Jan 17 2008

Decay in the neighborhood

Tag: Shreveport/Louisiana,urban blightDonna B. @ 6:21 am

This house used to one of the nicer ones on the street:

allenhouse

Now it’s decaying, trees and plants are dying and falling on power lines and into neighbors yards. The mounds of pine straw and dead leaves are havens for snakes and other critters. The basketball goal is on the ground beside the driveway, which is covered in pine straw. No one has seen the owner since July 2007, but the family┬ámoved out during the spring of 2006.

This is the only house on the street that is vacant and run down. This is a nice neighborhood, and maybe this is an example of a bank repossessing a property and then neglecting it, even though this area has not been hard hit by the foreclosure crisis as is the case in Minneapolis:

Some of the entities that hold these houses are big banks with shareholders, who ought to be concerned about the financial health of a bank that is essentially treating properties as losses without actually writing them off. I am also waiting for some enterprising lawyer to sue a bank for not maintaining a property that leads to some awful crime. Right now, the lack of maintenance is mostly creating headaches for neighbors, in unshoveled snow, uncut grass, etc. One realtor mentioned that a lot of foreclosed property owners didn’t bother winterizing the houses and now some have ruptured plumbing to go along with all the other problems that make it an unattractive purchase.

I’ve already complained to the city just before Thanksgiving when the dead pine tree was about to fall on power lines. After two weeks of calling my city councilman and the power company, the tree finally fell. We were without power for three hours. It would have been longer if not for my complaints – the power company had a crew scheduled for that day anyway. They got here about an hour after the tree fell.

According to city tax records, the taxes are paid up and the mortgage holder is GMAC MORTGAGE, LLC-DBA DITECH.

Anyone have any suggestions what the neighbors can do to get this property cleaned up?