by Laura Gottesdiener AlterNet
It’s payback time – literally. In Florida, hundreds of homeowner and neighborhood associations are foreclosing on banks that have failed to upkeep their repossessed properties, according to – of all things – a CNN Money report.
Florida is one of the states hardest hit by foreclosures, and there are nearly a half-million foreclosed houses now standing vacant and often slowly deteriorating. When a bank forecloses on a house, evicts the family and then repossesses the property, it also assumes responsibility for maintaining the home and yard and paying homeowner or condo association fees. Yet, some of the nation’s largest and richest banks have been unable or unwilling to upkeep their properties – prompting neighbors across Florida to declare enough is enough.
One Miami lawyer, Ben Solomon, has filed more than 1,000 liens against banks for failing to maintain their properties or pay their homeowner association fees. And when the recalcitrant banks don’t comply, Solomon slaps them with a foreclosure notice – 131 thus far.