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Kate Lockhart and Erie County Clerk Michael P. Kearns announcing the A.L.E.R.T Program

The ‘Neighborhood Foreclosure A.L.E.R.T. Program’- short for Accessing Lis Pendens Data for Erie County and Reporting to Town, Cities, and Villages is a collaborative effort to preserve neighborhoods and prevent foreclosures countywide. Through the A.L.E.R.T. Program, the Office of Erie County Clerk Michael P. Kearns notifies Erie County municipalities when a foreclosure has commenced in one of their neighborhoods via a lis pendens filing. This allows local governments to identify pockets of homeowners struggling and prevent possible ‘zombie’ homes, vacant or abandoned properties that have not reached the end of the foreclosure process. With the assistance of the Western New York Law Center, homeowners have an opportunity to try to work out a resolution with the bank, allowing them to keep their homes.

Columbia Law School Project

The Columbia Law School Project is a partnership between the Office of Erie County Clerk Michael P. Kearns, the Western New York Law Center, and Columbia Law School in New York City. It is the first partnership of its kind, applying the skillset and knowledge of the law students to provide additional support, resources, and information to smaller municipalities otherwise overwhelmed by the complicated process of identifying parties responsible for maintaining zombie properties. Working with Columbia Law School, municipal officials can submit a request on a zombie property through a website specifically designed for this project. Students will then access data provided through the Erie County Clerk’s Office to conduct research and report back to municipal officials on pending foreclosure information. Columbia Law students are able to count the time spent researching for municipalities toward their mandatory 40-hour pro bono requirement, which law students must fulfill to graduate.

Report a Zombie Home

The address of the property in question. Be sure to add as much detail as possible including City state, and Zip
The name of the person reporting the Zombie Home
what is your email address
What is your phone number?
How are you related to the house? Are you a neighbor, down the street?
if known who is the mortgage holder on the home?
Please add additional maintenance issues if you checked "Other" above
Please provide further detail about any of the maintenance issues listed above that might be helpful