Two doors away, the back yard of an abandoned home overflows with trash; rain pours in open windows; weeds have overgrown the lawn. The pool, filled with black muck, draws swarms of bugs. "I was expecting well-kept yards," Lane said. "I live two doors from a dump. If it goes up in flames and catches our house on fire, who is responsible?" The foreclosure crisis has littered the region with thousands of abandoned homes. The houses sit idle as banks have been slow to seize them in the final stage of the foreclosure process, the public auction...In the last 12 months, lenders have canceled auctions on 4,204 properties in Pinellas and Hillsborough counties. Sales have been canceled two, three, even nine times on some homes. In many cases, banks delay seizures to avoid having to pay maintenance bills or homeowner association fees. Meanwhile, neighbors fend off vandals and thieves and worry about property values falling because of the deteriorating houses.
Your friends, the banks. They are too big to fail, in case you have forgotten. Thanks to Fred Pilot for this link.