New State Law to Combat Zombie Home Problem

While standing in front of a zombie home in Carmel, Sen. Terrence Murphy discusses new legislation designed to curtail the zombie home problem as Sen. Jeff Klein (center) and Supervisor Ken Schmitt. Credits: Photo Courtesy of Senator Terrence Murphy

MAHOPAC, N.Y.— The state assembly has passed a law that will hold banks accountable and streamline the foreclosure process so local blights such as zombie homes (neglected homes under foreclosure) can become thriving pieces of local neighborhoods.

Sen. Terrence Murphy teamed with Sen. Jeff Klein of the Bronx to sponsor the legislation and bring attention to the growing zombie home invasion within the 40th Senate District.

Murphy said that zombie homes have been "terrorizing" neighborhoods and frustrating homeowners for years. The law, he said, will help change that.

Sign Up for E-News

“Earlier this year we unveiled a report showing a depreciation of more than $6 million in property values due to these so-called 'zombie' properties,” Murphy said. “These properties not only prove to devalue neighboring parcels but pose real dangers to our kids. The new laws we passed finally hold big banks accountable to properly care for and maintain the properties under their ownership instead of letting them deteriorate into zombie properties.”

Under new legislation approved earlier this year, banks and mortgage servicing companies will be required to maintain any houses that are abandoned before or while the lenders foreclose on them. The law also establishes a daily fine of $500 if banks do not comply with the new reporting requirements. The law includes an expedited foreclosure process for abandoned properties.

“Sadly, many homeowners were not able to keep up with their mortgage payments due to the financial recession resulting in the loss of their homes,” said Supervisor Ken Schmitt, who has noted that Carmel/Mahopac has had to cope with its own zombie home issues. “This new law allows Carmel to hire a contractor to clean up and maintain the property without impacting the town-wide operating budget. This is definitely a win-win for our town and any neighborhood with neglected properties because now the abandoned property will be cleaned up at no additional cost to local taxpayers.”

To report zombie properties, can call the new hotline: 1-800-342-3736.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News


The Hatch Act and Immigration Updates

This is for information purposes only. So, when you see headlines like the recent “Kellyanne Conway cited for two violations of the Hatch Act,” you will have a working knowledge of what it means. First off, what is the Hatch Act? This has nothing to do with Orrin Hatch, senator from Utah. Simply put, it states one cannot advocate for or against candidates while serving in an official ...

There Is Always More to the Story

If you are getting your information from CNN, MSNBC, The New York Times or others in the mainstream media, you would think the Russians are no good dirty scoundrels, colluding with Trump to steal the election from the rightful heir, Hillary Clinton.

The leading Democrats in New York are all on board with this scenario, as are Democrats representing states across the country. You have heard ...

The ‘Feminist’ President ... Ha!

Incredibly, it wasn’t until 1987 that Congress finally acknowledged the part women have played in the great movements of American history, declaring March to be National Women’s History Month.

And each year since, as March rolls around, U.S. presidents have stood at the lectern, extolling the virtues of American women. In President Trump’s statement, released last week, he ...

To Harrison, L'Chaim!

At long last, the smile of spring approaches, as an angry winter recedes into good riddance. Our spirit is ready to be re-charged. Damn the power outages, full speed ahead!

For my wife, Elyse, daughter, Elissa, and me, this otherwise exuberant time of year brings a confusion of mixed emotions. In 2003, on the opening day of spring, March 20, which happens to be my birthday, our 15-year-old son ...

Anytown USA's Reality TV Show

Nowhere is the raw power of our Constitution’s First Amendment more earnestly practiced than in thousands of town halls across the land every time a citizen steps up to the podium to say his piece.

That also is where reality television can be seen at its rawest, as town meetings are televised to the local populace. All the familiar production values of reality TV are there in full color: ...

When It's Not OK to Ask If Everything's OK

There is this thing that I do that annoys the heck out of my family. Well, to be honest, there are a lot of things I do that annoy the heck out of my family, but I am thinking of one thing in particular.

Whenever someone is in the bathroom for what I determine to be an abnormally long period of time, I stand outside the bathroom door and yell,


I ...

I'm All Pumped Up

This time last year, I struggled with my New Year’s resolution to go to the gym.

This year, I have made significant progress. I am going to the gym on a semi-regular basis. And by semi-regular, I mean, I go often enough that I actually remember where it’s located between visits.

The bad news, however, is that my workouts are just, how would you say it? Lame. Yes, they’re ...

Upcoming Events


Sat, March 24, 2:00 PM

South Putnam Animal Hospital, Mahopac

PCDOH Free Rabies Vaccination Clinic

Health & Wellness

Sat, March 24, 2:00 PM

South Putnam Animal Hospital, Mahopac

PCDOH Free Rabies Vaccination Clinic

Health & Wellness

Sun, March 25

First Presbyterian Church of Yorktown, Yorktown Heights

Holy Week at First Presbyterian Church of Yorktown

Religions And Spirituality

Safety Is Schools' Top Priority

March 14, 2018

To the editor,

[Editor’s note: The following letter was sent by School Superintendent Anthony DiCarlo to Mahopac families and the school community.]

We are all saddened by the tragic events that took place in Parkland, Fla., several weeks ago, Mahopac’s collective thoughts and prayers for healing and strength are directed toward the families and students of Parkland.

I want ...