Community residents throughout the country have seen properties abandoned and subjected to negligence. Hundreds of these deteriorated properties are owned by banks – Bank of America and Wells Fargo, among others. And although, these banks claim they strive to comply with property codes and act upon foreclosure policies “that aim to protect properties and communities,” costly repair efforts on bank-owned properties often fall to shoulders of community members. It is often difficult to hold a bank accountable – “A bank takes possession of a property it has never seen, inspected or investigated” and often “walk away” in the middle of foreclosures when they realize that the costs will be greater than the property value. Consequently, these properties fall into disrepair and neighborhood property values decline. To draw attention to this unfortunate reality, community members publicly blame the banks for their unreliable and unpredictable management of vacant properties. The article also proposes how banks can be better held accountable for property maintenance, such as changes in policy and heightened involvement of local city councils.
To access the article, please visit: http://www.buffalonews.com/city/article492262.ece