We all know the devastation that foreclosures inflict on American communities, homeowners, and families.
Communities are left with vacant proprieties and a depressed tax base. Neighbors see their property value decline and their neighborhoods subjected to more crime. Families face uncertainty and lose the security of having a roof over their head. As a father, I can’t imagine what it must be like to tell a child that she has to move out of her home and away from her school.
So when we learn that some banks are foreclosing first and asking questions later, it’s no wonder why Ohioans — including me — are outraged.
That is why I’m calling for action on the assembly-line foreclosure process that rushes families out of their homes, and then leaves municipal governments to deal with the aftermath.
After a series of Ohio news reports documented banks and lending agencies foreclosing on homes, only to abandon them — needlessly evicting families and leaving communities on the hook for bank-owned property — I requested an investigation by the nonpartisan Government Accountability Office. The report, unveiled this month, highlights the danger of so-called “bank walkways” — when banks and lending agencies have abandoned foreclosed homes rather than put them on the market. The report shows that, in the Cleveland area, banks have walked away from nearly 500 homes. The report found that half of bank walkaways are located in three Midwestern states, including Ohio.
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