Two Letters Re: Finding Abandoned Properties, Post-TEOTWAWKI?

First let me say that I agree with the sentiments of D.O.’s reply to the original post.
However; In a situation even less drastic than another depression, I believe there will be ‘abandoned’ properties everywhere you look due to foreclosures and displaced persons that can no longer find viable employment and have moved in with family or on to ‘greener’ pastures. The homeowners that lived in them, built them, and called them home, will not own them anymore. These homes will still have an owner, that would be the ‘bank’ that held the note, and also in some cases, additionally the tax authority of record that has not been paid by the previous owner nor the bank. But that ‘owner’ will not have any idea what the disposition of most of these properties are. The financial institutions of today are usually far from the local scene and as is evidenced even as of late, they have internal problems of keeping their own doors open and not getting swallowed up by a larger entity. At some point it will become impossible to monitor the homes held on their balance sheets. Municipalities are already starting to experience difficulties in staffing and finances due to property tax payment incomes dropping from peoples inability to keep up with it all and decreasing building permit fees, so this will make it hard for them to police who is living where. Police have bigger fish to fry and that work load will only become worse if we continue to descend into economic chaos.

If we do continue the slide, there will be plenty of empty homes. If things get that tough, who knows when a recovery to ‘normal’ times will happen. One has to mainly look toward surviving at that point. There is a small part of the population that has prepared for these coming times, but even some of these will find themselves separated from their preps due to matters beyond their control. If your retreat is not paid for in full and you have not made provisions to in some way pay property taxes ahead, (and for a lot of people, even the ‘informed’, this will not be possible) all your preparations are in jeopardy and may be forfeit. Secondly, if you do own outright but are met with a force larger and more equipped than you can repel, and you have to ‘abandon ship’ you are now adrift with those that did not prepare. Granted, you will undoubtedly have at least some pre-positioned gear in an offsite cache, but how long will that last? You must have shelter. Especially in more severe climates. Maybe you can re-take ‘your’ residence later and maybe not.

Reading any of the post- apocalyptic novels, one always encounters transients scavenging abandoned houses for whatever might have been left by those that came before. At some point, this becomes survival not looting. Looting would be the taking of someone’s property without their permission (Larceny), and I do not condone this, but that assumes the property owners will at some time return. This is not the case in most [truly] abandoned homes. In Michigan I know of someone who has a business at present, going into foreclosed homes and emptying all the possessions left behind by the previous homeowners who basically loaded up a car with what they could carry and left everything else. Everything is loaded into dumpsters; from big screen televisions and kitchenware to a child’s favorite teddy, and baby clothes. The homes look like aliens had abducted the residents in the middle of the night.

It is heart wrenching, and is a reminder of depression/dust bowl times where you saw transient families carting their ‘worldly’ possessions strapped to the ol’ family sedan, looking for work. If the trend continues, at some point the banks won’t have the revenue to clean out an abandoned home to prepare it for re-sale when no one is buying them. Unfortunately, we may be headed for just those kind of times.

As has been mentioned in your blog and some others; the next depression will not be as ‘peaceful’ as the last one. People are not as close to the land and are more morally ‘disadvantaged’.

I just read novel “Patriots“. Thank you for your wisdom and fortitude Mr. Rawles. It is a help to all that visit your e-institute. – G. P

I just got a very sick feeling reading the last e-mail posted by D.O.. You know, I’ve been prepping for 8 years and have never gotten to “that place” that many on survival sites I visit seem to live in. The “kill everyone syndrome, because all that matters is me!” I read the news and see many new stories about how there are tent cities going up everywhere. Now, being a Christian I cannot bring myself to want to kill just because someone is homeless. This is the mentality I see from gangs in the news. You do realize that many people had 20% down and have now lost their jobs? And there will be many many more very soon as I am not near as optimistic as JWR is. Shall we kill them all? What kind of nonsense is this? We are headed in a very scary place to say the least. These people will have no where to go and tent cities are on land owned by someone (I’m assuming public land which is another “forbidden” according to many survival sites.) Therefore when you lose your property it is an instant death sentence? Frankly it sickens me to hear this. No, I don’t expect people to hand over everything they’ve worked for but boy, oh boy, wait until those who think they have covered their backside find themselves in the same scary situation as many of these folks. Lets see, there are people who have worked for many years and saved by putting money in their 401(k)s. Just because the government will seize (that’s what I call it) this savings and spend it just like they have the Social Security money, you believe that this person, responsible or not, should be shot when he finds he can no longer pay the mortgage? Whether he’s paid one payment past his 20% down or 10 years worth, he can still lose his home. And I would like to remind you people that think that you have some great secret to life, the tax man may come knocking and your gold may just be worthless. Read Ezekiel 7:19 “They shall cast their silver in the streets , and their gold shall be removed : their silver and their gold shall not be able to deliver them in the day of the wrath of the Lord: they shall not satisfy their souls, neither fill their bowels: because it is the stumbling block of their iniquity.”

Yep, I will protect my family and would kill if I saw a true threat to one of them (as the Bible allows), but I’m so very tired of the macho “survivalist” that I see on forums and their most sickening lack of thought to human life. If the building is truly abandoned then kudos to 100 moving in! Get over yourself, let others know that your place is not welcoming to them. But please stop lending no hope to people that while in need today may be your savior tomorrow. Realize that you can prep all you want but the Big Guy upstairs is watching and He is the Judge! – Stephanie B.