True Costs Of Foreclosure, Property Abandonment Extend Across Neighborhoods And Communities

CLEVELAND, Jan. 17, 2017 /PRNewswire/ — A groundbreaking analysis of the true costs associated with the nation’s housing crisis quantifies for the first time the substantial and numerous impacts foreclosures and vacant and abandoned properties have on homeowners and their communities.

Even based on conservative estimates, the typical foreclosed home imposes costs of more than $170,000, according to a study commissioned by Community Blight Solutions and its Founder & Chairman, Robert Klein. Click here to review the full report.

“This is the first paper that utilizes a variety of economic data and academic studies to evaluate the costs associated with foreclosures and vacant and abandoned properties on people and their communities,” Klein said. “I am proud of this effort and I hope that those people and organizations dedicated to fighting community blight use this analysis and data to improve our neighborhoods and reduce the costs associated with blight.”

Of the $170,000 in costs imposed by each foreclosed home, approximately $85,000 is directly attributable to a property being vacant and the condition in which that vacant house is kept, according to the study, conducted by Aaron Klein, Former United States Treasury Department Deputy Assistant Secretary for Economic Policy (Aaron Klein is not related to Robert Klein.)

In his newly-released paper, Understanding the True Costs of Abandoned Properties: How Maintenance Can Make a Difference, Aaron Klein examines three main areas in which foreclosures and vacant and abandoned properties adversely impact homeowners and their communities: property values, crime and increased burden on city resources. Among the findings Aaron Klein cites:

  • The foreclosure of a home will cause a loss of value of at least $130,000 for the home and its neighborhood.
  • Over half the total cost of a foreclosure’s impact on neighboring properties comes from the fact that the property is abandoned.
  • Vacant properties lead to increases in violent crime with substantial costs: $14,000 per vacant property per year in increased crime, translating into $795 million nationwide for all vacant properties.
  • The impact of vacancy on crime increases as the property stays vacant for longer periods, likely plateauing at between 12 and 18 months.
  • Vacant buildings are major fire hazards; vacant residential buildings account for one of every 14 residential building fires in America.

Fortunately, there are common sense, practical and affordable remedies that can help reduce the costs associated with vacancy and blight, Aaron Klein writes. He concludes that how well a vacant home is secured can have a substantial impact on the total costs associated with that status.

In a second study and paper to be released in February 2017, Klein will examine the problems associated with the decades-old practice of boarding vacant properties with plywood, which is easily vandalized, and compare it to superior methods such as polycarbonate or clearboarding, which resembles glass but is virtually unbreakable.

About Community Blight Solutions
Community Blight Solutions is focused on understanding, solving and eliminating the problems associated with the blight that is plaguing communities nationwide. Community Blight Solutions works closely with mortgage servicers, local government officials, legislators and policymakers at the Federal and State level, first responders and other groups to advocate for updates and changes to policy and legislation and an increase in awareness of the issues contributing to community blight. For more information, go to

About Robert Klein
Robert Klein is a successful entrepreneur and over the past 25 years, he has earned a reputation as a pioneer and innovator in the property preservation industry and strong advocate for eliminating blight in communities across the country. Klein is the Founder and Chairman of Safeguard Properties, Community Blight Solutions and SecureView, all based in Cleveland. Klein is a frequent speaker at field service industry conferences.

4 Responses

  1. Hi Neil,
    I’ll keep my question very short with regards the subject of a free house and rescission. We are in the appeals right at the fourth circuit and at our court of special appeals here regarding the rescinding of our loan. The pretender lender just came up with a loan modification application we submitted 7 years ago to a servicer to whom the rescinded loan was transferred in violation of 15 USC 1641. The application was denied. Does this negate our rescission as the substitute trustee is claiming to the only lawyer we had who was willing to take the fight to them up to appeals court?

  2. Look at the industry. It profits from foreclosures. Not once does article address why home is in foreclosure. Not once. If the bailed out banks had refi’d all the folks in distress, there would not be any blight for them to profit from.

  3. We meed to get the word out from coast to coast, but how does one do it when you are up against your own crooked government???? I think most people now understand that the GSE-FHFA who took over control of Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and others is just as much the blame as their crooked co-conspirators in Bank of America, Chase, Wells, and many others. We just need LOTS of people who are not on their bandwagon or the attorney bandwagon to only profit from settling cases and help ALL of us helpless, unknowing, and almost defenseless property owners. Semper Fi

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