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Milwaukee Mayor Opposes Allowing Lenders More Time To Sell Foreclosed Homes

State Senate Considering Bill Already Approved In Assembly

Blake Sableman (CC-BY)

Some abandoned, foreclosed properties — sometimes called “zombie homes” — could spend more time on the market under a measure that might get state Senate approval this month.

The Wisconsin Bankers Association said it wants a “clear line” on how long lenders have to sell an abandoned property or release the home to the local community. The state Assembly and a Senate committee have passed a bill that would give lenders up to a year to make a transaction. Current law said a deal should take place in a reasonable time after a five-week period.

However, Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett said he doesn’t want homes sitting vacant for 12 months or perhaps longer.

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“That hurts the neighbors,” he said. “It hurts the neighborhood. It’s not the right thing to do, and what we’re asking the Legislature is look, back off.”

Barrett said Milwaukee has 350 foreclosed and abandoned homes. He said other cities could be hurt, too.

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