Effective December 20, 2016, the New York State Legislature enacted RPAPL § 1309, which provides for an Expedited Foreclosure Procedure in the State of New York. As such, lenders will now be able to employ a new technique to cut down timelines and move vacant/abandoned properties to judgment more expeditiously.
How to Determine Whether the Loan Qualifies for Vacant/ Abandoned Status?
Pursuant to RPAPL § 1309:
(a) Vacant and abandoned residential property means residential real property , to which the plaintiff has proven, by preponderance of the evidence, that it has conducted at least three consecutive inspections of such property, with each inspection conducted twenty-five to thirty-five days apart and at different times of the day, and at each inspection (i) no occupant was present and there was no evidence of occupancy on the property to indicate that any persons are residing there; and (ii) the residential real property was not being maintained in a manner consistent with the standards set forth in New York property maintenance code chapter 3 sections 301, 302 (excluding 302.2, 302.6, 302.8), 304.1, 304.3, 304.7, 304.10, 304.12, 304.13, 304.15, 304.16, 307.1 and 308.1.
(b) Residential real property will also be deemed vacant and abandoned if:
(i) A court or other appropriate state or local governmental entity has formally determined, following due notice to the borrower at the property address and any other known addresses, that such residential real property is vacant and abandoned; or
(ii) Each borrower and owner has separately issued a sworn written statement, expressing his or her intent to vacate and abandon the property and an inspection of the property shows no evidence of occupancy to indicate that any persons are residing there.
(c) Evidence of lack of occupancy shall include but not be limited to the following conditions: (i) overgrown or dead vegetation; (ii) accumulation of newspapers, circulars, flyer or mail; (iii) past due utility notices, disconnected utilities, or utilities not in use; (iv) accumulation of trash, refuse or other debris; (v) absence of window coverings such as curtains, blinds, or shutters; (vi) one or more boarded, missing or broken windows; (vii) the property is open to casual entry or trespass; or (viii) the property has a building or structure that is or appears structurally unsound or has any other condition that presents a potential hazard or danger to the safety of persons.
Written by Michael Derosa, Esq.
 Property located in this state [New York] improved by any building or structure that is or may be used, in whole or in part, as the home or residence of one or more persons, and shall include any building or structure used for both residential and commercial purposes. RPAPL § 1305 [McKinney].