Abandoned homes frustrate neighbors who say it is damaging their property values

Who should maintain homes when owner walks away?

PALM HARBOR, Fla. - Homes sitting in limbo are an all too common site in many Bay area neighborhoods.

West Barrington Oaks homeowner Kirk Phillips says he's watched two neighboring homes deteriorate in the two years since both owners walked away.
 
The borrowers are long gone. But Bank of America has yet to complete the foreclosure process, leaving no one to maintain the properties.
 
Pinellas County Code Enforcement Chief Todd Myers says abandoned and foreclosed properties are one of the agency's biggest problems.
 
Code enforcement often steps in to take over basic lawn mowing and debris removal but it can take weeks.
 
"If you call us it is going to take time for us to come out and get our contractor out and we do have to do due process with the property owners," said Myers.
 
The county recoups its money by attaching a lien to the home.
 
Code enforcement won't be coming to mow the neglected lawns in West Barrington Oaks. I emailed Bank of America pictures of the two homes they would one day own.
 
In an email BOA responded, "While both properties legally belong to and should be the responsibility of the homeowners up until foreclosure is completed, we have had an inspector visit the sites and will continue to monitor and maintain them as long as they are vacant.
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