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Derelict REOs a burden on neighborhoods

From AOL Real Estate

Editor's note: This story is republished with permission of AOL Real Estate. See the original story, "Vacant Homes Plague Neighbors as Lenders Drag Feet." By TEKE WIGGINThe vacant home next to Deborah Jackson's house has been an eyesore and magnet of blight for much longer than the Chicago homeowner would care to remember. The roof of the empty townhouse, which is connected to Jackson's, is shredded and caved in, causing water to leak through Jackson's walls. Overgrown bushes and bramble peek over the property's 4-foot fence, and possums and stray cats -- instead of a nice family -- live inside. The derelict property, which has been vacant for the better part of 15 years, even appears to pose safety risks. Jackson's granddaughter was once struck in the face by a detached piece of the home's roof; sometimes trespassers pay unsettling visits; and the home is infested with snakes. "Anytime I see people or have heard people, I would always call the police," she said. &q...