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Friday, May 27, 2016

NY Assembly Passes Legislation to Combat Zombie Homes - "Registry" proposed

Speaker Carl Heastie and Judiciary Chair Helene Weinstein have announced the passage of legislation to combat the rising problem of abandoned residential properties by creating new efficiencies in the foreclosure process and imposing requirements for the maintenance of properties by a mortgagee or its loan servicing agent.
"High foreclosure rates continue to affect homeowners and communities across the state and these challenges are further complicated by the rising tide of abandoned residential properties," said Speaker Heastie. "The measures passed today will provide stronger protections against predatory foreclosure practices, ensure continued maintenance of abandoned properties and facilitate a more expedient transfer of ownership that does not harm surrounding property values."
Assembly bill 6932-A the "New York State Abandoned Property Relief Act of 2016", was produced in conjunction with New York State Attorney General, Eric Schneiderman and sponsored by Assemblymember Helene Weinstein, would facilitate earlier detection and maintenance of vacant and abandoned residential properties as well as:
  • Expand the existing duty of a mortgagee to maintain vacant residential real property to include "pre-foreclosure" vacant properties;
  • Require periodic inspections to determine whether properties secured by a delinquent mortgage have actually been abandoned;
  • Allow localities and the Attorney General to enforce the maintenance of property requirements; and
  • Create a statewide registry for abandoned residential property under the supervision of the state Attorney General and a toll-free hotline for community residents to report the presence of such properties.
The bill must still pass the Senate.