New state law to combat blight of zombie properties

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ALBANY – New state law
will prevent foreclosures and curb the threat posed to communities by
so-called zombie properties, those left to fall into disrepair when abandoned
by owners and taken back by banks.
The law will impose a pre-foreclosure duty on the banks and servicers to maintain vacant and abandoned properties. Previously, a bank or mortgagee had the responsibility of maintaining a vacant property once a judgment of foreclosure and sale was obtained, creating zombie properties when the mortgagee becomes or should have become aware of the vacancy.
Newburgh Mayor Judy Kennedy said she has been supporting the legislation since Attorney General Eric Schneiderman first introduced it.
“It will be a great help to our city codes department when trying to enforce property maintenance by banks that are in the foreclosure process,” Kennedy said, noting zombie properties are a “very important issue to all New York municipalities and our citizens.”
Under the new law, home foreclosure prevention services are also strengthened.