When a home is vacated after a foreclosure, the home needs to be cleaned out before it is put up for auction or sold through a Realtor. A cleaning business is hired to get the home ready for potential buyers.
In addition to cleaning the house, there is often cleaning, mowing and pruning that should be done on the property. Finally, a result of all this cleaning is often large amounts of junk, trash and other debris that then needs to be hauled off and disposed of.
Banks who wind up with foreclosed properties must have them re-keyed, cleaned-out and in presentable condition to get them ready to sell. Many times these tasks are managed by real estate agents who use professional companies for those tasks on foreclosed houses.
Foreclosure Clean-Outs Not for the Faint of Heart
Cleaning often requires hauling and disposing of large items and piles of debris that gets left behind. Cleaning crews often remove old clothes, broken toys and other junk that has been left behind. Sometimes personal belongings are included with the junk items, such as photo albums. And, on occasion, some properties are left with car parts, tires, chemicals and other “non-household” items.
While the laws generally require banks and other mortgage holders of foreclosed properties to do little more than maintain a “floor-swept” condition, it is in the best interests of these entities to ensure that their acquired properties are safe, cleaned, and well-maintained until sold to new owners.
In some communities, local laws compel the banks to do more than the minimum legally required. For example, a paper by the Expert Assistance Center for Court Innovation reports that:
“After foreclosing on a property, many mortgage holders fail to maintain the property adequately. Indio, California, adopted a municipal law in April 2008 that requires banks and lenders to register properties with the Indio Police Department when a notice of default is issued and when a property becomes vacant. More importantly, the ordinance requires banks to inspect their properties weekly and fully maintain them.”
To comply with laws such as these requires hiring contractors to inspect the properties, ensure that they are indeed vacant, and to repair, clean and maintain the properties.
Unfortunately, too many banks or real estate professionals do no more than is legally required. In addition, with the sheer volume of suddenly vacant and abandoned homes that resulted from the earlier mortgage crisis, many contractors entering the booming field of foreclosure clean-outs turned out to be criminally inclined.
Here is a look at what the previous year's foreclosure activity means for clean-outs in 2019:
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Bad Apples Spoil the Foreclosure Clean-Out Industry
The banking and property management industries have been plagued over the last decade by unscrupulous and less-than-legal practices by employees and contractors hired to provide inspection and cleaning services.
An article at The Huffington Post from 2017 noted the following,
“An investigation by The Huffington Post featuring interviews with more than two dozen independent bank contractors and a review of more than 100 lawsuits reveals that the industry, which experts estimate booked more than $2 billion in revenue last year, is plagued by allegations of misconduct and abuse.
According to lawsuits and police reports drawn from communities nationwide, contractors have emptied lived-in homes of all possessions, including jewelry, heirlooms, and — in at least one instance — the family cat. They have allegedly dumped trash illegally rather than paying for disposal, and have been accused of painting over potentially hazardous mold instead of removing it. They have allegedly forged paperwork, and used doctored photographs to bill banks and the federal government for services never performed.”
Many cities, such as Los Angeles, can fine property owners – that is, banks – as much as $1,000 a day for properties that are not cleaned up. Unfortunately, at the height of the earlier housing bust and explosion of foreclosures, bank and other investment organizations holding the mortgage for these homes were overwhelmed.
As they were often quick to point out, they are not in the business of owning and maintaining homes. They are lenders. The truth is, as Jenny Scheutz of the USC Price School for Public Policy noted in a 2012 article, corporate entities simply are not equipped to handle millions of empty, foreclosed properties.
Foreclosure Clean-Outs are Still Needed
With the current level of active foreclosures back down to the lowest level since 2005, there is less pressure on banks and others to clean and maintain large numbers of foreclosed homes. However, in states like California there were still over 5,500 total foreclosures during the first quarter of 2019. That works out to 1 in every 2635 homes.
Once you decide to outsource the trash removal part of your foreclosure clean-out plan, you need to determine which firm is the right one for the job.
Junk King is the leading business to business junk removal service in North America and our real estate junk removal services take care of the clean-out process for you.
We understand that as a real estate professional you need your homes to be pristine and you want to be able to list them as quickly as you can.
Junk King offers fast and friendly junk hauling with an emphasis on eco-friendly practices. We recycle or donate 60% or more of the junk we collect — including renovation debris, furniture and appliances, and even clothing and personal items. Real estate ventures can proudly call Junk King their green partner for real estate junk removal.
We are insured and offer post-escrow payment. Junk King handles junk removal services for real estate professionals across the U.S. and we are the highest rated service brand in the nation. You can depend on Junk King for speed, reliability and for the peace of mind that comes with getting your property ready fast.
Our professional and insured junk disposal team will call 15 minutes before we arrive on site. We’ll give you a free estimate based on how much room your items take up in our truck. You just point and we haul your junk items into our junk removal trucks, with no hidden fees.
It’s as simple as 1, 2, 3. You can make an appointment by booking online above or by calling 1.888.888.JUNK (5865).