About Us

Be a good neighbor. Identify zombie properties to your community.

The Lackawanna Zombie Property Task Force was founded in 2016 in an effort to combat the number of "zombie properties" in the community. A "zombie property" is defined as a one-to-four family residential property that has been foreclosed upon and is vacant and abandoned.

The City of Lackawanna's main goal is to help keep homeowners and their families in their homes. However, in the event the property has already been vacated, we strive to prevent those zombie properties from falling into disrepair. The Department of Development and Code Enforcement for the City of Lackawanna are the primary departments that address this problem.

The Western New York Law Center, Belmont Housings, WNY ACCESS and Catholic Charities are a few organizations that provide services for people who have defaulted on their mortgage payments and may be facing a foreclosure action. Some of these organizations also address the issues associated with vacant properties.

Educational outreach events held in the community help homeowners understand their rights and options when it comes to mortgage defaults and, ultimately, mortgage foreclosure actions. Having the proper knowledge helps to reduce the number of vacant and abandoned properties in the City of Lackawanna.

Options to keep your home

Partial Claim: A borrows receives a second loan in an amount necessary to bring the mortgage payments up to date. The loan is interest free and does not have to be repaid until you sell your home or pay off your first mortgage. This option is only available to borrowers with FHA- insured loans.  If you have a conventional loan asks your lender if they offer an “advance claim.”

Mortgage Modification:  A modification is a permanent change to your loan through which the overdue payments may be added to your loan balance, the interest rate may be changed or the number of years you have to pay off the loan may be extended.

Special Forbearance: Forbearance is a special agreement between the lender and the borrower to delay a foreclosure. The literal meaning of forbearance is “holding back. “Your lender may provide for a temporary reduction or suspension of your payments to allow you time to overcome the problem that reduced your income.

Options when you can’t keep your home

Contact Federal Housing Administration: HUD’s Nation Servicing Center can assist homeowners with FHA insured loans by calling (877)622-8525.  Hearing or speech impaired persons by can call TDD/TTY Number (800)877-8339.

Pre-Foreclosure Sale: Pre- Foreclosure is the status of a property which is in the early stages of being repossessed due to the property owner's inability to pay an outstanding mortgage obligation. At this point, the property owner has the opportunity to pay off the outstanding debt or sell the property before it is foreclosed. You also may be eligible to receive a relocation expense if you qualify. With the lenders approval you can offer your house for sale at fair market value even if you receive less than the amount owned on the property.

Deed-in-lieu of Foreclosure: Deed-in-lieu of Foreclosure is a potential option for the homeowner to avoid foreclosure. This allows the borrower to voluntarily return the property back to the bank in exchange for the release of all obligations under the mortgage. You may be eligible to receive a relocation expense if the property is left clean and undamaged.