Thursday, January 31, 2013

Bank tells different stories to neighbors and cops

Speech to Grants Pass City Council, May 18, 2011

            Last week, I made a speech to the Josephine County Commissioners about how banks have been illegally foreclosing on properties on which they long ago sold the note.  They failed to register the sale of the notes or foreclosures with the County, making the sale of the notes, the foreclosures and any subsequent sale of the property illegal, and they refuse to maintain the properties on the grounds that they don’t actually own them.  I sent a copy of this speech, asking the County and our Sheriff to investigate these matters, to the City Council and staff as well, since the City has the information on neglected properties that the County needs.
A case in point is a property at 1203 SW Greenwood, repossessed by Bank of America about 2 years ago, and now growing the biggest and most dandelions on any property this gardener has ever seen.  When I call B of A about their neglect, the first question they ask is, “Are you police, or a neighbor?  They have different stories for police and neighbors.  They tell the police that they don’t actually own the property yet. 
Neighbors, they just shine on, telling one that they are waiting on bids, or something; the story changes, but little gets done.  One operator actually forgot who she was talking to the other day and told me they don’t actually own the property, whereupon I started shouting that they shouldn’t have foreclosed then, and she hung up.  I then called city police, and they actually sent a certified letter and made a phone call to B of A. 
Banks are foreclosing and holding onto properties because it doesn’t cost them much to hold them if the police don’t make them maintain them to city code.  They don’t care about the depreciation caused by their neglect; they care about cash flow.  If police would make them maintain properties to code, they would be a lot more reasonable about letting people stay in their homes, selling them, or renting them out cheap until the market recovers.
            Nearly two years ago, I made a speech to our embattled City Council, asking them to consider passing an ordinance modeled on one in Indio, California, that requires foreclosed properties to be registered with city police and maintained to city code, and makes violation a misdemeanor.  Indio says that bank presidents become amazingly reasonable when they are threatened with a perp walk and booking into jail.  I renew my call to pass such an ordinance, now that we can see the results of our neglect and theirs.
Published at Yahoo Voices

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