Submitted by Jeff Buster on Tue, 02/19/2008 - 16:32.

One minor question involving subprime vacant houses which I haven't seen asked much is: Where did the occupants go?  And the answer I can tell you  is: UNDERGROUND.

When a foreclosure takes place, and a lender gets a judgment against a homeowner/borrower, that judgment is good in the courts for decades – in some states for 21 years. 


Now the federal bankruptcy laws were just tightened up by the Congress a year or two ago, and filing for personal bankruptcy costs money, so many of the people who have been evicted from their homes because they were behind on repayment – WILL GO UNDERGROUND.


These people have to go underground, because if they don’t, and a debt collector finds where they work or where they live, their wages will be garnished with a new court order enforcing the lender’s foreclosure judgment.


Going subterranean means these sub prime people will be primarily in a cash economy – they won’t pay taxes.


They probably won’t register to vote – to prevent the debt collectors from trailing them.  And most borrowers were probably in their mid lives – so they will be underground for a long time.


And the sub primers will definitely be encouraged to move out of the State of Ohio (or from whatever state the foreclosure judgment was rendered) because they will be much more difficult for debt collectors to track.


Looking ahead, we need to pass legislation which consists of an amnesty for these sub prime people.  If we want our country to be healthy, we can’t continue to persecute our citizenry in any manner which pushes and keeps them underground. 


Let’s legislate sub prime-anti- subterranean relief now!


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Did you take these pictures around Superior-St Clair?  It makes me sick to see the few interesting houses in Cleveland destroyed.  This turn-of-the-century period of our local history has almost been obliterated.  Just sick.

And it's not just in the City of Cleveland.  I passed a beautiful, old civil war era brick house in Westlake today.  Boarded UP.  No shame in Northeast Ohio.  Tear it down.  Destroy everything.  I am feeling a bit overcome.

Am I the only one in northeast Ohio REALLY scared about our future?   Roldo puts it well this week--

A question that remains in my mind is whether Cleveland can afford all the institutional venues – art museum, Severance Hall, et al - plus the hospital outlets and the sports facilities, all of which pay no property taxes. The jobs, particularly at the hospitals, do help significantly but the financial weight upon city services and lack of revenue make the value problematic.

With all the talk about regionalism, one thought presents itself.

Why don’t surrounding counties – Lake, Geauga, Mentor, Lorain and Summit – help pay the burden that essentially lies, not simply on Cuyahoga County, but on the City of Cleveland where most of these non-taxing entities exist? Certainly as the population has spread, many people from these outlying counties enjoy the benefits without paying the costs.