Foreclosure Crisis: Low-Income Renters Latest Victims

You've heard of predatory lenders? Try predatory landlords.

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The Huffington Post, in conjunction with The Dylan Ratigan Show's "No Way to Live" series, is reporting that the latest victims of the foreclosure crisis are low-income renters. Apparently some investors who bought properties on the cheap with the intention of "flipping" them during the real estate bubble for profit or stabilized rents are washing their hands of the bad debt. The properties go into foreclosure and the tenants can get no services from the previous landlord or owner.

The banks initiating the foreclosure do not yet have legal title to the properties, meaning they lack responsibility for the care of the property. The court-appointed receiver who controls the property may not have enough money to attend to the problems with the properties that need to be fixed. Who's caught in the middle? Low-income renters, who are living in these properties with no property management, are then stuck in sometimes horrible living conditions.

The article highlights tenants living in the Bronx, N.Y., who have ceilings that are falling in, mold growing throughout their units and roaches and rat infiltration because the building is in such disrepair. Supposedly there's nothing that can be done about it. As bankers foreclose on apartment buildings and then go home to their intact homes, these folks are essentially left to live in deplorable conditions.

In the case of apartment buildings, why isn't the landlord or investment group responsible until the foreclosure goes through? The tenants are paying rent, so why should their rights as tenants go unprotected because of a technical issue? If they are paying rent, where is that money going if indeed the building is going into foreclosure? Can you say criminal and immoral?

Read more at the Huffington Post.

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