Is there a “Zombie House” near you?

Written By: Glenn Michaels

In much of the United States there are ugly abandoned homes filled with tales of woe, and sometimes a lot of stench and garbage.

The banks eventually take these properties over, but only after the foreclosure process runs its course.

Yes, “Zombie Homes” are properties that are being foreclosed by a lender and the homeowner vacates the property during the foreclosure process. These vacant homes result in all kinds of problems for the community where the property is situated in.

Some of these properties have squatters residing in them, others sit vacant, and some are boarded up. There are others with tall grass lawns with all kinds of infestation, garbage in and out of the home. These properties are often an eye sore and kill the property values of the properties near the “zombie house”

In New York State there is a proposal to change this by the New York’s attorney general, Eric Schneiderman. When the New York State Attorney General announced the proposal on Long Island, New York he had photographs of live rats in the grass, rat carcasses on the deck, black mold, mosquitoes and toxic fumes emanating from these homes.

A local realtor called these “dead homes” and they are making everyone’s property values go down and no one is doing anything about it.

On Long Island, New York there are about 4,000 “Zombie Homes and the New York State General has an antidote called “Abandoned Property Neighborhood Relief Act aimed at stemming the rising tide of “zombie homes”.

The bill seeks to help homeowners who want to remain in their homes and require mortgage lenders to take responsibility for properties soon after they have been vacated and pay penalties if they don’t.

The New York State Attorney General believes the fines paid by the banks would go into a fund and be used to help local governments to pay for the code enforcement.

If this bill passes in Albany then the mortgage lenders will be forced to take responsibility right away instead of waiting until the end of the foreclosure process, which could take years in New York State.

About The Author

Glenn Michaels - As an NAMP® staff writer, Glenn Michaels is a mortgage underwriting instructor for Mortgage Underwriter University ( As a BBA & FHA DE Underwriter, Glenn is a Pace University graduate who also graduated from New York University’s School of Mortgage Finance. Glenn has conducted numerous training classes and has worked in the mortgage banking industry for 38 years. If you're interested in becoming a writer for NAMP®, please email us at:

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