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'Zombie' foreclosures rising in Michigan is a "good sign"

steve carmody
Michigan Radio

There’s been an increase in so-called "zombie foreclosures" in Michigan and around the country.

Zombie-foreclosures are vacant and abandoned homes that banks are trying to foreclose on.

Attom Data Solutions reports Zombie foreclosures rose 21% in the second quarter of the year, nationally.

RealtyTrac’s Rick Sharga says Michigan’s zombie foreclosure percentage is roughly twice the national average, largely because of the high number of vacant properties in Detroit.

But Sharga says this is not really bad news.

“In a very weird way, and everything’s been weird since COVID-19 hit, it might actually be a good sign we’re seeing more of these vacant properties in foreclosure than we had just a quarter or two ago,” says RealtyTrac’s Rick Sharga

Sharga says the foreclosure process may help speed these vacant properties onto a hot housing market. 

Steve Carmody has been a reporter for Michigan Public since 2005. Steve previously worked at public radio and television stations in Florida, Oklahoma and Kentucky, and also has extensive experience in commercial broadcasting.