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Group calls on city to do more about foreclosures

A group of Charlotte residents has asked Charlotte City Council members to do something about the foreclosure crisis’ impact on the Queen City.

The group, Helping Empower Local People, told the council that there isn’t enough enforcement to ensure that property-management companies maintain foreclosed properties.

Gerald Taylor, Barbara Dellinger and Manuel Richards, speaking on behalf of HELP, said there also is not enough aid for homeowners who are “underwater,” meaning they owe more on their homes than they are worth, and those facing foreclosure.

The group wants the city to create a pool of voluntary inspectors to document the condition of foreclosed properties in Charlotte. HELP also wants the city to develop escalating fines for the owners of foreclosed properties if they are not maintained, with possible criminal penalties if fines are not paid.

HELP suggested that the city create a program to train hundreds of counselors to provide homeowners with financial education and information on getting loan modifications.

The group suggested that the fines for neglected foreclosed properties, and the taxes collected on property transfers, could be used to help pay for the foreclosure programs.

Tara Ramsey can be reached at tara.ramsey@mecktimes.com.

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