FORT MYERS, Fla --A new foreclosure crisis: damage left behind putting other homes at risk of foreclosure, too.
Jan Swanson thought she'd live in her home the rest of her life. But a few weeks ago, she discovered something unsettling: a bad smell.
When her neighbor walked away from his condo unit, somehow, water leaked out saturating everything and leaving behind evasive mold.
"So this is what's right next door to me," Jan told Call for Action as she pointed out the mold growing in the home next to her.
That same wall where the mold is growing is shared by her unit.
Jan told WINK NEWS she worries,
"It will eat up this townhouse since I have the greatest connection with the townhouse behind me that flooded, mine is going to be the first one to go."
Once the mold enters her home, Jan says she'll have no choice, but to walk. "It's kind of an overwhelming loss," said Jan, "With the economy I'm really not working. I haven't had a full time job since July and now I'm looking at losing my property and it's depressing."It's hard for code enforcement to hold anyone responsible.
Legally, the person who walked away still owns the property.
Often banks wait to take ownership until just before they go to sell--to avoid being responsible for years worth of homeowners association dues.
That's because Florida law only holds banks responsible for paying homeowners association dues for up to six months before the bank takes ownership.
"It feels kind of unfair for code enforcement to step in and try to write somebody who's lost their job, and who's losing their home, a ticket," said Fort Myers Code Enforcement Manager Michael Titmuss, "Banks need to be held accountable to a certain thresh hold."