Monday, June 20, 2016

NEW YORK'S ZOMBIE HOME LEGISLATION



As now reported in many state newspapers, new state legislation, passed in the early hours of Saturday morning, has to do with homes that have become so-called zombie properties – empty houses stuck in sometimes-lengthy foreclosure and prone to falling into disrepair.

In a press release issued by the Assembly on June 17:

" The legislation addressing zombie properties, an effort spearheaded by Assemblymember Helene Weinstein, would avoid the cancerous blight of vacant and abandoned properties by facilitating earlier detection and maintenance of these properties as well as:
  • impose a statewide duty of a mortgage lender or bank owner, or their agent, to maintain vacant one to four family residential real property, even while a foreclosure action is pending;
  • require periodic inspections to determine whether properties have been abandoned;
  • create penalties against mortgage lenders of up to $500 per property per day for failure to maintain these "Zombie" properties;
  • authorize municipalities to enforce the maintenance provisions of the law;
  • create a statewide registry for abandoned residential property under the supervision of the state Department of Financial Services, and a toll-free hotline for community residents to report the presence of such properties;
  • make available to public officials of local governments the information in the zombie property registry, in order to help them better evaluate and remedy blight in their neighborhoods; and
  • require the court to give homeowners in foreclosures a consumer bill of rights that the department of financial services would publish in consultation with all stakeholders."

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