Foreclosure Zombie

Zombie Docket Keeps Foreclosures From The Financial Crisis Alive

After the housing market crash, a lot of foreclosure cases got started and then were abandoned. A court clerk in Queens discovered it’s hard, lonely work to tie up a loose end of the financial crisis.


The housing crisis might be over, but some people dealing with foreclosures from that time have been stuck in limbo. In some cases, the legal system still hasn’t fully processed their foreclosures, even after eight or nine years. Sally Helm from our Planet Money podcast brings us the story of what it can take to tie up just one loose end from the financial crisis.

SALLY HELM, BYLINE: Deita Grant lives in a two-story house in Queens, N.Y. She bought it after seeing the big front yard. And around the time of the 2008 crash, things started to go wrong. Grant had medical bills to pay, and she fell behind on her mortgage. Eventually, she got a foreclosure notice in the mail. She was worried she was going to get kicked out any day. She hired a lawyer and then…

DEITA GRANT: So I’m waiting and waiting and waiting, still in default. I waited and waited and didn’t hear anything.

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