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New York State’s “Zombie properties”

TWC News

“I don’t think it’s like anybody’s going to come along with swords and slashing off the heads of property, but it’s where the homeowner has moved out because they are someplace in the foreclosure process and they either perceive that they have to move out or the think that they’re not going to be able to do something that will allow them to stay long term. What folks should know is that right along through the process, they have rights and they don’t have to leave the property,” said Robert Rock, Tully Rinckey PLLC Attorney.

You heard him correctly. At no point during the foreclosure procedure do you have to vacate the premises, which is for the best in case you find an agreement with the bank and get to keep your home.

Rock added, “Vacant property becomes easy target for vandals. I’m aware of several situations where vandals go in and they’ll strip all the copper out and sell it for scrap. It’s also an attractive target for drug issues.”

To help combat this issue, New York’s Attorney General is looking to push legislation that will help accelerate the foreclosure process to benefit homeowners and the banks.

Rock went on to say, “I think that the pros very heavily outweigh the cons in this situation because what the AG is looking to do is to minimize the number of zombies that are out there. To have the banks get involved to take responsibility at an earlier point in time.”

It also benefits homeowners in the neighborhood of the foreclosure to help preserve property values of other homes in the area. We’ll keep an eye out for the legislation and how it all plays out.

Bob is the managing partner of the Albany office of Tully Rinckey PLLC and the head of the Firm’s insolvency practice. He has 35 years of experience in dealing with complex financial, corporate and commercial issues. Throughout his 35year legal career, Bob has centered his practice in the Capital Region but has represented clients all across New York including in each of the four United States District Courts and the U.S. Second Circuit Court of Appeals.

Bob has extensive experience before both state and federal courts fighting for clients in the civil litigation arena. When Tully Rinckey PLLC’s clients have been wronged by the action or inaction of another party, they find an ally and advocate in Bob as they pursue their rights in court Clients may also find themselves being sued and in need of the kind of proactive defense provided by Bob and the Tully Rinckey PLLC civil litigation team. Bringing to bear the lessons learned over decades of representing individuals, businesses, non-profit organizations, municipalities, and the full range of legal entities, Bob and the team provide aggressive representation to secure the best possible legal outcome for our clients.

A long-time ally of distressed and troubled businesses and individuals throughout upstate New York, Bob has been expanding Tully Rinckey PLLC’s bankruptcy practice, particularly in the areas of Chapter 11 (business) and Chapter 12 (farm) reorganization while continuing the firm’s tradition of representing individuals in Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 proceedings and all types of bankruptcy litigation.

Bob has successfully confirmed Chapter 11 plans in diverse cases, including a rural Delaware County acute care hospital, a swimming pool builder and water park developer, a major printing company and an ante-bellum ladder manufacturer. He has successfully represented a ski manufacturer in protecting its rights and ensuring that its position was adequately protected in the bankruptcy of a central New York ski area. He has also represented creditors’ committees in a Broome County and Pennsylvania baker, a mid-Hudson building products supplier and a consortium of banks in a case involving a purported investment company behind a massive Ponzi scheme. Bob was the lead attorney on a landmark case involving the eligibility of certain New York partnerships to seek reorganization under Chapter 11. Bob has represented secured and unsecured creditors as well as Chapter 7 and Chapter 11 trustees in virtually every aspect of bankruptcy.

Bob received a juris doctorate from Albany Law School and a bachelor’s degree in political science from LeMoyne College. His admissions include the New York State Bar, the U.S. District Courts for the Eastern, Southern and Northern Districts of New York, and the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

When not at work, Bob enjoys hiking in the Adirondacks and Catskills, music, local history and travel.



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