Ocwen, PHH Review Alleged Abandoned Property Violations in 3 Cities

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Ocwen Financial and its subsidiary PHH Mortgage on Monday reviewed allegations that they did not complete a timely buyout of 18 abandoned properties in New York, the top state for so-called “zombie” real estate problems.

Albany, Schenectady and Troy have agreed to lawsuits against Oakwen and PHH pursuant to New York Zombie Ownership Act, according to a press statement released online on July 28. Under the law, a civil fine can be up to $ 500 for each day of an abandoned property violation. New York passed the law months before the COVID-19 pandemic hit the United States in December 2019. Cities claim the affected properties have a total of 502 violations of state building codes.

Bye the moratorium on redemptions of mortgages is being phased out banned actions on occupied properties for one family, they usually allowed some exceptions for abandoned properties, or at least for those that were under development before the pandemic. Recently, national zombie ownership volumes grew by nearly 6% qoq and 21% yoy, according to Attom Data Solutions, but the number in New York at 2,052 is less than the 2,226 seen when the New York law was passed.

Oakwen declined to comment on the details of the trial and whether he was affected by the foreclosure ban, noting that he had just begun considering it.

“We are disappointed that the municipalities of Albany, Troy and Schenectady did not contact us in advance to discuss ownership issues,” the company added. “We have worked proactively and in partnership with a number of New York State municipalities over the years on this important issue, including as a member of the West New York City Erie County Zombie Task Force.”



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