The challenging economic conditions of the last few years have not only caused millions of Americans to lose their jobs, but also have put families out of their homes and forced businesses to close shop. With the rate at which both residential and commercial properties are foreclosed accelerating, financial institutions are facing some unique challenges. This article deals specifically with those challenges related to vacant properties. Idle properties, whether commercial or residential, face increased potential risks that banking professionals need to take into consideration. There are some general guidelines enabling financial institutions to properly manage the exposures linked to ownership of idle properties. The following are some best practices for how to best mitigate these risks: 1. Make someone accountable. 2. Keep fire prevention top of mind. 3. Secure the site. 4. Keep accurate, detailed records. 5. Commit to ongoing maintenance.