NY Governor Says Two Additional Mortgage Companies Will Adopt Set of Best Practices to Combat “Zombie Properties”
On July 9, in an ongoing fight to reduce the amount of “zombie properties” within the state, Governor Cuomo announced that two additional mortgage companies will adopt the New York Department of Financial Services (NYDFS) recommended Industry Best Practices, aiming to help combat the economic damage that vacant and abandoned properties cause certain neighborhoods. The Practices ensure that banks and mortgage companies will regularly inspect properties in a delinquent status to determine if they are vacant, and if they are properly maintained and safe. If a property is determined vacant, banks and mortgage companies will report the property to a state registry, ensuring that NYDFS shares the information with local government officials. Local government officials and the NYDFS will then work together to “address and escalate any concerns about maintenance with the bank or mortgage company that is servicing the loan.” Governor Cuomo’s announcement resonates with Superintendent Lawsky’s May 22 remarks concerning NYDFS’s effort to reform the state’s lengthy foreclosure process, which leaves properties in despair and causes economic blight and safety issues. With the two additional companies joining the state’s efforts against zombie properties, lenders representing nearly 70 percent of the New York mortgage lending market have now agreed to adopt the set of best practices.