After media spotlight, bank levels horrid house

FORT LAUDERDALE— A house that came to look like a Third World shack — neglected for years in South Florida’s foreclosure crisis — finally has been torn down by its owner, Deutsche Bank.

The single-story home, at 1032 NW Fourth Ave., was an eyesore and a hazard. Its windows were boarded shut. Trash was strewn about the tall grass. A homeless man often slept on the porch, which was rotting apart. City code violations had grown to a ridiculous sum — more than $6 million.

The house was featured prominently in a series of stories, titled Bad Neighbor Banks, published by the Sun Sentinel in late April.

The newspaper investigated the role major banks play in spreading blight, finding they often neglect low-value homes taken over in foreclosure.

Though Deutsche Bank had held title to the Fourth Avenue home since January 2009, it had done nothing to take care of it.

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