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Combating Zombie Properties With Registries

abandoned zombie homeIn recent years, New York has faced a rise of zombie properties, forcing both the state and local communities to brainstorm new ways to combat this legacy of the financial crisis. According to a new report, North Hempstead Town, New York, is considering creating a registry that would require banks and mortgage lenders to register properties that are in financial distress.

According to Daniel George, who was hired by the town as a contractor to lead the initiative, the current estimate of 100 zombie houses is expected to rise as North Hempstead conducts inspections, Newsday reports. Officials said a registry of vacant zombie homes would generate revenue for the town, as mortgage lenders pay a fee for each registration and help municipalities track down the party responsible for the property.

Meanwhile, other cities in New York are looking for ways to address their own zombie property issues. In recent years, New York has struggled with lingering foreclosure issues and urban blight related to abandoned properties. While foreclosures across New York have dropped by 46% since 2013, and the number of pending foreclosure cases in the state is down by half since 2014, New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli warned earlier this year that “the foreclosure crisis is far from over,” adding, “New York must continue to support the programs and reforms that have helped homeowners avoid foreclosure and communities reduce blight caused by zombie properties.”

“It’s time to rethink how we deal with vacant and abandoned properties,” said a white paper published by the National Mortgage Servicing Association (NMSA). In the paper, the NMSA discussed some “common sense, practical, and affordable remedies,” aimed at reducing the costs of foreclosure practices and community blight.

According to the white paper, titled “Understanding the True Costs of Abandoned Properties: How Maintenance Can Make a Difference,” the typical foreclosed home can impose costs of around $170,000, $85,000 of which is attributable to vacant property requirements and condition.

About Author: Seth Welborn

Seth Welborn is a Reporter for DS News and MReport. A graduate of Harding University, he has covered numerous topics across the real estate and default servicing industries. Additionally, he has written B2B marketing copy for Dallas-based companies such as AT&T. An East Texas Native, he also works part-time as a photographer.
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