Wednesday, January 23, 2013

What is a Zombie Deed?

I tweeted a link out yesterday to a Chicago Tribune article about zombie deeds (Follow me on Twitter here), but the link required an online subscription to the Tribune.  I just had that pointed out to me, so HERE is a link to a free version of the article.  I also wanted to follow-up in case anyone else was curious about that tweet. 

The Tribune article was the first time that I heard the term zombie deed or zombie title, but I have witnessed the phenomena for some time.  A zombie deed is a piece of property that the owner has abandoned but that has not yet fully gone through foreclosure.  People who get "attacked" by zombie deeds probably packed up and moved out of their homes as soon as they received the notice of sheriff's sale.  Then they move on with their lives and never give another thought to that old piece of property.

The sheriff's sale is not the final step of the foreclosure process, however.  A lot of things can happen between a sale and the time an actual deed is recorded naming the new owner.  During that time period, the former (current) owner remains responsible for homeowner association assessments, property taxes, and any municipal fines that may be assessed if the property falls into a state of disrepair.  There is also potential liability if anyone is injured on the property.

It is generally not advisable to move out until after title has been transferred back to the bank or third-party purchaser.  For people who are facing this situation and who had or will have a foreclosure sale, please email me HERE if you have any questions about the process.  

1 comment:

Unknown said...

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