Editor’s note: This is a transcript of the audio file.

A foreclosure on your block can be more than an eyesore. It can damage the financial health of your household and neighborhood.

But there are steps you can take to keep a blighted property from denting your home equity. I’m Janet Stauble with your Bankrate.com Personal Finance Minute.

Prevention is key. If you know a neighbor headed for foreclosure, talk to other neighbors about maintaining the property should they move away. Just get permission first from authorities to pick up trash and mow the lawn to avoid liability.

Properties become harder to sell once pipes get stolen or the home becomes vandalized, so inform the police if you see any criminal activity.

Persistence pays and the squeaky wheel gets the grease. If you see code violations like a broken window or squatters living inside, have everyone on the block call the authorities on the same day within the same hour to get them to secure the abandoned property.

Use resources outside of your city. Nonprofits such as NHS help take care of problem properties.

If you notice potential homebuyers checking out the foreclosure, introduce yourself and talk up the neighborhood and the great people on your block.

Want to learn more? Log onto Bankrate.com. I’m Janet Stauble.