Attorney General Eric Schneiderman would make banks and other mortgage lenders responsible for maintaining properties abandoned after the start of a foreclosure.
Known as “zombie” homes, the properties are often abandoned after their owners receive a notice of foreclosure. They can fall into disrepair, reducing the values of surrounding property and serving as magnets for crime and vandalism.
Schneiderman’s bill would require lenders to tell homeowners of their right to stay until ordered out by a court, require they secure abandoned properties earlier in the process, and impose fines for noncompliance.
He cites 2014 data showing zombie foreclosures rose almost 50 percent to 16,700.
“The greater New York metro area had by far the highest number of zombie foreclosures of any metropolitan statistical area nationwide, with 19,177 — 17 percent of all properties in foreclosure and up 73 percent from a year ago,” according to RealtyTrac’s first-quarter Zombie Foreclosure Report.