According to HousingWire.com, a new study by researchers at the Federal Bank of Cleveland says speculators who buy distressed housing in blighted urban centers may be doing more harm than good. Thomas Fitzpatrick and O. Emre Ergungor report if buyers do not buy through the banking system, liens, back taxes or other encumbrances may be attached to the property that could be concealed from the next owner. In some cases, the attachments may be greater than the property’s value, which could lead to continued abandonment of the home, and further the destabilization of the housing market. Neglecting repairs and maintenance adds to the problem. The researchers support legislation to require county officials to make sure the property is clear of attachments before transferring the deed.