M & T Zombie Headed to Home Ownership Auction

M&T Bank to Participate in Program to Reduce Zombie Properties 

Bank Offers Vacant Property for Bidding at Niagara Falls Home Ownership Auction

The Niagara Falls Zombie Fight Project Team continues to establish the City of Niagara Falls as a leader in enforcing the New York State Zombie Property and Foreclosure Prevention Law.  The team is also developing creative ways for disposition of former zombie properties. The Niagara Falls Zombie Fight Project, administered by the Niagara Falls Community Development Department (“NFCD”), is working with M&T Bank (“M&T”) and will be including one of their former vacant properties in the June 19, 2018, Home Ownership Auction, held annually by NFCD.

“M&T Bank is clearly showing that it cares about the citizens of Niagara Falls by thinking outside of the box and offering this property in our annual auction. Finding sustainable solutions for long-vacant properties requires community support, and we look forward to working with M&T, as always,” says Mayor Paul Dyster, City of Niagara Falls.

The property, located at 534 12th Street, went through the foreclosure process and is now ready for sale. This property will be available for bidding in the 2018 Niagara Falls Home Ownership Auction. The successful bidder of this property must agree to consult with NFCA to create a renovation plan prior to closing, and complete the renovation within one year of purchase. The successful bidder will also agree to submit a $500 bidder bond on the day of the auction, only returned upon completion of the renovation. These measures are designed to find responsible owners in an open and transparent way.  

Mark Mendel, M&T senior vice president, Customer Asset Management, explains, “M&T has a long history of being committed to our customers and the communities we serve. Our goal has always been to make home ownership viable whenever possible.”

“This is the first time that a former zombie property will be put through a municipal home ownership auction in New York State. From the beginning, our goal has been to enforce the law by working with lenders to resolve foreclosure issues and to find creative and sustainable methods of disposition for zombie properties. We are grateful to have developed a relationship with M&T and hope that a successful auction will set a precedent for other financial institutions to do the same in municipalities across the state,” adds Christine Marino, Zombie Fight Coordinator.

In addition to the property located at 534 12th Street, the auction will feature 10 other homes that the City of Niagara Falls owns due to recent tax foreclosure, serving as an alternative to the standard IN-REM tax foreclosure auction.

Seth Piccirillo, Director of Community Development/Code Enforcement says, “The standard tax foreclosure auction process does not provide clear results or encourage owner occupancy. There is a better way. We welcome the public to learn more about this year’s Home Ownership Auction and to build equity through home ownership in Niagara Falls.”

For the first time, Niagara Falls Community Development will be providing renovation cost estimates for each auction house and a reviewable “terms of sale” document, in addition to a code violation report. Interested bidders are invited to the following informational sessions at Niagara Falls City Hall to learn more about the auction process, the specific homes being offered and scheduled open house tours for each of the properties.

Interested bidders can visit www.nf-cd.org/auction to download a full information packet, renovation estimates, code violation reports and to learn more about the process. Interested bidders can also email Paul Martell, Home Ownership Specialist, at paul.martell@niagarafallsny.gov to ask questions. Paper copies of the information packet will also be available at The Carnegie Building, 1022 Main Street, Niagara Falls, New York.

2018 Niagara Falls Home Ownership Auction Dates You Need to Know

Auction Date

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Registration: 5 pm      Auction: 6:30 pm

City Council Chambers – Niagara Falls City Hall

745 Main Street – Niagara Falls, New York

Open House Tours

Wednesday, June 6, 2018 – 1-3 pm

Community Development staff will be at each Home Ownership Auction property

Thursday, June 7, 2018– 1-3 pm

Community Development staff will be at each Home Ownership Auction property.

For more information please contact:

Christine Marino
Zombie Fight Project Coordinator/City of Niagara Falls Community Development