Indiana is among the states with the most “zombie” homes – or homes that are in foreclosure and have been abandoned.
According to data released by Realty Trac this fall, 30 percent of foreclosed homes in Indiana are vacant. That’s the second highest rate in the country, behind Missouri.
Indiana Housing & Community Development Authority Asset Preservation Director Mark Neyland says zombie homes have negative impact on the entire neighborhood.
“So the grass is unmowed, windows become broken, property becomes deteriorated,” Neyland said. “They can attract crime. They can negatively affect the home values in the surrounding community. And can generally become a public nuisance. “
Neyland blames the lengthy foreclosure process and unfavorable economic conditions for contributing to the problem.
Realty Trac Vice President Daren Blomquist says it’s important for property owners to know during the foreclosure process, they still own the house.
“Some bills they were not expecting, for instance, property tax bill, eventually will come to them, and they will be responsible for that,” Blomquist said. “Other bills that are associated with owning a property will still come to them.”
Blomquist says even though homeowners may have moved out, that doesn’t mean they are no longer responsible for the property.ml#8/40.238/-85.820'>