Oscar Castillo
"Residential" Real Estate


    - Glossary




Zero coupon bonds   a single-payment bond that grows to its face value over a prescribed time period at a specific interest rate. All compound interest is tax-deferred until the bond is cashed.

Zombie Debt   A type of bad debt that is so old that a person may have forgotten he or she owed it in the first place. The debt has likely been given up on - by the lender/company to which it was owed.  Zombie debt can haunt a debtor if a debt collector buys the debt for a low price from the company in attempt to recover the owed funds. If you do owe the money, the debt collectors can still take you to court to recover the funds, assuming that the time period from the last payment has not exceeded the juristiction's statute of limitations.

Zombie Foreclosures   happen when a homeowner receives a foreclosure notice and the bank subsequently files for the home to be foreclosed on.  Soon after receiving the notice,  the homeowners move out and in this situation the bank never completes the foreclosure - perhaps because it would cost more to fix up the home than the bank could make by selling it.  At this point, the property cannot be sold because the foreclosure is still in play and technically neither the borrower nor bank fully own it.  Years later after the property was abandoned and the bank never took possession,  the homeowners find out that they are still liable for current and past property taxes, late fees and repairs.  These "walk away" homeowners have had their wages garnished, their credit obviously destroyed and their tax refunds seized.  They've opened their mail to find bills for back taxes, graffiti-scrubbing services, demolition crews, trash removal, gutter repair, exterior cleaning and lawn mowing.  These abandoned homes also pose a danger to neighborhoods, particularly those in the process of recovering from the housing crisis.  Homes in this unintended “ownership limbo” sit vacant and are susceptible to vandalism, damage by squatters and possible criminal activity.

Zombie properties:  A "zombie" property is in the process of foreclosure but has been abandoned by the owner but is not yet owned by the bank because the foreclosure process has not been completed. Homeowners often abandon their homes soon after the foreclosure process begins because they are not aware they don't have to leave until a judge declares the process to be complete. In many cases, it is never complete, since not every foreclosure filing results in a complete foreclosure.  Because the property is in limbo, no one is keeping it up, and its condition deteriorates – subjecting the property to all kinds of decay, vandalism, and crime. Zombie properties have a domino effect on the rest of the community, since property values plummet as a result.

Zoning   the regulation of structures and uses of property within designated districts or zones. Zoning regulates and affects such things as use of the land, lot sizes, types of structure permitted, building heights, setbacks and density (the ratio of land area to improvement area).

Zoning ordinance    an exercise of police power by a municipality to regulate and control the character and use of property.

Zoning variance   a zoning variance permits a change in the specifications required by the zoning ordinance.



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