There is a new foreclosure trend surfacing in the housing market called “zombie foreclosures." This is where homeowners move out of homes after receiving notice of foreclosure and find out months or even years later that either: the auction never took place or the bank never transferred the deed. If this occurs, the borrower is technically still the owner and still owes property taxes and homeowner’s association fees. Since the housing market crashed in 2008, there are nearly two million foreclosures that have been lingering in the court system but have never completed the foreclosure process.
Analysts estimate that there are tens of thousands of zombie foreclosure cases. Typically, zombie foreclosures occur in low-income areas because the banks have had difficulty selling the properties in these areas. As a result, the banks delay actually taking over the deed to avoid paying property taxes. If this happens to a borrower, it can take years before they find out they still technically own the property. This has been extremely damaging to borrowers who are already suffering, financially.
A number of recent lawsuits have been filed against banks for faulty foreclosure practices. If you find yourself in a similar situation, you should contact a foreclosure defense attorney immediately. You should also contact a community advocacy group such as NeighborWorks America or NCRC.