New plan unveiled to combat 'zombie homes' on LI

The state attorney general announced a newly expanded Abandoned Property Neighborhood Relief Act.

The state attorney general announced a newly expanded Abandoned Property Neighborhood Relief Act. (5/7/15)

MINEOLA - A newly expanded plan aimed at dealing with so-called zombie homes was unveiled today in Mineola.

State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman announced the details of the Abandoned Property Neighborhood Relief Act. Under the act, banks and mortgage services would be required to maintain vacant and abandoned properties throughout the foreclosure process. Failure to meet the requirements would result in fines.

"This is truly a bipartisan issue," says Schneiderman. "This is not something where people are breaking along party lines or regional lines. Everywhere in this great state of New York, local governments are suffering under the burden of zombie properties."

According to data from RealtyTrac, zombie homes on Long Island increased by 62 percent between 2013 and 2014. Long Island has the highest amount of zombie homes in the state.

The bill has faced criticism from the New York State Bankers Association saying, “We oppose the approach in this bill because it would require lenders to maintain property that they do not own."

The bill is currently being discussed in Albany. Schneiderman hopes it will be voted on this year.

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