I wrote a cover story early last year on foreclosures, looking at Dayton, Ohio, to give a sense of what the effects were like in the industrial Midwest, as well as Las Vegas as an example of Sunbelt/sprawl foreclosures. We also gave a Public Official of the Year award last year to John Carter, a Dayton housing inspector who had come up with a good way of communicating with mortgage holders about property upkeep.

At any rate, the Dayton Daily News ran a big package Saturday about how the foreclosure crisis continues to dog that city.

This story says that the number of foreclosures is starting to go down in Dayton, but only because of a scary new phenomenon -- banks aren't bothering to foreclose, instead leaving abandoned properties to rot in the original mortgage-holder's name. This story highlights the effects of this problem of mortgage lender or bank "walkaways," which leaves the owners, neighbors and the city to deal with declining properties.

This story looks at efforts to encourage owners to stay in their homes even after foreclosure, because it's best to have an occupant until the property's final status is determined. This story looks at Carter's work in tracking down the owner of a particular abandoned property.