‘Shame Campaign’ to Speed Foreclosures?

March 22, 2016

In Buffalo, N.Y., a lawmaker is behind a “Shame Campaign” to try to publicly humiliate lenders and get them to speed up the foreclosure process, in cases where foreclosure is necessary. The lawmaker says he wants to make sure nearby property values don’t suffer any more from properties that have sat in foreclosure limbo for years.

Home owner Deborah Chrzanowski in Buffalo, N.Y. inspired the campaign. After falling ill, she could no longer maintain her home, so she decided to let her home fall into foreclosure. She was hoping she’d be able to then recoup some of the funds she needed. But the foreclosure dragged on for seven years.

That’s when she got lawmakers involved. She recently appeared with Assemblyman Mickey Kearns, D-N.Y., to launch a “Shame Campaign” in trying to get the bank to move faster with her foreclosure and other foreclosures in the city that were necessary.

They posted signs in the lawns of foreclosed homes that read: “Shame on you, [insert bank name here], for not completing the foreclosure process.”

Kearns says he has posted hundreds of his signs in the Buffalo area.

“What we’re saying is, quit ignoring our community and do something about it,” Kearns said at the press conference. “And because of the headline risk, they become more responsive.”

Chrzanowski says the public shaming worked in her case. After seven years, the foreclosure ended in three months after the sign was posted.

“She was able to get a home owner in there, she was able to sell her property, and that was a lot of pressure taken off her, and stress,” Kearns told local media outlets. “Just think, we haven’t passed any legislation yet in Albany, but we’ve been able to get change.”

Source: “Got Foreclosure Trouble? Try ‘Shaming’ Your Bank,” realtor.com® (March 21, 2016)