Cities Get Help with Monitoring Abandoned Homes

Wells Fargo
August 3, 2012

By Kim Martin, Marketing Program Manager, Wells Fargo Home Mortgage

As a result of the housing and economic crisis many cities and towns are struggling with a troublesome trend of homes being abandoned. In communities large and small - from Chicago to Hillsboro, OR - and in states across the country from Florida to Ohio, concerns are being raised about how to minimize risks abandoned properties can cause in neighborhoods.

For instance, in typically tranquil Hillsboro, a few miles outside of Portland, authorities recently responded to concerns after a home was abandoned and had become an eyesore in the neighborhood. Litter was strewn across the yard and the home's walls were covered with graffiti by vandals. Hillsboro police department officials researched the property, and although vacant, discovered the mortgage was serviced by Wells Fargo Home Mortgage.

Wells Fargo Home Mortgage's property preservation specialists quickly responded to clean-up the property, secure an open shed, and inform the police department the work was done. Hillsboro police department officials inspected the property shortly afterwards and advised Wells Fargo officials that, "the property has never looked better. Thank you for your prompt action."

Wells Fargo, an NLC Capstone Corporate Partner, and America's largest home lender and one of the country's largest community banks, is committed to building strong communities and is taking a proactive approach to maintain abandoned properties. "We care about maintaining properties and neighborhoods," said Sherilee Massier, vice president with Wells Fargo Home Mortgage's Property Preservation Department. "We service and regularly inspect and maintain our vacant properties. Additionally, we have a dedicated code violation team to assist cities and towns and their local code enforcement officials with property condition concerns."

Wells Fargo Home Mortgage is sending mailers to thousands of mayors, councilmembers and other municipal officials across the country to inform them of how to contact the company should there be concerns about a Wells Fargo mortgage serviced property in their community. "We are mailing these letters so elected leaders and local code enforcement officials know how to directly contact Wells Fargo for help," said Massier. "While we continue to have eyes on properties and regularly maintain them, we take these matters seriously and would like officials to contact Wells Fargo if they have concerns about any Wells Fargo Home Mortgage-serviced properties if they feel there is a risk for code violations, there are emergencies or other issues with the properties."

Do you have an abandoned property of concern in your community? City officials may contact the Wells Fargo Home Mortgage Property Preservation Department, seven days a week, by calling toll free at (877) 617-5274 or by email at codeviolations@wellsfargo.com.

The NLC Corporate Partners Program promotes the exchange of ideas between corporate leaders and the leaders of America’s cities in order to strengthen local government, encourage economic competitiveness and promote corporate civic engagement. For more information, visit http://www.nlc.org/corporate-engagement/corporate-partners-program.

Wells Fargo Home Mortgage

Wells Fargo wants to satisfy all of its customers' financial needs and help them succeed financially. Wells Fargo is the nation’s leading residential mortgage lender, funding one of every five mortgage loans and servicing one of every six mortgage loans in the United States. A division of Wells Fargo Bank, N.A., Wells Fargo Home Mortgage serves all 50 states through more than 2,200 mortgage, Wells Fargo banking stores and the Internet.