“The banks never want to take ownership,” he said. “They have to pay the fees going forward. The costs are considerable.”
Even McGrady, the Pinellas-Pasco judge, believes money is behind the canceled sales.
“After a while, you begin to question their motives,” the judge said.
Canceled foreclosure sales saddle neighbors, HOAs with expenses
The foreclosure crisis has littered the region with thousands of abandoned homes. The houses sit idle as banks have been slow to seize them in the final stage of the foreclosure process, the public auction.
Although recent headlines proclaim the worst of the housing crisis is over, the decrepit homes are a constant reminder that cleaning up the foreclosure mess remains a work in progress.
The house on Lane’s street in Lithia went into foreclosure in 2008 and has been vacant for more than a year. Aurora Loan Services had set an auction for February but canceled it.
It’s an oft-repeated pattern.
In the last 12 months, lenders have canceled auctions on 4,204 properties in Pinellas and Hillsborough counties. Sales have been canceled two, three, even nine times on some homes.
In many cases, banks delay seizures to avoid having to pay maintenance bills or homeowner association fees. Meanwhile, neighbors fend off vandals and thieves and worry about property values falling because of the deteriorating houses.
The repeated cancellations burden the court system.
“These never seem to go away,” said Thomas McGrady, chief judge of the Pinellas-Pasco County Circuit. “It’s a nuisance.”
Taxpayers also pay for the delays.
Be sure to check this one in full here…