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Seeking help for abandoned homes

ALBANY (AP) — The mayors of Buffalo, Rochester and 14 other New York cities have written to lawmakers asking them to pass legislation to require mortgage lenders to maintain so-called “zombie properties.”

The measure crafted by Attorney General Eric Schneiderman would make banks and other lenders responsible for homes that have been abandoned after the start of a foreclosure.

Zombie homes are properties that have been abandoned after their owners receive a notice of foreclosure — even though foreclosures can take years and occupants are entitled to stay until the process is completed. The homes often fall into disrepair, reducing property values and putting a drain on local governments.

Schneiderman’s bill would authorize fines for lenders who fail to maintain abandoned homes.

He’s asking lawmakers to pass the measure before adjourning this month.



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