New York AG backs revised legislation to address 'zombie' properties abandoned around state

New York's attorney general has proposed new legislation to help stop the spread of so-called "zombie homes," meaning properties that are abandoned, often during prolonged foreclosure proceedings.

Attorney General Eric Schneiderman says zombie foreclosures increased 50 percent from 2013 to 2014, bringing the total statewide to 16,701.

The bill, recently introduced in the Senate and Assembly, would require notifying homeowners they have the right to stay in their residences until a judge declares the foreclosure complete.

It would require lenders to take responsibility for properties soon after they are vacated, not at the end of a lengthy foreclosure process, and authorize fines for lenders who fail to maintain them.

New provisions would direct penalties for noncompliance into a fund for local code enforcement and establish faster foreclosures for vacant properties.