Counsel from a Dedicated Massapequa Real Estate Lawyer
Facing a foreclosure can be a nightmare for many homeowners and families but, over the last few years, we've seen a new real estate trend that can even be more burdensome: zombie properties (sometimes called "ghost properties"). Zombie properties occur when homeowners vacate a property in foreclosure, and then the foreclosure process is delayed because of the volume of cases their attorneys are handling, or otherwise does not have the evidence to prove the foreclosure - leaving the former homeowners exposed to serious consequences.
If you have vacated your home and you are unaware of the status of any foreclosure, then we advise that you contact legal counsel immediately. At James J. Quail & Associates, P.C., our dedicated and experienced Nassau County real estate attorney has helped countless clients with various real estate matters, including sales, transactions, and foreclosure defense.
Don't hesitate to resolve your zombie property. Call us at 516.246.2449 today.
Ramifications of Zombie Properties
Zombie properties can be harmful to homeowners because after a foreclosure is initiated, the homeowner believes that their legal and financial ties to the property have ended. In a completed foreclosure this is true, but in a zombie foreclosure, banks allow properties to languish, fall into disrepair, and leave the former homeowners on the hook for any legal or financial consequences.
Zombie property homeowners can be subject to:
- Local municipal bills for repairs, trash removal, yard maintenance, etc.
- HOA lawsuits over unpaid assessments
- Accumulating property taxes and tax delinquency
- Housing code and local ordinance violations
- Continued creditor harassment
- Damaged credit score
Reform in New York
In June 2016, Governor Andrew Cuomo signed a new bill into law aimed at reducing the number of zombie properties in New York. The new law was much needed, in fact: Nassau County has become infamous for some of the country's highest zombie property numbers.
Under the new law, banks will be mandated to service and maintain the properties they foreclose on, definitively severing the former homeowner's ties to the property. The law will also create a database of abandoned properties and create and expedited foreclosure process on vacant properties to cycle them back onto the market as soon as possible. "For each zombie home that we cure and for each that we prevent with this legislation, we are saving entire neighborhoods from the corrosive effect of blight and neglect," Governor Cuomo said at the signing of the bill.