OK, I admit I have never had to leave my home due to foreclosure. I understand, really I do, that this is a heartbreaking, life changing and sad affair, so many people losing their homes. However, for about the 4th time in the past few years, I have had neighbors move out of their foreclosed home, and just left a disgusting heath hazard of a mess behind.
This time the home is a few doors up from me. I went by as I saw what appeared to be alot of trash in the driveway. As I got closer, what I saw was appalling. These people must have stockpiled garbage for months! There was a large container (about 3' wide, 6' long, 10' high)that had apparently been FULL of garbage. It appeared to have been (easily) opened by an animal, I'm guessing a bear. So about 10 bags of old rotting garbage was strewn around. Lots of medication bottles, full of pills included. This is just so irresponsible and dangerous.
I like to think I'm a good citizen, so I went home, got a rake and lots of hefty bags, and went back to clean it all up and (hopefully) safely put it back into the container. I separated out all the recycling (2 large hefty bags). Sitting on the front porch were many bags of what appeared to be good usable children's clothing. I brought that home to be washed and delivered to charity, (they had told me weeks ago they were "gone" so I don't think they were coming back for the clothing). The many toys strewn around the yard were rounded up and placed in a shed. The former owner was a roofer, and there is LOTS of roofing materials left behind, strewn around the lot. So sad.
I know it's a difficult situation. I know these people were not treated fairly by their banks in some cases. I also know that some of these people pulled much of their equity out of their homes, then were shocked when values went down (yes Virginia, values sometimes go down). Still, it is not the bank you are hurting when you leave such a mess behind. It is your neighbors that are hurt, and maybe the animals that find and eat garbage, toxins and meds.
So, be a good neighbor. If you see someone leaving a mess, maybe you can take a few minutes, or even an hour and put it somewhat right. If we aren't part of the solution, we're part of the problem.
Call me, I'll help. Pride of ownership can extend over to the vacant house next to you, or even the house a block away. The banks can take a year or more to send someone to clean up.
This is also the 4th time I've taken things into my hands and gathered garbage and gotten rid of things left behind. Take the initiative, it's your neighborhood.
Thanks for letting me vent.