Roy Oppenheim’s commentary was originally published on Yahoo Homes! and is being redistributed on South Florida Law Blog with their permission
Like Freddy Krueger, Jason Voorhees, and Jigsaw, they just keep coming back, even though no one really wants them to. And even when the homeowner manages to escape a “haunted” home, it isn’t always the end of the story — case in point, the story of Joseph Keller, victim of the newest villain, the “Zombie Title.” Even for those with a strong stomach, stories like this will make your head spin. He was evicted from his Ohio home, or so he thought.
He received word from his lender that his home was being put up for auction, and so he left. Except the sale never happened, and now the debt collectors are coming after him for back taxes, sewer removal, and other bills because the home is still in his name.
It’s a limbo where your mortgage keeps coming at you, even from beyond the grave.
As an attorney I’ve been dealing with zombie foreclosures for a number of years. A zombie foreclosure starts out like any other case.
Many times we’ve been successful in getting the foreclosure dismissed because of illegal or egregious conduct by the banks for various reasons, such as the lender’s counsel failing to prove that they owe the note or that the transfers were done properly.
Or perhaps there was robosigning or fraud or some other technical, legal, or constitutional reason why the foreclosure was bad. And in at least 20 percent of those cases, the case gets dismissed.