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Foreclosures Lead to Crime

When you think about it, “foreclosures lead to crime” makes common sense.  Vacant houses attract drug addicts and people who strip the house of copper and washing machines.


The French have a saying:  “Bad taste leads to crime.”  That one is not so intuitive.

The problem of foreclosure crime is specially acute when a home owner bought a house in a development that was not complete.  If the real estate developer went bankrupt before selling – or building – all the houses, then the people who bought first will be surrounded by a criminal playground.

The empty lots, where once houses were planned, become trash heaps that attract graffiti, burning tires and vandals.  Partially-built homes are used by drug users as a place to sleep and do drugs.  Since the foreclosure crisis affected more than real estate developers, neighbors in the housing development also may have problems with mortgage payments. Short-sighted money-making pressure leads some home owners to drug dealing themselves.  That is, until they are arrested.


Each foreclosure costs a city $19,229 in safety inspections, police activity, fire response and trash removal.  Estimates are that violent crime rises 2.33% for every one percent rise in foreclosures. That doesn’t include the costs of judicial administration.  U.S. Joint Economic Committee Report using estimates The Municipal Cost of Foreclosure: A Chicago Case Study for more details.

In the end, any foreclosure or housing crisis has social costs not often included in how people think about the problem.

If you have having a problem with foreclosure, debt relief, foreclosure mediation, phone Axsmith Law LLC at (202) 285-5415 for help.

See this 2010 video about police officers fighting crime by fighting foreclosure.


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