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There were 17 of “them” in Nyack, New York. But as a result of dedicated efforts made by persistent neighbors, now there are only 12 left. The “them” in this neighborhood is in reference to what are commonly called “zombie properties.” A property often receives this “zombie” title when it is abandoned as a result of foreclosure. And some estimates count as many as 15,000 “zombies” across New York State.

Highlighting Abandoned Foreclosure Properties

 NYS Senator David Carlucci and Nyack Mayor Jen White recently held a press conference to highlight the problem of abandoned properties. They also took this as an opportunity to promote legislation that will help communities address the issue. These zombie properties hurt property values and often create health and safety concerns.

The Abandoned Property Neighborhood Relief Act

The proposed “Abandoned Property Neighborhood Relief Act” will hold banks and other lending institutions accountable for zombie properties. The Act is supported by Carlucci and co-sponsored by Rockland County’s NYS Assembly Members Ellen Jaffee and Kenneth Zebrowski, . “Here in Nyack we have said ‘enough is enough.’ We are going to break through the status quo to end this blight on our community,” said Carlucci. “We are supporting legislation to deal with zombie properties, to create a database of all of the abandoned homes and their deed holders,” he said.

Creating a Database for Foreclosed on Homes

If the legislation is passed by the Assembly and Senate and signed by the governor, a central database for properties that meet the “abandoned” definition would be created. The law specifies that a residential property can be called “vacant and abandoned”  when three or more monthly mortgage payments have been missed, the owner tells their bank that they will be vacating the property, or if a state or local governmental entity declares that the abandoned property is a risk to the public’s health and safety.

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