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Erie County clerk, law center to hold online foreclosure prevention seminar

Erie County clerk, law center to hold online foreclosure prevention seminar

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Erie County Clerk Michael P. Kearns announces a partnership with the Western New York Law Center and Columbia University to expand the county's foreclosure alert program with help from Columbia University. 

Erie County Clerk Michael P. Kearns and the Western New York Law Center are holding an online emergency training about "zombie" foreclosures to educate government officials and the public about how to prevent a potential crisis once federal and state foreclosure moratoria end.

Kearns' Zombies Initiative will hold the training on Zoom from 9:30 a.m. to noon on Tuesday, June 22. The program will provide best practices and other resources to address what Kearns describes as a major threat to communities following the Covid-19 pandemic. Anyone interested in participating can sign up online, email Deputy County Clerk Michael Cecchini at or call 858-6985.

The initiative, and the related Zombie Watch campaign, is a partnership between Kearns' office and the law center. The program was unveiled several years ago to combat the growing problem of homes being abandoned and neglected by their owners after lenders start foreclosure proceedings, but before the process is completed.

The goal is to educate homeowners about their rights to stay in their homes, teach municipalities how to deal with abandoned homes in their communities, and force or embarrass lenders into securing and maintaining abandoned homes so they don't deteriorate.

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