According to Merriam-Webster, to foreclose is the act of taking back property because the money owed for the property was not paid. This is often the case with mortgages. In New York, something called a zombie foreclosure is on the rise, which is when a homeowner moves out of their home but still has the title of the house in their name — meaning the process was not completed. This may occur because the foreclosure was cancelled, the title was never transferred, or the foreclosure sale did not take place.

In 2014, zombie foreclosures reached 16,700, which is a rise of about 54 percent. This type of foreclosure is damaging to communities and results in properties that get forgotten and ignored. Besides New York, states such as Florida, New Jersey, and Illinois suffer from a high number of zombie foreclosures. These states are hot spots for these types of foreclosures because the timeline for the process is extremely long — it may take up to two years!

To read about how to prevent these types of foreclosures, visit Tal Rappleyea’s blog here.