Should I Worry That My Townhouse Neighbor Has Disappeared?

Grant tells Consumerist that his next-door neighbor disappeared…maybe because of an impending foreclosure, maybe not. No one knows where she has gone. They do know that the house is unoccupied, and Grant worries that the ravages of a Midwestern winter might burst a pipe or cause other damage to the empty home. Why does he care? They’re townhouses, and whatever happens to the house next door could affect him.

We live in a townhouse in the suburbs of Chicago. Back in July, we saw moving trucks in front of our next-door neighbor’s home – there had been no for-sale signs (a common sight in what used to be a high-demand neighborhood) so this was a bit of a surprise. She hasn’t been seen since – and no one else on the block knows why (yes, we’re gossips.) I’m assuming she left ahead of a foreclosure, which is her business, etc. But with winter approaching, I’m worried that “no resident = no utilities”, and a frozen pipe inside a shared wall would cause us more problems than we can afford… I’ve thought about contacting the HOA (useless?) or trying to find the mortgage lender (how?) and I’m not really sure how to proceed. Do you have any tips?

The homeowners’ association should know who owns the house now, which is a good start. Consumerist Hive Mind, have you had similar experiences? Share your wisdom.