New York regulators said Monday that 11 lenders have agreed to monitor and maintain vacant properties in an effort to protect them and combat neighborhood blight.
The banks, mortgage companies and credit unions represent nearly 70 percent of the New York market and will adopt practices to limit the damage from so-called “zombie properties,” according to the Department of Financial Services. They agreed to best practices that include checking within 60 days any residential properties that are delinquent on loans to begin determining if they are abandoned, the department said.
The 11 lenders are Wells Fargo, Bank of America, Citi Mortgage, Ocwen, Nationstar, PHH, Green Tree Servicing, Astoria Bank, Bethpage Federal Credit Union, M&T Bank and Ridgewood Savings Bank.
“The wave of zombie properties that arose in the wake of the financial crisis harms local communities and threatens the long-term health of the mortgage market,” department Superintendent Ben Lawsky said. Many homeowners defaulted on mortgages in the aftermath of the 2008 national financial crisis when the housing bubble burst. “These commonsense actions are an immediate and vital part of repairing that damage as we continue to pursue additional legislative reforms,” he said.