New York is making best use of the money that it received from the Attorney General foreclosure lawsuit. New York attorney general Eric Schneiderman played a key role in negotiating the settlement and he earned significant money for his own state. In last year’s foreclosure abuse settlement with five of the country’s largest banks Mr. Scheiderman announced this week that he will I use $20 million of that money to “rebuild and restore neighborhoods hit hard by the housing crisis.” Schneiderman noted that his office has already provided “roughly $2 billion in relief to homeowners throughout the state, but it’s not nearly enough”. He believes that the key to truly effecting a recovery lies in empowering his state’s land banks, which can acquire vacant, abandoned, or foreclosed properties and then rebuild, demolish, or redesign them. Mr. Schneiderman believes that the land banks will best be able to truly “empower local communities to rebuild their own neighborhoods” and said that his office will “invite competitive proposals from land banks to directly address the effects and aftermath of the foreclosure crisis.”
Schneiderman is presently engaged in suing – and re-suing – several banks for foreclosure abuse in New York and for failing to honor the terms of the foreclosure abuse settlement from last year. His movement in support of landbanks actually could result in increased foreclosures in some areas of the state since land banks often seize control of property via tax delinquency. In Syracuse, nine percent of all property iseligible for seizure due to property tax delinquency at this time. However, land banks tend to focus on properties that are not being maintained or that have been abandoned rather than inhabited homes. The land banks have previously been reluctant to seize property because there were no ready buyers for the properties and they did not have the funds to rebuild, restore, or maintain on their own.
Paddy Deighan J.D. Ph.D