- Associated Press - Tuesday, February 11, 2014

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) - New York’s attorney general is drafting legislation that would deal with abandoned houses by having mortgage lenders take responsibility for them sooner.

According to the attorney general’s office, homeowners behind on bank payments too often get a notice of foreclosure or saying they are in arrears and abandon their property, though they have the right to remain until a judge declares the foreclosure complete.

With nobody maintaining abandoned or derelict houses, they are subject to decay, vandalism and sometimes arson. A Pace Law School study shows hundreds abandoned in Poughkeepsie and Newburgh.

The attorney general’s office is drafting legislation that would make lenders responsible soon after properties are abandoned, not after the foreclosure process that can take years, and establish a statewide registry for so-called “zombie properties” to track them.

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