New York City Mayor de Blasio Has Discovered A Cure For The Zombie Homes Plague In NYC And It’s lawsuits!
New York State has been plagued by zombie homes for a decade. Zombie homes are abandoned foreclosed homes that are owned by banks and lenders. In 2016 New York State passed a law allowing the state and municipalities to fine lenders for not maintaining the property. NYDFS also has the ability to slap a $500 per day fine on the lender for each property.
As a result of the law, NYDFS successfully sued PHH last year for $119,000 for a single property in the Hudson Valley.
The city’s Department of Housing Preservation and Development is using the law to sue Citimortgage and Wells Fargo. They are also suing three mortgage servers that represent the two lenders. The largest one being Ocwen.
New York’s zombie homes law designates both lenders and their mortgage servicers as responsible parties for the safety and security of properties in foreclosure.
The HPD also alleges the companies failed to clean up a cluster of abandoned homes in Brooklyn.
HPD Deputy Commissioner Leila Bozorg told WNBC:
One of the zombie homes named in the suit had waist-high weeds sprouting from garbage on the front porch. A condom and a crushed malt liquor can also lay on the front steps.
The HPD lawsuit states CitiMortgage and its servicing company should have cleaned the property up at 1889 Bergen Street up months ago.
Geoffrey James lives next door told WNBC:
A spokesman for Citi declined to comment on the blighted property.