Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility

Senate sends ‘zombie homes’ bill to Walker

By: Dan Shaw, [email protected]//March 16, 2016//

Senate sends ‘zombie homes’ bill to Walker

By: Dan Shaw, [email protected]//March 16, 2016//

Listen to this article

The state Senate has sent Gov. Scott Walker a bill that Milwaukee officials contend will impede their efforts to lay so-called “zombie homes” to rest.

Zombie homes are properties that have been foreclosed on yet whose titles, for whatever reason, have not been taken over by the mortgage lender. Many times the owners have assumed that foreclosure meant they lost possession of the properties and have abandoned them. With no one taking responsibility for upkeep, disrepair and decay are often the results.

If the zombie-home proposal is signed into law by Walker, lenders would get a year to decide what to do with these properties without having to take over the title.

The change would go against a Wisconsin Supreme Court decision that upheld a law requiring lenders to sell any property that has been foreclosed on and abandoned so long as the owner had not managed to pay off the mortgage loan within a specifically set redemption period. Wisconsin law, bolstered in 2014 by the Supreme Court’s decision, sets that period at five weeks from the date a foreclosure judgment is entered in court.

Milwaukee officials have been dealing with a rash of foreclosures ever since the national economic downturn started around 2007. The lingering effects of the downturn have left many homeowners unable to keep up with their mortgage and property tax payments.

As a result, the city has invested heavily in getting foreclosed homes back into the hands of residents rather than letting the properties fall into disrepair.

Both Milwaukee officials and the League of Wisconsin Municipalities came out against the state bill on zombie homes.


What kind of stories do you want to read more of?

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...

Legal News

See All Legal News

WLJ People

Sea all WLJ People

Opinion Digests