Tuesday, July 05, 2011

Complex system leaves foreclosure properties to become eyesores

TAMPA — Standing at the end of a quiet suburban cul-de-sac, Gene Minkel surveyed one tiny battleground in a nationwide fight that often pits local governments against Wall Street.

The veteran Hillsborough County code enforcement officer looked over 7501 Woodland Oaks Ct. and wished Bank of America would mow the waist-high weeds. Or patch the shattered windows. Or get rid of the wasps that have taken up residence.

The 1,300-square-foot home has sat largely vacant since falling into foreclosure more than two years ago, racking up $55,372 in code violations while the case lingers in court. A tattered sign out front informs visitors that BAC Field Services, a subsidiary of the megabank, “intends to protect this property from deterioration.”


There is something to be said for returning to the simpler way of homeownership. We seem to have created too many victims in this complex and complicated mess we have made in residential America.

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