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What might happen if you walk away from your mortgage?

Life can be extremely difficult and stressful after you receive notice that a foreclosure is imminent. On top of your other financial concerns, you now have to worry about keeping your home. If you are considering just walking away from your home, you are not alone. Many other residents of Ohio and elsewhere have done just that. But what happens when you walk away?

One of two things are likely to occur after you abandon your mortgage. Either your bank will repossess the home and complete the foreclosure, or it will fail to complete the process and let the property languish. The latter is known as a zombie foreclosure and, according to the Dayton Daily News, was a common occurrence in Ohio as late as 2015. That year, Ohio was one of the top states for the amount of zombie homes left to fester in neighborhoods across the country.

You may be prepared to accept the impact that a foreclosure has on your credit report, but you might not be ready for the other consequences of your bank not completing the foreclosure. As zombified homes devalue the surrounding properties in the neighborhood, you may get hit with fines from the city for cleaning up the property or legal fees from the homeowners’ association even years after you walked away. You would also be responsible for liens that were placed on the property, if your name is still on the title.

Zombie foreclosures are not as common now as they were during the housing crash, but serious consequences can occur if you walk away from your mortgage. Whether you plan to try to save your home from foreclosure or to let it go, experienced counsel is necessary. Therefore, this information is not meant as legal advice.

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