They are called "zombie homes" and neighborhoods have good reason to fear them.
New York has an estimated 15,000 of them — homes that have been abandoned by their owners, usually with foreclosures looming but before lenders are in control of the properties.
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The houses fall into disrepair, become magnets for crime and threaten to bring down surrounding neighborhoods.
New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman has outlined several proposals to deal with the problem. Among them is legislation that would require lenders to maintain property that's been abandoned after the start of a foreclosure.
He also backs the idea of letting communities create land banks to buy, refurbish and resell abandoned homes.