NY Governor Signs “Zombie Property Remediation Act”

NY Governor Signs “Zombie Property Remediation Act”

Legislation Update
December 18, 2019

Source: The New York State Senate

Sponsor Memo:

SPONSOR: SKOUFIS

TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the real property actions and proceedings law, in relation to authorizing municipalities to compel mortgagees either to complete a mortgage foreclosure proceeding pursuant to article 13 of the real property actions and proceedings law or to issue a certificate of discharge of the mortgage for any property which has been certified abandoned pursuant to section 1971 of the real property actions and proceedings law

PURPOSE:

Permits a municipality to compel a mortgagee to either complete a mortgage foreclosure proceeding or to issue a certificate of discharge of the mortgage for any property which has been certified abandoned pursuant to real property actions and proceedings law section 1971. Thousands of abandoned properties are blighting communities throughout the State of New York. Complicating the efforts of local government officials to deal with these properties that depress surrounding property values and put on a strain on municipal resources are zombie properties. Zombie properties sit in legal foreclosure limbo for years, frequently abandoned by the property owners, generally deteriorating sometimes to the point that the buildings must be demolished while the mortgagee fails to complete the foreclosure process.

SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS:

Section 1 of the bill sets forth the Act’s title: “Zombie Property Remediation Act of 2019”.

Section 2 adds a new section 1392 of the real property actions and proceedings law which authorizes local governments to commence judicial proceedings in courts of competent jurisdiction to compel mortgagees to either complete mortgage foreclosure actions or to issue certificates of discharge for the mortgage for properties that have been certified as abandoned pursuant to real property actions and proceedings law section 1971.

JUSTIFICATION:

By enacting this legislation, municipalities will be able to better address the “zombie properties” that are plaguing communities across the state.

LEGISLATIVE HISTORY:

Assembly
2015-16: A9655-A – Referred to Judiciary
2017: A1563-A – Referred to Judiciary
2018: A1563-A – Referred to Judiciary; Reported, referred to Codes

Senate
2016: S7295 – Referred to Housing, Construction and Community Development

FISCAL IMPLICATIONS:

None to the State. This legislation should financially benefit municipalities in allowing them to reclaim and redevelop “zombie properties”in order to return them to the property tax rolls.

EFFECTIVE DATE:
This act shall take effect immediately.