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Your Stories: Abandoned Springfield Home Frustrates 16 Acres Homeowners

Woodcrest Rd HomeSPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WGGB) — An abandoned property on Woodcrest Road in the 16 Acres section of the city is frustrating people who live in the neighborhood.

It was damaged by the June 1, 2011 tornado and neighbors say it has overgrown grass on the side yard and more damage in the backyard.

“The neighborhood has gone through the tornado everybody has come back, everything has been picked up again and we all have to live with this,” said Judy Litalien, Springfield.

“It’s tough when you as a homeowner and all these homeowners around here spend a lot of money repairing their properties and fixing their properties,” said Mike Bellefeuille.

Mike’s wife called ABC40 to report the problem during a “Your Stories” segment.

The family lives right next-door to the home. Bellefeuille says a tree from the abandoned property crashed into his house during the tornado. It also broke the vacant home’s fence which he ended up fixing himself.  He says he is sick of dealing with the problem property.

“At the point, you just get frustrated that you actually think it’s never gonna change and this was a beautiful house. It was one of the newer houses in the neighborhood,” said Bellefeuille.

According to the Dept. of Code Enforcement the owner died several years ago and the home is still in the foreclosure process.

“When Channel 40 brought it to our attention, I wanted to make sure we knew exactly where we stood with it. We had prioritized this, but there are so many prioritized cases there, we can’t control what happens in housing court,” said Dave Cotter, Deputy Dir. Code Enforcement Housing Division.

Cotter says the city has about 1,300 forecloses to monitor. He says keeping up gets complicated especially with properties like the Woodcrest Road home, which is still in the foreclosure process.

“So we do whatever we can to contact the banks, see if they have a property manager take responsibility for it, but it’s very time consuming,” said Cotter.

Cotter says the home was cited again last week, but says neighbors are better off cutting the grass themselves.

“Even if they cut the grass three or four times during the summer, it’s gonna be a lot quicker than waiting for the court system to wait for the bank,” said Cotter.

The property is held by Ocwen Financial Corporation.

“Property preservation was recently performed …. and more has been ordered, including roof repairs, removal of a tree and lawn maintenance,” said Richard Gillespie, Vice President, Marketing and Branding for Ocwen Financial Corp.

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