NY law means 800 days can pass between home occupancy and foreclosure; land banks are helping prevent "zombie houses" from popping up in the meantime.
"[Z]ombie homes are a problem throughout the U.S. as communities deal with the fallout from the housing crisis, with one estimate suggesting that one in five houses facing foreclosure are vacant. They are unwelcome additions to the properties that have gone unsold, unoccupied and unneeded as city populations have declined over decades of demographic and economic change. The problem is worse in states where foreclosures take the longest. Nationally, the foreclosure process averages about 400 days. In New York, the average is more than 800 days. Solving the problem requires more programs designed to help homeowners avoid foreclosure, [Eric] Schneiderman said. He's also backed the idea of letting communities create land banks to buy, refurbish and resell abandoned homes, and has proposed legislation that would require lenders to maintain a property that's been abandoned after the start of a foreclosure." -- Associated Press, via the Poughkeepsie Journal