foreclosure

Don Ryan / AP

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo signed a bill into law today that requires banks to care for "zombie" properties--homes that are in foreclosure and have been abandoned.

On Thursday Cuomo traveled around the state, from Syracuse to Long Island, talking about the new law. He said the law first gives the owner the opportunity to stay in their home and adjust the mortgage to an amount they can pay. 

Chart courtesy of RealtyTrac

Long Island is experiencing a spike in "zombie" homes—properties that are often abandoned after their owners receive a notice of foreclosure. They can fall into disrepair, reducing the values of surrounding property and serving as magnets for crime and vandalism.

New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman is re-introducing legislation to combat the rise of abandoned properties. The bill is aimed at closing the gap of responsibility when a homeowner defaults.

Bank regulators in New York are accusing the nation's largest subprime mortgage lender of errors that might have harmed hundreds of thousands of borrowers.

New York's Department of Financial Services accuses Ocwen Financial of backdating letters warning of foreclosure or unsuccessful loan modifications. This means that by the time a borrower receives a letter from Ocwen, it's already too late to do anything about it.

AP/Mike Groll

New York banking regulators are investigating one of the nation's largest non-bank mortgage servicing companies, Ocwen Financial, over worries the company is bilking $65 million a year in kickbacks from both struggling homeowners and investors.

Watchdogs are scrutinizing the controversial, but common, practice of forcing homeowners to buy overpriced property insurance once they fall behind in their mortgage payments.

AP/John Minchillo

New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman is launching a free loan program to help homeowners struggling to avoid foreclosure. Homeowners can borrow up to $40,000 interest free.

The loans are aimed at homeowners trying to secure mortgage modifications which may be stalled because of small outstanding debts like back taxes or delinquent second mortgages.

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