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Ear to the Ground

Florida Caught in a Foreclosure Swamp

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Posted on May 8, 2012
Richard Elzey (CC BY 2.0)

A neglected vacant house in Spring Hill, Fla.

With a quarter of the 3.3 million reported American home foreclosures, Florida exemplifies the human suffering, suburban rot and political confusion that have become legacies of the economic and housing crisis. —ARK

Le Monde via The Guardian:

At some locations the misery is especially apparent. At Magnolia Court, a run-down apartment block in Orlando where the perimeter fence is a distant memory, two-thirds of the properties have been foreclosed. When a bankruptcy court has ordered liquidation, the owners wait for the sheriff to come.

Some apartments, purchased by real-estate agents for next to nothing, house tenants looking for the lowest possible rent. Others dwellings, empty and vandalised, have been taken over by squatters and drug dealers. Claiming to be the landlord, crooks extort rent from them.

“I didn’t choose to live here,” says Lucy Hill, who lost her job last autumn. Her home has just been flooded by a neighbouring apartment, open to the four winds.

It is not clear whether the property crash will have any effect on the presidential election in November. “People are not looking for culprits. They’re too busy just surviving. If they’re angry, it’s with the banks,” says Nancy McDonald, a florist in the upmarket Mount Dora area where even houses worth several million dollars have been affected. “Everyone is talking about rising gas prices. That’s what will decide the election.”

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PatrickHenry's avatar

By PatrickHenry, May 10, 2012 at 3:42 pm Link to this comment

Make the banks who foreclosed be responsible for the property taxes and upkeep of the land.

Maybe then they would be more willing to renegotiate the loans.

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prisnersdilema's avatar

By prisnersdilema, May 9, 2012 at 8:45 am Link to this comment

America.. where have you gone?.....the winds are carrying you away, bit by bit until only
dust will remain…..

Europeans, reading about the murder of the middle class, here in Amerika, are thankful
that they have socialism, healthcare, and a sense of cultural identity..

While American’s sense of identity seems tied to team sports, and the ability to get a
happy meal with your children.

No nothing will be done, to help Americans, because our cultural madness, is that
individuality, perseverance and hard work will save us, and if it doesn’t we are better off
dead, because we wouldn’t be Americans then any way…

The only problem with our economic demise is who will fund the military? No tax payers
means no tax dollars, and no multi billion dollar weapon systems to protect us from
underwear bombers..

There certainly will be attempts to squeeze money from the what’s left of the tax base,
but there just isn’t enough money to make up the difference. But debt slavery can only
go so far before it becomes actual slavery…

At some point China may tire of lending us money, to fight wars against their interests in
the world…then what?

What do you call it when someones ideology, ends up destroying them?

You call it madness, and we here in this country have it bad….

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By Petunia, May 8, 2012 at 4:57 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

They have a new loan modification program offering principal reduction offered by BAC I received a notice to apply.  When I called they said they no longer service my loan.  The new servicer does not participate in the principal reduction program. But they will gladly take my house if I want to sign it over. Otherwise I can upload a bunch of forms and in 45 to 60 days they might offer me an interest rate modification, but they don’t know how much the reduction in interest will be, if any.

This is the typical mortgage modification scam run by the government. 

I thought the bankers should all be in jail, but now I think that is not enough.

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By gerard, May 8, 2012 at 4:38 pm Link to this comment

Read through these reports carefully and note the generally dim-witted, careless, heartlessness: gambling with the failing health of an old couple 80 plus years old—the victimization, the callousness,
and recognize that these two reports were taken from a French and a British paper, widely circulated all over the world—and you maybe can realize “why they hate us”—a question which seemed to bedevil Mr. Bush without sinking very far in.
  Not that the “tone” is any different from what it might be in French, but I suspect the person who translated it knows only “newspaper American” and doesn’t see anything wrong with it.
  Yet it’s not only the content, in view of the abilities we could and should bring to alleviate and avoid—yet do nothing.  It’s that once-removed flat, chilly emptiness behind the words. And that this situation is happening and being reported over and over by the millions these days—and Wall Street has not a single peep of a suggestion, while the banks are merely hunkering down, the oil companies are running full page ads in all the slicks and on all channels promoting business as usual and the big noise is “USA!” “USA!” And we are going to try to vote for a president who cost us millions of dollars in advertising!
  The most common-place media message is “Occupy Wall Street (who ARE doing something in communities all across the country) are just a bunch of loony kids! Let the police shut them up for “damaging public parks and blocking traffic.”
  Shouldn’t we really be more concerned about
“private people” (and their private homes) if we want to be respectable? If we want to have any leadership in world affairs? If we give one plugged nickel for democracy?  If we ...?

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By berniem, May 8, 2012 at 1:07 pm Link to this comment

What does one expect when a crook is elected governor?

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By Big B, May 8, 2012 at 10:35 am Link to this comment

Take a good look, Florida is exactly what the rest of america will look like in a little while. A conservative wasteland.

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