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Foreclosed houses haunting Metro area

Foreclosed houses haunting Metro area, Thousands of vacant and abandoned eyesores are blighting neighborhoods across New York as the foreclosure crisis expands along a troubling new front: zombie loans.

A recent 38 percent spike to more than 12,000 properties in the second quarter means New York is now ranked the No. 1 metro area for the most vacant and abandoned homes in the nation, according to RealtyTrac.

These so-called zombie properties are stuck in limbo, abandoned by homeowners and mired in foreclosure by the banks. Unable to be resold, the homes fall into disrepair. Squatters, crime, declining property values and, ultimately, demolition are the result, experts said.

Lawmakers and New York’s Attorney General are trying to clean up the mess, which experts blamed largely on banks dragging out foreclosures. AG Eric Schneiderman is funneling $33 million into relief efforts, including up to 20 land banks that will rehab or demolish abandoned homes.

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