Since January, 2016, The Journal News has published a number of articles dealing with abandoned properties where the legal owner has left property because the property is underwater meaning, the property is valued below the mortgage that is in effect. The owner leaves the bank that holds the mortgage, starts foreclosure proceedings and the property lays abandoned falling into disrepair and a magnet for children to play in the property or even squatters move into the property.
In an article on Monday, January 18, 2016 in The Journal News by Nick Muscavage and Jon Campbell entitled “Zombie Homes Hurt Values”, bank foreclosed properties have racked up 178 violations and caused surrounding properties to lose an estimated $9.2 million in values. The report from the State Senate Independent Democratic Conference and Mayor Richard Thomas of Mount Vernon examined 82 bank owned properties finding 64 properties having at least one violation or complaint filed against them by their municipality.
In an article on Wednesday, January 20, 2016 by Akiko Matsuda in The Journal News “Zombie Homes Send Chills Through Lo Hud Communities”. The article refers to the above article and State Senator Jeff Klein and Mount Vernon Mayor Rich Thomas stated properties across Westchester assessed a nearly $20 million was lost in neighborhood home values. “It becomes not only an eyesore in the neighborhood, an abandoned house is a magnet to vandalism”, according to Haverstraw Town Supervisor Howard Phillips.