Schenectady files foreclosure paperwork for more than 150 properties
A number of properties throughout Schenectady will now be owned by the city, after the paperwork was filed for foreclosure. Our Beth Croughan has more.
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SCHENECTADY, N.Y. -- It's a process that started about four months ago with a list almost 700 properties long.
"This process is a very long and technical one. We have to meet a lot of criteria for notice," said Schenectady Mayor Gary McCarthy.
Friday, the city files paperwork to foreclose on more than 150 of those properties. They are properties that McCarthy said the owners haven't paid taxes on since 2008.
"The 159 properties that we foreclosed upon were ones that we have service on everybody, there were no objections, no answer, no payment, no response," explained Schenectady Corporation Counsel John Polster.
As for the others, Polster said some owners have paid, some have filed bankruptcy, and a couple hundred are being handled in court.
"For instance, with American Tax Funding, ATF, they have an interest in approximately 200 properties, they have filed an answer on those properties. So, those properties are what we refer to legally as being severed from what we dealt with today," he said.
But the ones dealt with this week will be inventoried with hopes of finding new homeowners.
"We're going to go through each one of them and try and put in place a plan to convert it back to an appropriate use. My primary focus has been to get properties converted back to owner occupied residences. Because that's what I believe the long-term solution for this community and other communities like Schenectady are," said McCarthy.
A community that McCarthy said has a responsibility to those that take advantage of the opportunity.
"To justify their investment, we have to send a message also that the city is going to follow-up on its responsibility and obligations to maintain some standards in terms of codes, in terms of paying the taxes," he said.
McCarthy said if everyone in Schenectady paid their taxes, the rate would be 10 percent lower.