Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R,C,I-Batavia) today announced that 11 banks, mortgage companies and credit unions have agreed on best practices to combat problems associated with abandoned “zombie properties” in New York’s neighborhoods. Hawley was pleased that industry leaders are taking initiatives to combat this widespread issue and preserve the safety and appearance of local communities.

            “Zombie and abandoned properties are a serious widespread problem in New York State communities,” Hawley said. “After the market collapsed several years ago, the incidence of zombie properties spiked and many consumers and credit agencies lacked the financial resources to purchase such properties or perform necessary maintenance. Abandoned and vacant properties are eyesores to local communities, drive down nearby home and land values, and attract squatters and criminals to the area. Unfortunately, banks are not required to maintain vacant properties until they are officially foreclosed, which could be years after previous residents moved elsewhere. This leads to serious property damage and unwillingness of various parties to perform maintenance. I am pleased that a regular maintenance schedule and safety measures have been established by real estate industry leaders.”

            The businesses participating in the establishment of best practices are Bank of America, Wells Fargo, Citi Mortgage, Ocwen, Nationstar, PHH, Green Tree Services, Astoria Bank, Bethpage Federal Credit Union, M&T Bank and Ridgewood Savings Bank. The best practices are expected to be implemented by August 2015 and complaints regarding zombie properties can be submitted to the New York State Department of Financial Services at

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