lawsuit and both mortgages were repaid.

The building last traded for $2.9 million in 2003.

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New Jersey county leads nation in foreclosure activity

ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. – (AP) — The houses, lawns and gardens on the Ashland Avenue cul-de-sac in Hamilton Township are well kept, some nearly park-like. Families in the neighborhood have children who play together, and the parents know each other. And then there is the one.

Sitting in the middle of the block, its knee-high grass and overall downtrodden look tell a sad story. It is one of almost 4,000 properties in Atlantic County in some stage of foreclosure, a symbol of how problems in the casino industry, poor employment prospects and low median wages have pushed the county to lead the nation in foreclosure activity and vacant, abandoned properties.

“It was a beautiful home at one point,” next-door neighbor Wendy Wardell said of the three-bedroom, two-bath extended ranch house. “There’s a pool in the backyard. They had the inside redone.”

But when the couple who lived there ran into personal difficulties about three years ago, the property started going downhill, she said. First the man moved out, then the woman left about a year ago, Wardell said.

Wardell said she worries about more than appearances.

A series of young people come and go. At first, one of the former residents’ sons was there, but now it’s been people she doesn’t know.

“It’s random people in and out,” Wardell told The Press of Atlantic City ( ). She worries about her kids and others on the street, with strangers around so much. And she worries about animals such as snakes and rats that might be attracted to the overgrown grass.

Neighbor Chris Corson said she walks her dogs by it every day, and it’s unnerving not knowing who lives there.

The property is now set for sheriff’s sale July 9, and the neighbors hope a family with kids will move in and bring it back to its former glory.

Many homes in the foreclosure pipeline have loans on them far above the value of the home, but not this one. With an estimated value at $172,850, according to RealtyTrac, and loans on it of about the same amount, it would seem like a property the bank would want to sell quickly.

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Of the county’s 127,000 housing units, 3,985 are in some stage of foreclosure. That’s one in every 32 homes.

For months, Atlantic County has led the nation in foreclosure activity for metropolitan areas with more than 200,000 residents. One in every 230 homes in the county had some foreclosure activity in May 2015, the most recent data available, according to the real estate data company RealtyTrac.

That’s far higher than Lakeland, Florida, in second place for foreclosure activity, at one in every 331 properties.

Many more in Atlantic County are in foreclosure, but no new filings were made on them.

The county also has the U.S.’s highest rate of zombie foreclosures– properties that have been abandoned by their owners and are vacant, according to RealtyTrac.

One in 130 of the housing units in Atlantic County– which works out to 978 homes –meets the “zombie” definition, said RealtyTrac in a recent report.

Each has its own story of job loss, divorce, accident, illness or death, said Atlantic County Sheriff Frank Balles. Some result from gambling debts or other addictions, he said.

Sometimes it’s surprising whose homes end up in the foreclosure process.

Theresa Canfield lived next to the same woman in Somers Point for more than 50 years, she said.

Last year the neighbor, in her 80s, got sick and went to the hospital, she said. She died in a nursing home.

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“The house is just like it was the day she left it,” Canfield said. “Half of the time I forget she’s gone.”

But now, according to RealtyTrac, the home is in pre-foreclosure, in which the lending company begins the process to eventually foreclose. The house is worth about $171,741 and has a loan amount on it of $262,501, taken out in 2012, the company’s documents show.

There are stickers on the windows announcing that it is vacant and a property management company is responsible for maintenance. Canfield’s daughter has contacted the city for help in getting the maintenance company to clean up the backyard, but until recently the company hadn’t touched it, she said.

Canfield worries that water sitting constantly on the cover of the in-ground pool is a breeding ground for mosquitoes. She, too, has a backyard pool and doesn’t want the critters making her grandson and his friends sick.

Balles estimated the recent wave of foreclosures doesn’t yet include people who lost jobs in the late 2014 mass layoffs in the casino industry.

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“The banks may be seeing some of it, but I don’t think we are seeing any of it yet,” Balles said. “It takes a year or more for us to get it.”

Every community has its share of foreclosed homes, Balles said.

In Linwood, considered a well-off community with outstanding schools, a house on Poplar Avenue has sat vacant for so long, shrubs now cover the front windows and block the front porch. A tree that seeded itself stretches up to cover a second-story window.

It is still in pre-foreclosure, according to RealtyTrac.

According to its listing, it has an estimated value of $249,543, but the loan amount on it is $345,400. It was last purchased in 2000 for $146,000 by a man now living in Flushing, New York.

“There was a family that lived there. They put the top floor on, then they left,” said neighbor Carl Ekstrom, whose well-kept split level home is directly across the street from the problem property.

Ekstrom and his wife have lived there since 1969, he said. When they had young children, they knew all their neighbors. Everyone took turns hosting neighborhood parties. Now he knows few of the people who live around him, he said, and almost no one across the street.

A house next to the vacant property is also for sale, and a third had a for-sale sign up for a while, he said.

Looking out from his front porch at a vacant and overgrown property isn’t pleasant, but he’s used to it, he said.

“It’s been so long, I push it to the side,” he said, adding it’s been empty almost a decade. “I don’t think about it.”

But if he had to sell his home, he said it would probably be a problem. He plans to stay to be close to his grandchildren, who live in Egg Harbor Township, he said.

Faced with poor maintenance and the problem of vacant homes, neighbors may feel like celebrating when they hear a sheriff’s sale is set.

But the sales rarely result in a quick happy ending, said Balles.

First, the banks can postpone the sale as often as they want.

On a recent Thursday, “we had 50 homes to be auctioned,” Balles said. Only 25 to 30 actually went to auction.

Only a small number end up selling to anyone other than the bank that holds the mortgage.

“Two weeks ago we had 45 properties for sale, and we sold six to third-party buyers,” Balles said recently. “Last week we had 30, and only two sold to third parties.”

If a bank or mortgage company buys a property, it ends up vacant, or the mortgage holder asks the previous owners to stay to avoid the vacant look. It goes on the market for sale, and can stay on the market for years.

Even when properties sell to third parties, it’s usually to investors rather than families who will move in and immediately begin making improvements, he said.

But every once in a while there’s a happy outcome.

“A couple of weeks ago we sold a condo across from Lucy the Elephant,” Balles said. “It had more than $300,000 owed on it. The bank set an upset price at $145,000, and we had three people bidding on it– two investors and one single family.”

The family ended up getting it for $242,000, he said.

“It was well worth it,” said Balles.


Information from: The Press of Atlantic City (N.J.),

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Downer Avenue foreclosure auction delayed again

A foreclosure auction for several retail buildings along Downer Avenue in Milwaukee was delayed a second time and won’t be held until mid-August.

The outcome of the auction will determine the future of several important buildings along the east side neighborhood shopping thoroughfare. The auction will include buildings that house the Downer Theatre, Boswell Books, the Pizza Man restaurant and others with vacant space. Companies such as Pizza Man are tenants in the buildings, and stand to get a new landlord once the auction occurs.

The current building owner, Downer Delaware LLC, lost a foreclosure lawsuit after it stopped making mortgage payments on the buildings, prompting the Milwaukee County sheriff’s auction. One was scheduled to be held Monday, but was pushed back to Aug. 17. Given the prominence of the buildings, the auction has generated several inquiries to the sheriff’s department. The Monday auction date was a rescheduling of one originally set for June 1.

A second lawsuit was filed in May over maintenance work on the buildings, and has not yet been resolved.

A loan pool holds the mortgage on the Downer properties and won the foreclosure lawsuit. That mortgage holder can bid up to $10.52 million in the auction based on what it is owed from the November court judgment.

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Manatee County foreclosure auctions fall behind technology curve

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Bradenton to demolish 9 abandoned, unsafe homes

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This is the end of the line for Atlantic County foreclosures.

Posted: Sunday, June 28, 2015 7:30 am

Here’s why Atlantic County is the foreclosure capital of America

By Michelle Brunetti-Post, Staff reporter

The Press of Atlantic City

The houses, lawns and gardens on the Ashland Avenue cul-de-sac in Hamilton Township are well kept, some nearly park-like.  Families in the neighborhood have children who play together, and the parents know each other. And then there is the one.


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Foreclosure map 2015

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