Senators Terrence Murphy and Jeff Klein, with community leaders, unveiled “The Great American Bank Robbery: 40th State Senate District and Putnam & Dutchess Counties,” detailing over $6 million in property value depreciation resulting from poorly maintained bank-owned homes and zombie properties.

Standing in front of a deteriorating home, Senators Klein and Murphy called for new legislation to monitor bank-owned homes, require banks to maintain zombie properties, expedite the foreclosure process, give communities more powers to repair and maintain zombie properties, and create a community reinvestment fund to rid communities of blight.

“Residents of the 40th Senate District live within some of the most expensive areas in the nation and yet are under attack by neighboring zombie properties,” Senator Murphy said. “These zombie homes not only prove to be an eyesore in our communities but pose real dangers to our neighbors and children. It is not unreasonable to hold big banks accountable to properly care for and maintain the properties under their ownership in the Hudson Valley. I thank Senator Klein for his leadership on this issue and look forward to our continued bipartisan partnership to protect our local neighborhoods from the modern day zombie attacks.”

“The fallout of the subprime mortgage crisis hurts taxpaying homeowners the most. Banks, who own properties through foreclosure, let homes languish in awful states of disrepair that devalue surrounding homes even though they must by law maintain these properties,” Senator Klein said. “Worse, zombie properties that are in the legal limbo of foreclosure rot in communities throughout the state negatively impacting property values. This is a problem across New York State affecting homeowners’ greatest assets and we must hold banks accountable.”

In the 40th senate district, which includes sections of Westchester, Putnam and Dutchess, bank-owned homes resulted in $846,003 in property depreciation, while zombie properties, or properties where homeowners have walked away, accounted for $1.38 million in property value depreciation.

Studies show that homes within a 300-foot radius of a bank-owned or zombie home depreciate by 1.3 percent, an average $5,000.

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