Zombie homes shame campaign spreads to Niagara Falls – Spectrum News

NIAGARA FALLS, N.Y. — The city has placed several signs in front of five Niagara Falls homes that read, “How did this zombie get here? We’re looking at you Citizens Bank.” The idea is to use public pressure to push banks to wrap up the foreclosure process after people have defaulted on their mortgages and abandoned the homes.

Seth Piccirillo, Niagara Falls Community Development director, says there are hundreds of these cases in the city. Many have code violations, safety hazards, and have become a nuissance for neighbors.

“Don’t make us get to a point where we’re putting signs out in front of houses,” Piccirillo said. “We don’t want to do public relations stunts. We want houses sold. Work with the people who are willing to work with you and finish the foreclosures.”

Citizens Bank responded in statement to Spectrum News:

We take a thoughtful approach to lending and work with borrowers who have defaulted to help them avoid foreclosure. In 2016 we assisted more than 1,400 families experiencing a hardship remain in their homes. All cases are different, but in the situation where a foreclosure does occur, we follow the process, which has several steps governed by law. While we cannot share specific details, we have been in contact with local officials and are committed to maintaining any property in this situation.”

Niagara Falls Community Development is also calling on Penny Mac USA to sell a foreclosed property on Lindwood Avenue which has been vacant for eight years. The bank recently bought the property back at auction.

Penny Mac did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

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Zombie homes shame campaign spreads to Niagara Falls – Spectrum News

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