Broad St residents paid scant attention to the home being boarded up a couple of days before the arrival of Hurricane Irene. But when the plywood windows stayed on for days after Irene's departurbanker sign was down, a new reality set in. The cozy corner cape had been for sale for months, but now the Caldwell Banker Realty sign had come down. The unsuccessful Short Sale was now a Foreclosure.
After receiving several complaints, councilman NIck Joanow prodded Bloomfield's Director of Code Enforcement, Glen Dominick to convey the residents' concerns to the mortgage holder.
Dominick took a cautious approach:
" …while it is not what I would like to see I do not recommend we ask the mortgage companies on this location or any other to alter their attempts to secure these structures it create less problems for us and protects the condition of the home to the best it can in order to insure the best possible potential for a sale. The Township potentially will face great numbers of properties being boarded up and as you are aware this national epidemic is not something we can cure on a local level it creates a great burden on our services and this method is one way of greatly reducing our burden. Once I compile a database of the foreclosed properties I can begin to formulate the contact information on the lien holders then I have a plan for the general steps that I will request of the banks in order to secure and maintain properties such as this."
The issue of maintaining property values in the face of an avalanche of impending foreclosures has no easy solutions. Neighborhood awareness is a good start. Just making sure that vacant homes don't attract vandals with accumulated trash or overflowing mail boxes can make a difference.
Plans for a Town Hall meeting on the subject have been put on hold.
This Wednesday, the plywood was taken down.