Missouri in September had one of the country’s highest percentages of “zombie” homes, or homes that are going through foreclosure but are vacant, according to figures from RealtyTrac, an online firm that tracks housing trends.
Zombie houses are abandoned homes that aren’t maintained. Homeowners leave unaware that they are still responsible for the upkeep of the property while the house goes through the foreclosure process. The homes can drive down the value of other homes in the neighborhood and diminish property tax revenue for the local government.
Nationwide, 20 percent of the 770,276 homes that were in the foreclosure process in September were vacant, RealtyTrac said. That figure was highest in Missouri, Indiana, Oregon, Delaware and Nevada, where about one-third of foreclosed homes were vacant last month.