Lowell Deeds

The latest on real estate recordings and new technology from the Middlesex North Registry of Deeds in Lowell

February 15, 2008

Foreclosure Intervention

by @ 12:14 pm. Filed under Real Estate

Boston’s Mayor Tom Menino recently led a task force of city employees into one of that city’s neighborhoods that has been hardest hit by foreclosures. Boston’s plan is to gain ownership of abandoned properties by any legal means and to get them in the hands of new owners as quickly as possible. This intensive approach recognizes the disastrous effects that one or two abandoned homes can have on a neighborhood. In the report on Lowell foreclosures that I prepared a short time ago, I suggested that municipalities work with community nonprofits to create pools of potential home buyers who are ready, willing and pre-qualified for new loans. Then, when a foreclosure auction is first advertised, the administrators of this foreclosure task force would have some time to identify a possible buyer for the property from the pool of pre-qualified borrowers. These potential owners would not bid at the auction, but would standby, waiting for the original lender to buy the property back at the foreclosure auction. Once that happens, that institutional lender immediately puts the property on the market. If a buyer is already sitting there waiting, the property might be put in the new owner’s hands in record time. The city could further assist by offering low interest loans to help renovate the property (i.e., to replace the plumbing and electrical hardware that might have been removed by vagrants) and to streamline the permitting process for the new owners. One thing’s for sure - this is a situation that cries out for imaginative approaches by all involved.

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