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The zombie outbreak in North Carolina – zombie homes, that is

It has been several years since the worst of the foreclosure crisis affected North Carolina, but residents are still facing foreclosure. In some cases, banks that own vacated homes across the state have yet to finish the foreclosure process. When a homeowner abandons a house with an imminent foreclosure, yet the bank fails to repossess it, this is known as a zombie foreclosure. A zombie home might not only cause problems for you years down the road, but can threaten the property values of the surrounding neighborhood.

In years past, North Carolina was among the top 10 states for having zombie foreclosures. Things are looking better in the state now, although Property Wire notes that foreclosures went back up by 4 percent in the first few months of 2018. You may be interested to learn that currently, foreclosures in North Carolina reportedly hover above the average of the months preceding the recession.

So, you are suffering from financial difficulties, and you may face repossession of your home. It can be tempting to think about walking away from your mortgage and moving into a less expensive rental. However, you may consider the following possible consequences:

  • You would still be responsible for property taxes, yard maintenance and homeowners’ association dues, which you may not be aware of until creditors seek you out.
  • If your home is subject to vandalism, squatters or vermin infestation, you might be liable for the resulting costs.
  • Your neighbors’ home values would likely decrease, which could cause a negative social backlash if you encounter them around town.

When you are facing a foreclosure, your first priority is to protect your financial interests. Instead of moving out, your best interest may be to remain the home while seeking assistance from professionals about ways to save your home from repossession or transferring the title to a new owner who will take over the costs.

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