Residents not warned of nursing home foreclosures

About Andrew Van Dam

Andrew Van Dam of The Wall Street Journal previously worked at the AHCJ offices while earning his master’s degree at the Missouri School of Journalism.

Writing for The New York Times, Laurie Udesky reports that despite significant rates of foreclosures, California nursing homes are not required to notify residents – many of whom require constant care – that they’re being shuttered. She even found at least one home in which residents were caught by surprise when deputies showed up to force an eviction. Udesky also added a companion piece on the NYT’s Bay Area blog. Foreclosures, she found, are not uncommon among smaller nursing homes.

But a New York Times analysis of licensing and foreclosure data indicated that about 16 percent of the 1,600 Bay Area properties licensed as small residential-care homes has been in some stage of foreclosure since June 2006. According to RealtyTrac, a company that compiles foreclosure records, that includes more than 100 homes under foreclosure in the last six months.

It is impossible to tell from the data how many of these were operating as residential-care homes during the foreclosure proceedings or thereafter. But those properties housed as many as 700 elderly residents.

Fortunately, some in the state are working to close what Udesky referred to as a “loophole,” with a California senator introducing a bill that would “require people licensed to run such facilities to notify the licensing division of the Department of Social Services and the residents or their legal representative within 24 hours of notification of foreclosure, bankruptcy, missing a mortgage payment or the prospect of a utility cutoff.”

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