Voices: “They’re Just Getting Started”

Findlay, Ohio, aka "Flag City, U.S.A."

We received this letter from motemanx in Ohio. It is the first in what will be a regular series of first-person narratives from our broken country. 

My husband and I live next door to a home that was abandoned approximately three years ago.The address is 2512 North Main Street, 45840. The house was built in the early 1900s (1912?) and needs to be torn down along with the barn at the back of the lot (which is leaning and perhaps a danger to the children who walk down the alley to get to the local school). The home itself has not had any maintenance in the last fifteen to twenty years, so you can imagine what it looks like. The foundation is crumbling and the roofing has been blowing off (especially during a violent storm here in May of last year).

JPMorgan Chase had the last loan on the house and managed to have someone come in after a year and staple blue plastic to part of the roof. They also had someone come in to mow the lawn every couple weeks. According to Hancock County auditor records, Chase Bank had an outstanding amount owed on the property of $141,000. My husband and I were interested in purchasing the property for just the land and having the house and barn demolished if the property went cheap enough at auction. The Sheriff’s office valued the property for auction at $40,000, and at auction it could sell for not less than two thirds of that amount.

On March 19, the auction took place. My husband went to bid, but the property was purchased by the bank for $36,000, and with the additional costs of demolition it was not worth it for us. But my husband said ALL THE PROPERTIES were purchased by the banks at this auction. When I called Chase Bank the next week to inquire about it, they indicated that the property had already been transferred to HUD (the Department of Housing and Urban Development). We had someone from the Hancock Regional Planning Commission come and take a look at the property and they took lots of pictures. She said she could not understand why HUD would buy that property. She is also checking if HUD has a program that will come in and demolish the home and barn for us so we can bid on just the land to make a “green space.”

My question is this: If there is going to be a fairly large write-off on this property (I would say over $100,000), who is going to be taking the “hit” for the loss: Chase Bank or American taxpayers? I am old enough to remember the Savings and Loan Crisis and believe the American taxpayers are still paying for that one.  I spoke with our local Chase people (who are nice but apparently not knowledgeable about what is going on), and they said “oh, probably the bank” takes the hit. But I don’t believe so. I would be very interested in finding out who is recording these losses. They’re just getting started. If the banks are buying all the foreclosures at auction and then transferring them to HUD, then we are talking about a LOT OF MONEY IN LOSSES. I went to the HUD website today to see if the property was listed yet, and I counted over 680 houses in Ohio alone that they have for sale. Again, who is accounting for the losses on all these homes? The sad thing is, they’re just getting started.


Findlay, Ohio

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  • http://www.facebook.com/diona.bidwell Diona Bidwell

    Good questions! And they need answers. I agree that they are just getting started. Back in the early 80′s, while I was working in banking, there was a plan to just have 3 banks in the US. That was the plan. Along with this plan was that they would control the lending rates, the prime interest rate (as long as certain political climate elements were in place), and the return on investment and savings rates. Now, after taking billions of taxpayer dollars because they tried to get involved more deeply with mortgage fast deals with collection companies (less overhead for the banks if they just sell the paper for a profit, but not the full interest amount as if they had held the mortgage themselves. Mortgage handling is expensive.), now they are just buying the same houses back and handing them to the government for servicing. I suppose they will get the properties back again after HUD or whatever agency fixes them up with our taxpayer dollars again. Chase Manhattan…if they can’t get you hooked on their “credit” cards (30% + interest? Who in their right mind would want one!) they’ll just take the roof from over your head.

  • John

    Very clear what is happening. Bank has security interest in the home, seizes it and then turns to the second person in line (the co-signer) for making them whole, in this case FHA. FHA pays off the security interest the bank held and takes possession. FHA turns property over to HUD for disposal. All clear for anyone to understand, yes, taxpayers get the shaft.
    What is a HUD home?
    The Federal Housing Administration (FHA) is a part of HUD–the part that provides federal mortgage insurance. If a foreclosed home was purchased with a loan insured by the FHA, the lender can file a claim for the balance due on the mortgage. FHA pays the lender’s claim, then transfers ownership of the property to HUD, which sells the home.

  • ohiofraudclosure
  • Tom Richards MAmoderate

    Thanks for “getting started.”. But fix the root cause: Restore progressive taxing of wealth to what it was under Eisenhower’ when times were improving for returning vets and layers-off defense workers.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Beth-Leonard/100000756981489 Beth Leonard

    what is their plan to buy now take a loss on taxes count loss then wait it out and make a huge profit when housing bounces back?how is that fair if in a short sale you can’t sell to a relative so how can a bank sell to another bank ?