We've all driven through neighborhoods throughout the Hudson Valley and noticed abandoned homes and properties located within thriving neighborhoods. Not only are they an eyesore, but they can also invite a criminal element, and drag down property values. If you, or someone you know, is living close to one of these abandoned properties, there is something you can do about it.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced today that New Yorkers can report vacant and abandoned properties in their communities through a hotline at the New York State Department of Financial Services(DFS). Often times these are called zombie properties, hence the nickname of Zombie Hotline.

The DFS will maintain an electronic registry of vacant and abandoned properties. If you know of any unoccupied and/or ill-maintained properties in your neighborhood, you are encourage to call (800) 342-3736. If a property isn't already in the statewide registry, DFS will identify the mortgage servicer to facilitate appropriate remedial actions as outlined in the legislation.

This new legislation also includes measures to assist homeowners facing mortgage foreclosure, create an electronic vacant property registry, establish a Consumer Bill of Rights, and much more.