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Zombie Foreclosures, Former Homeowners Hit With Debts

By Staff Writer | February 20, 2013 04:04 PM EST

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A new zombie trend is coming back to haunt borrowers, former homeowners, even after they have moved out from their foreclosed homes.

It seems many borrowers are surprised to find out that months or even years later after have moved out because of bank foreclosures that the auction never took place, or banks filed to transfer deeds. Meaning the former home owner is still technically own the home and is responsible for property taxes, and other fees, despite the fact they no longer live at their home.

CNN reports the exact number of zombie foreclosures is unknown however almost 2 million people have started the foreclosure process since 2005. Some of them have never completed the process.

"The most frustrating part is that I can't move on," said Rose Nathan, a 37-year-old woman, who lost home in January 2009, after working out a deal with CitiMortgage to voluntarily walk away in a "deed in lieu of foreclosure."

RealtyTrac reports that close to one million of these properties are in foreclosure limbo and predict that tens of thousands will be attacked by zombie foreclosures in 2013.

This leaves many with the question how does one fight back? Allan S. Glass, president of ASG Real Estate told Forbes many leave their homes prematurely and shouldn't make assumptions about their foreclosure status.

"Many homeowners leave their homes during the foreclosure process assuming they are doing the honorable and morally right thing," he said.

He added, "The unfortunate risks they assume are that someone takes possession of their home, damages the home causing additional loss, or that the house lingers in disrepair until it becomes a nuisance to their neighbors and city. All of these things could lead to a greater loss financially for the homeowner, or worse yet potential legal liability."

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