Posted by Deirdre Oakley, ATLANTA, GA -- The foreclosure crisis has taken a severe toll on the Atlanta area, particularly in the Black, mostly working class and poor neighborhoods, speculated before the crash to become revitalized. Many of these neighborhoods are on the Southwest side. These neighborhoods became the victims of extensive predatory lending and mortgage fraud. In fact, Atlanta as a whole is rated sixth in the country in terms of these practices. What this has meant is that a significant amount properties in the Metro area are now owned by various national banks. But these banks are not 'house proud', letting their properties go to weed. This strikes me as counter-intuitive: banks want to make profits, so why not maintain their properties? Apparently this does not affect their profit margins.
The consequences of unmaintained are dire for other area homeowners. Property values have decreased, and property crimes have increased. This has prompted residents to call the banks about derelict trees, untamed lawns, and other vacant property problems. But mostly nothing happens. And THIS has led to a thriving business in door and window iron bar installations.
Deirdre Oakley is the Editor of Social Shutter and an Associate Professor in Sociology at Georgia State University. You can contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org. And...guess what? She's ALWAYS looking for new submissions to this blog! Please don't be intimated!