Have you ever heard of a “Zombie Foreclosure?”

ForeclosureZombie foreclosures are the abandoned homes in some state of foreclosure but not yet repossessed by banks and put up for sale.

In some neighborhoods there were so many, they took up half a block while in others, they stood out, grass un-mowed, trash in the yard, glaring, often dangerous reminders of the worst housing crisis in history.

According to the latest Zombie Foreclosure and Vacant Property Report released by RealtyTrac, as of the end of the third quarter of 2015 these zombie homes are down by 27% compared to the previous quarter and down by 43% from a year ago.

The states with the most vacant “zombie” foreclosures were New Jersey (3,997), Florida (3,512), New York (3,365), Illinois (1,187) and Ohio (1,028), and some markets, such as Boston, St. Louis and Philadelphia, have seen an increase in their zombie population.

Daren Blomquist, vice president at RealtyTrac, said “The overall inventory of homes in the foreclosure process has dropped 36% over the past year so it’s not too surprising to see a similarly dramatic drop in vacant zombie foreclosures. What is surprising is there are so many vacant homes where the homeowners do not appear to be in financial distress. The fact that the homeowners are not selling, given the recovering real estate market in most areas, indicates that many of these properties are in poor condition and in neighborhoods that have been left behind by the housing recovery.”

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