According to Merriam-Webster, to foreclose is the act of taking back property because the money owed for the property was not paid. This is often the case with mortgages. In New York, something called a zombie foreclosure is on the rise. In 2014, zombie foreclosures reached 16,700, which is a rise of about 54 percent. This type of foreclosure is damaging to communities and results in properties that get forgotten and ignored. Besides New York, states such as Florida, New Jersey, and Illinois suffer from a high number of zombie foreclosures.

A zombie foreclosure is when a homeowner moves out of their home but still has the title of the house in their name. In this case, the zombie foreclosure process was not completed. This may occur because the foreclosure was cancelled, the title was never transferred, or the foreclosure sale did not take place. The states mentioned above are hot spots for these types of foreclosures because the timeline for the process is very long there. It may take up to two years to complete the steps. Ohio, on the other hand, is one state where foreclosure is more timely.

To prevent these circumstances, it is beneficial to reach out to a real estate attorney before the home gets foreclosed. They will present strategies based on the current situation that will help homeowners to continue living in their homes. An attorney should be the preferred choice over a counseling or debt management company. These businesses are likely to charge higher prices without providing a method that will let the person stay in their home.

An act, known as the Abandoned Property Neighborhood Act could let families stay in their homes until being required by a court to vacate. This would help to avoid the epidemic of zombie properties. However, in 2014, the act was not passed. It will be reintroduced sometime in 2015.

To learn more about zombie foreclosures, why they occur, and how to prevent them, visit HG online here.