“Real estate agents always tell potential buyers worried about mold that what’s in a house is the “good” kind that doesn’t really cause many health problems. By which they mean it won’t kill you.”


More Foreclosures = More Closed Up Houses = Lots More Mold: What Banks and Realtors Don’t Want to Talk About

It’s sort of the STD of this recession’s real estate foreclosure game. Embarrassing, smelly, uncomfortable at best, potentially hazardous if left untreated, and very often a dealbreaker if you tell the truth.

Which is why an awful lot of people don’t want to talk about how many foreclosed homes in Connecticut may be infested with mold. By some estimates, half the foreclosed houses in the U.S. now have mold problems.

Nearly 20,000 Connecticut foreclosures have gone through the courts since 2008, according to the Warren Group, a company that tracks foreclosure statistics across the nation. State officials say they have no way of knowing how many of those homes remain closed up and unsold, and how many are seriously infested with mold.

No one is reporting those kinds of facts to any state agency. Banks and real estate agents trying to unload these properties have no interest in publicizing unpleasant information. And the state doesn’t require the seller of a home to disclose serious mold problems.

“This is really a buyer-beware situation,” says Richard E. Maloney, director of trade practices with the state Department of Consumer Protection. “So if you’re going to buy a foreclosed home, you’d better know what you’re doing.”

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