A friend of ours, Jerry Paffendorf, had some very interesting thoughts on a new approach to foreclosure auctions. In comments posted on his own Facebook page he argues for marked changes that we think are innovative and good for the community.
The two most striking suggestions are aimed at humanizing the foreclosure process. One point he suggests is that the government authority should actually visit the property and assess it. Visit and survey everything that gets foreclosed, both the property type and condition, and also the human situation — if it’s occupied, why is someone in this situation and what help do they need? Do they want to stay, [or] do they want to move? Assumption in this process lead agencies to overlook opportunities to keep well meaning tenants in-place to maintain the property and neighborhood.
As part of the comprehensive and proactive surveying process Peffendorf suggests getting local community groups to lead the work. Organize local community groups to participate in the surveying and outreach so that trust, empathy, sensitivity, and local knowledge is maximized. As local groups do this work they will also be planning for how to work on the properties that are left behind.
These two steps in particular seem like such simple and proactive moves that could change the impact of foreclosures (or non-foreclosures) for the betterment of the community.
Jerry is the CEO of LOVELAND, based in Detroit, Michigan and the San Francisco Bay Area with a growing team dedicated to putting America online parcel by parcel. We work with governments, developers, neighborhood groups, and passionate individuals to gather and present information about property in clear, actionable ways. For more information about LOVELAND follow the link.