Alan Grayson says there are too many vacant or “zombie” homes in Florida and around the nation that are destroying local property values.
That’s why he’s introducing the Zombie Property Relief Act of 2016, which would grant the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) the authority to penalize financial institutions for not taking care of the homes that they’ve initiated foreclosure proceedings upon.
The legislation calls for fining banks three times what they would spend keeping up these empty homes when they choose not to bear the cost of maintaining them, bringing down the property values in the area whey emerge.
Citing Zillow.com, Grayson’s congressional office says there are at least 348 bank-owned properties in the Tampa Bay area that sit empty, and even more in Central Florida (defined as Orange and Osceola counties).
A report issued last fall by RealtyTrac showed there were more than 1.5 million vacant U.S. residential properties in the country, which constituted 1.8 percent of all 84.7 million residential properties in the nation. Among the 1.5 million vacant residential properties, 36.5 percent have at least one open loan and 6.2 percent are seriously underwater, meaning the combined value of loans secured by the property is at least 25 percent more than the estimated market value of the property.