The Real Deal New York

New York state mayors back bill to kill “zombie” foreclosures

Legislation would require landlords to pay for upkeep on homes abandoned during auction process
June 03, 2014 12:00PM

The New York State Conference of Mayors, a gathering of mayors from across the Empire State, has backed a bill that would create a registry for “zombie” foreclosures, or houses that homeowners abandon as a foreclosure auction looms.

The bill would also force lenders to notify homeowners that they can continue to reside in their homes until the foreclosure process is over. Lenders would have to pay for maintenance if the homeowner were to abandon the home. Brooklyn, Queens, Staten Island and the Bronx collectively have 2,500 zombie properties, according to data from RealtyTrac. The state has a total of 15,000 properties that fall into this category, data show.

Mayor Bill de Blasio was not part of the state conference’s announcement of support yesterday. However, Vicki Been, commissioner for the Department of Housing Preservation and Development, and City Council member Ritchie Torres also support the bill. [Crain’s] Mark Maurer