Today’s news:

Foreclosed Pelham Bay property cleaned up

Another foreclosed property left in disrepair has been cleaned up.

Recently crews hired by the New York Community Bank cleaned up the yard at 1621 Mayflower Avenue, which had become overgrown with weeds and had broken pipes strewn everywhere. According to officials, the property was also infested with mice.

The property was officially foreclosed on by the bank in September and is currently vacant. It began to fall into disrepair even before the foreclosure proceedings began in February 2009.

“Properties fall into disrepair when the owners do not perform the necessary repairs,” said Ilene Angarola, first vice president of investor relations for the bank. “We can’t account for the failure to do the work.”

The city Department of Housing, Preservation and Development does not list any complaints about the property, but neighbors have expressed their concerns about the state of the property and its affect on the neighborhood.

“When a foreclosed property goes to hell, it really brings things down in the neighborhood,” said Ed Romeo, of the Pelham Bay Taxpayers Association. I think it’s the bank’s responsibility.”

As the property continued to fall into disrepair, worried neighbors contacted Senator Jeff Klein about the property. Klein launched an investigation into the property and contacted the bank about cleaning up the area.

The bank responded immediately to maintain the property, officials said.

“It was the appropriate thing to do,” said Angarola.

Recently Senator Klein’s office pressured the owner of another foreclosed house to keep the property in compliance. Earlier this month, GMAC Mortgage, LLC cleaned a dishevelled property at 1612 Adams Street, a Van Nest property that had become an eyesore and infested with vermin..

In the past year, Senator Klein’s office pushed for the clean-up of more than two dozen properties that fell into disrepair after being foreclosed or abandoned. The properties are now in compliance with the Property Maintenance Law, sponsored by Klein, and signed into law last year.

“Abandoned and neglected foreclosed properties are still a cause for concern in the Bronx,” said Klein. “These properties, when not adequately maintained, drag down property values of surrounding homes and damage the character of our neighborhoods. I encourage all residents in my district to contact my office if you are living with a neglected and unsightly property in your neighborhood.”

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