Comment: "A Neighborhood’s

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"A Neighborhood’s

"A Neighborhood’s Decline

More than three years after Valentine’s small debt drew her into the tax sale, neither the city nor the investors seem to have won much.

The property is unlikely to be fixed up any time soon. Instead, it adds to a sense of decay that permeates some parts of urban Baltimore. On Valentine’s old block in the Sandtown neighborhood, all but a handful of houses, abandoned long ago, are boarded up.

Such decline has summoned other ills. “Drugs moved in and replaced the good with the bad,” said Valentine, who is living temporarily with her mother. Many of her possessions are in storage.

De Laurentis and Reiff now hold a “writ of possession” for a property that’s in need of substantial repair. Though the home is assessed at $46,000, in such dilapidated condition the investors said they probably would have trouble selling it for more than $16,000.

In addition, investors could be on the hook for a $7,000 water bill of their own. Just how that happened is unclear; there may have been an undetected leak in Valentine’s home. Last month, the city finally turned off the water.

If the investors take the final step to secure a deed to the property, they would have to pay the city roughly $6,300, which the city is then supposed to turn over to Valentine. The law entitles original property owners to receive at least some compensation." - Page 6

What a perfectly f**ked up situation.

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