Chicago (WLS) — Getting through a foreclosure is difficult, but imagine losing your home and being plagued with thousands of dollars in city fines attached to your property.
Some people are blaming the bank for telling our I-Team what happened to them.
They are known as “zombie seizures”. The homeowner thinks the foreclosure is complete, so he moves out and moves on. But instead, homeowners end up paying thousands of local government fines.
“It’s not my property, so they should definitely allow the fine,” Wanda Carter said.
She walked through the vacant lot that was her home before the bank began foreclosure proceedings on the home in 2008.
Fourteen years later, she’s still obsessed with the property.
“I’m still obsessed with this property. It makes no sense. I don’t understand how the city keeps chasing me,” she said.
Ms. Carter said she is fighting a fine of about $44,000 from the city for not feeling responsible for her home.
“It’s like a chain around my neck. I can’t seem to get rid of it,” she said.
Carter’s attorney, Mario Reed, said, “She was unaware that the city of Chicago was charging her for all violations. Legal records even show that she is still the owner.” “The City of Chicago demolished the building and charged the homeowner $31,000. I have fined people more than 30 times.”
How does this happen after foreclosure?
Reed, a former attorney at the Cook County Debt Service, has denounced what is known as a “zombie foreclosure,” which is when homeowners believe their property is being foreclosed on in their own name. But if the bank fails to transfer the deed to the bank’s name after a homeowner like Carter hands over the deed.
In some cases, Reed says, lenders may decide they don’t want the burden of reselling properties in struggling areas.
“We currently have more than 10 different clients who have gone through this or are about to go through it,” said Reed.
Carter’s lender, DB Structured Products, is a subsidiary of Deutsche Bank. They responded “no comment” to his I-team.
The City of Chicago says its records show that the deeds are in Carter’s name and that she is responsible for the debt. I have provided the I team with this document stating that Reed believes she will finally forgive Carter of her debts when she attends upcoming administrative hearings.
Reed’s client Vanessa Jones said, “They said I was no longer responsible for the property. It was theirs.”
She tackles similar problems at her investment property in the suburbs of South Holland.
“It’s pretty scary I just found out about it,” Jones added.
After facing foreclosure, she offered her deed to the bank in 2008 in lieu of the foreclosure, but the bank never recorded the deed in that name. Ms. Jones now owes over $90,000 in fines for village nuisance.
“I mean, a lot of money that could be very devastating for me and my family,” Jones said.
Jones’ lender is no longer in business and dissolved after another bank bought the parent company, but the I-Team was able to get answers from the village of South Holland. to the village of South Holland, she said she was willing to work with Jones to remove the debt from her name.
“For me, it’s anxiety. I say this because I know I haven’t been sleeping well,” Jones said.
South Holland Village and Reed hope that potential legislation will eventually allow banks to require deeds to be transferred in their name in these circumstances.
If you are facing foreclosure, check your public records and make sure the deed has been transferred to your bank’s name. Experts say you shouldn’t leave the facility until it’s done.
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