As Moratorium on Foreclosures Ends, Erie County Clerk Fears Flood of ‘Zombie’ Homes | Local company
“The delinquency rates that we are seeing due to Covid are vastly higher than those we saw during the Great Recession,” she said.
While a typical year sees 1,400 to 1,600 new foreclosure cases filed in Erie County courts, there were only 500 in 2020 due to the moratorium.
“Not only are we expecting an increase because of Covid, but there would also be a backlog of cases in court at the same time,” Lockhart said.
Then there will likely be a second wave, resulting from tax foreclosures, which will later occur as a separate wave, as municipalities cannot file documents until a landlord is at least two years late.
“Next year we’re going to see a lot of foreclosures filed, and that’s when we’ll see a lot of people leave their homes,” said Jordan L. Zeranti, general counsel at the Initiative’s legal center. Zombies.
Kearns said he plans to ask the courts to create a special division just to deal with the expected flood of cases.
“This is why we have to be proactive,” Kearns said. “We want to prepare these municipalities to use the tools, to make sure they are not caught off guard.”
According to research firm ATTOM Data Solutions, which tracks foreclosures and defaults, Erie County had 48 zombie houses in the second quarter of this year, up 20% from a year ago. Across New York State, there were 2,052 zombie properties in the second quarter, up from 2,158 a year ago – but still the highest number of any state, accounting for a quarter of the nation’s total.