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Town of Cheektowaga supports proposed bill that would require contact information on foreclosed homes

BY: Kimberly Snickles, Cheektowaga Source | January 10, 2013

Ever wonder who gets the brunt of maintaining a home after it has been foreclosed on? Or ponder over why it just sits there collecting dust among other houses in the area? Well the answer is simple. There’s no one to call.

The Town of Cheektowaga passed resolution at Monday’s meeting in full support of a bill that would require all banks to give municipalities contact information regarding foreclosures. As of now the town is left to deal with resident’s complaints and concerns involving foreclosed homes and they are also left to deal with the maintenance of these properties; thus costing the town and tax payers money.

“Basically right now we can’t contact anybody so tonight we called for a demolition and we got their attention because demolitions are usually $40,000 to $50,000. So with this law what happens is when the banks start to close on a property they have to notify the municipalities and give them a contact person for maintenance,” said Councilmember Charles Markel.

No sooner did the town call for demolition that a representative from JPMorgan and Chase approached the board and requested an additional 60 days to bring the building back up to code. Yet, if the town did not request a demolition and grab the attention of those responsible, they would have never known whom to speak to.

Markel also referred to a foreclosed home on Chapel Hill where the town is being held responsible for the up keeping of mowing the lawn. These foreclosed homes are also bringing down the property value of the homes beside it, which hurts homeowners.

“If banks foreclose on a home it’s their responsibility. If the gutters fall off, the roofs caving in, this will give us a contact person. I talked to Senator Kennedy and he’s on board with it too,” said Markel.

The board further stated that they are very confident the proposed bill will be passed once it is presented in Albany.

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